Champaign, IL — State Conservationist, Ivan Dozier announced the submission deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding in fiscal year (FY) 2021 is May 7, 2021. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest up to $7.85 million for new CSP contracts in fiscal year 2021 in Illinois.
CSP is a financial assistance conservation program which helps agricultural and forestland producers take the conservation activities on their farm to the next level. “CSP continues to be a very effective tool for producers working to achieve their conservation and management goals,” said Dozier.
While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by May 7, 2021, to ensure their applications are considered for 2021 funding.
CSP provides many benefits, including increased crop yields, decreased input costs, wildlife habitat improvements, and increased resilience to weather extremes. CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland, and nonindustrial private forest land. CSP assists agricultural and forestland producers build on existing conservation efforts while strengthening their entire operation.
Producers interested in CSP should submit an application (NRCS-CPA-1200 form) to the local NRCS field office or through the Farmers.gov website using their account. A blank NRCS-CPA-1200 application form may be obtained from the local office or on the Illinois NRCS website. Producers wishing to use Farmers.gov, can sign in or create an account by clicking on “Sign up” in the upper right of the website.
CSP applications submitted by May 7, 2021 will be evaluated by the local NRCS field office staff. NRCS staff will work with applicants to assess their land and resource concerns, answer ranking questions, and determine program eligibility. If an application is ranked high enough to be funded, NRCS staff will work with the applicant to develop a contract.
For additional information about CSP, contact your local USDA service center or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/il/programs/financial/csp/.