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News Release

CSP Contract Expiring?

Paige Buck
(217) 353.6606

Champaign, IL   March 7, 2018 – Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to renew their Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contract.  Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation.

Participants with existing CSP contracts expiring on December 31, 2018 can access the benefits of the recent program changes through an option to renew their contracts for an additional five years, if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. In Illinois, approximately 550 CSP contracts are reaching the end of their initial five-year contract period and may be renewed for an additional five years.

NRCS will mail contract renewal notification letters to all participants whose contracts expire in 2018. The letters will contain instructions on how to apply for renewal.  Applications to renew expiring contracts are due by April 13, 2018.

Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, nutrient management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality.

Some CSP benefits include:

  • Improved water quality;
  • Improved cattle gains per acre;
  • Increased crop yields;
  • Decreased inputs;
  • Improved wildlife habitat and populations; and
  • Better resilience to weather extremes.

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 work for their conservation objectives. These tools also enable producers to see potential payment scenarios for conservation early in the application process.

Producers interested in CSP are recommended to contact their local USDA service center or visit