NRCS Announces Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up

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USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

News Release


For Immediate Release

January 4, 2022 


For more information, contact:
Laura T. Anderson, State Public Affairs Specialist

NRCS Announces Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up

Jackson, Miss., January 4, 2022 – The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 is February 4, 2022. The 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to this critical conservation program, which helps agricultural producers take the conservation activities on their farm or ranch to the next level. 

“CSP continues to be a very effective tool for agricultural producers working to enhance their conservation and management goals,” said Kurt Readus, NRCS state conservationist in Mississippi. “It is the largest conservation program in the United States with more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural, and forest land enrolled in CSP.”  

While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by February 4, 2022, to ensure their applications are considered for 2022 funding. 

Changes to the Program 

The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes the Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) to accept new CSP enrollments from now until 2023, making some important improvements to the program. These updates include: 

  • NRCS currently enrolls eligible, high-ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres. 
  • Higher payment rates are now available for certain conservation activities, including cover crops and resource-conserving crop rotations.  
  • CSP now provides specific support for organic and transitioning to organic production activities and a special grassland conservation initiative for certain producers who have maintained cropland base acres. 
  • NRCS recently made several updates to the program to help producers better evaluate their conservation options and the benefits to their operations and natural resources. New methods and software for evaluating applications help producers see up front why they are or are not meeting stewardship thresholds and allow them to pick practices and enhancements that match their conservation objectives. These tools also enable producers to see potential payment scenarios for conservation early in the process.

About the Program 

CSP is offered in Mississippi through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many benefits, including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements, and increased resilience to weather extremes. CSP is for working lands, including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of a tribe.  

COVID-19 Guidance

NRCS is under Covid-19 limitations. NRCS employees are limited in the amount of direct contact we can have with customers both for your safety and ours.  This does not mean field offices will not assist you.  It only means that you may need to be more persistent and always contact the office by phone or by email before making an office visit. We’ve provided a link to our online field office locator: By using this locator tool, applicants can find contact information for your local field office. Covid-19 is new for all of us, but we have found a way to operate and assist producers in an effort to treat environmental concerns. For additional information about CSP, contact your local USDA service center. More information can be found at

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: