STILLWATER, OK – Whether it’s setting conservation and management goals or striving to meet those you already have for your Oklahoma operation, there’s a great chance that the staff of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can help. One proven way to do so is through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

However, NRCS reminds Oklahoma producers that the next deadline for CSP applications to be considered for funding this year is just days away, April 30, 2021.

The equation for success with the program is simple: CSP pays participants for conservation performance, so the higher the performance, the higher the payment.

Oklahoma’s challenges and opportunities vary across the state from area to area. Rather than a one-size-fits all, CSP addresses various resource concerns including soil quality, soil erosion, water quality, water quantity, air quality, plant resources, and animal resources as well as energy.

How does it accomplish this? CSP provides two possible types of payments through five-year contracts: annual payments for installing new conservation activities and maintaining existing practices; and supplemental payments for adopting a resource-conserving crop rotation.

Applicants in Oklahoma may include individuals, legal entities, joint operations, or Indian tribes that meet the stewardship threshold for at least two priority resource concerns when they apply. They must also agree to meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for at least one additional priority resource concern by the end of the contract. Producers must have effective control of the land for the term of the proposed contract.

Eligible lands include private and tribal agricultural lands, cropland, grassland, pastureland, rangeland, and nonindustrial private forest land. CSP is available to all producers, regardless of operation size or type of crops produced, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Caribbean and Pacific Island areas.

While visitors are not currently allowed in USDA Service Centers in Oklahoma, our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers by phone, and, using online tools.

You can locate your local USDA Service Center at farmers.gov/service-locator. While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested Oklahoma producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by April 30, 2021 to ensure their applications are considered for 2021 funding.

Payments are made soon as practical after October 1 of each fiscal year for contract activities installed and maintained in the previous year.

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