South Dakota CSP, EQIP application deadlines set for Dec. 9

Environment
Farm and Food
Contact(s)

Kalee Olson, policy associate, kaleeo@cfra.org, 402.687.2100 ext. 1022; Teresa Hoffman, senior communications associate, teresah@cfra.org, 402.687.2100 ext. 1012

SOUTH DAKOTA – The deadline for South Dakota producers to submit initial paperwork for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is Dec. 9.

Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), CSP and EQIP provide financial and technical assistance for producers to implement conservation practices while maintaining agricultural production on their farm or ranch.

“These programs give producers the opportunity to protect natural resources in South Dakota by selecting conservation practices that meet the unique needs of their operations,” said Kalee Olson, policy associate for the Center for Rural Affairs.

EQIP is designed to help producers address a particular resource concern with a single practice or project, such as improving soil health through no-till or rotational grazing. In addition, EQIP offers assistance for structural practices, such as building terraces.

In contrast, CSP is a whole-farm program designed to help farmers take their existing conservation efforts to the next level. Eligible producers must demonstrate they are currently addressing regional resource concerns and be willing to implement additional practices, such as a multispecies cover crop. 

“As with any change to an operation, implementing conservation practices comes with an amount of risk. CSP and EQIP alleviate these risks and provide incentives for producers to try something new,” Olson said.

In 2021, nearly 500 CSP and EQIP contracts advanced conservation across 688,000 acres of South Dakota.

Producers interested in applying for either program are encouraged to contact their local NRCS office as soon as possible to set up an appointment. A list of local offices can be found at nrcs.usda.gov/contact/find-a-service-center.