Sign up now for working lands conservation program

The 2018 sign-up deadline for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is quickly approaching.

The nation’s largest working lands conservation program, CSP rewards farmers for their conservation efforts, and helps them implement additional conservation measures on their land. With contract payments starting at $1,500, CSP has helped thousands of farmers across the U.S. plant cover crops, implement buffer strips, develop wildlife habitat, and more.

Interested farmers and ranchers must submit their applications by March 2, 2018, to be considered for this year’s sign-up. To apply, producers should stop by their local NRCS office and submit the initial application materials.

Last year, we interviewed farmers who have used the program. We heard CSP is a great way to try conservation methods.

One farmer said, “CSP enhancement activities contribute toward the goals of resource conservation.” He said it reduced nutrient loss and improved water quality.

Another uses CSP to maximize conservation practices. He said CSP is most beneficial “for accomplishing overall maintenance and improvements of our land.”

For more information, or if you would like to share your story, contact me at 402.687.2100 ext. 1012 or or visit our website at

To learn about CSP eligibility, enrollment, and more — check out the Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program and Filing information from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC).

Feature photo: Multiple rows of trees and shrubs, as well as a native grass strip, combine in a riparian buffer to protect Bear Creek in Story County, Iowa. The buffer is a nationally designated demonstration area for riparian buffers. | Photo by Lynn Betts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service