NRCS releases nationwide list of conservation program deadlines

Environment
Farm and Food

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently published a comprehensive list of application deadlines for its conservation programs, including the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The list includes relevant dates for all 50 states, plus the Caribbean and Pacific Islands areas.

Called application ranking dates or “batching deadlines,” these dates indicate the day that initial paperwork must be submitted by producers to be considered for the next round of program funding. Applications are accepted year-round, but not ranked until after a batching deadline. Some states announce one batching deadline each year, while others, such as Iowa, announce two or more. Due to the competitive nature of CSP and EQIP, producers are not guaranteed funding, but can choose to have their application carried over for the next round of consideration.

CSP and EQIP provide financial and technical assistance for producers to address natural resource concerns on their operations. Known as working lands conservation programs, CSP and EQIP allow farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices while maintaining agricultural production. Other programs listed include the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, CSP Grasslands Conservation Initiative, and state-specific Regional Conservation Partnership Programs.

This action from the NRCS indicates a commitment to transparency and increased access to its conservation programs for all producers. Application deadlines will be updated on a continuing basis as each state finalizes ranking dates and additional funding cycles are announced.

As of publishing this blog, CSP and EQIP deadlines for Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, and South Dakota are:

Nebraska
CSP, Nov. 19, 2021
EQIP, Nov. 19, 2021

Iowa
CSP, April 1, 2022
CSP Renewals, April 8, 2022
EQIP, April 1, 2022

Kansas
CSP, Nov. 19, 2021
EQIP, Nov. 19, 2021

Minnesota
CSP, TBD
EQIP, Nov. 19, 2021

South Dakota
CSP, Dec. 3, 2021
EQIP, Dec. 3, 2021

Feature photo by Kylie Kai