DAVIS, Calif., May 14, 2020 – The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in California has received a historic $10 million to help farmers, ranchers and forestland managers enhance their levels of stewardship and receive payments for doing so. The 2020 application deadline is June 5, 2020.

Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners expand stewardship activities and receive payments for both their existing conservation work and new enhancements they undertake. Enhancements are available to help with soil health, pollinators, changing weather patterns, western forest structure, irrigation, rangeland health and much more.

“California has been a leading state in conservation implementation including USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) participation for more than two decades,” says RaeAnn Dubay, assistant state conservationist for Farm Bill programs. “This means we have hundreds of farmers who have successfully completed prior conservation projects and are well positioned to move to the next level of conservation with additional practices through CSP.” Dubay added that in today’s unfortunate pandemic circumstances, this $10 million investment in conservation can also help support rural economies throughout California.

“This is a program especially well-suited to California where many agricultural industries and supporters promote and reward advanced levels of stewardship,” says Dubay. “CSP can help with those additional goals. It can also help producers meet regulatory requirements or further work they have been doing to promote organic production, forest health and rangeland management.”

While conservation applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit CSP applications to their local NRCS office by the deadline of June 5 to ensure their applications are considered for 2020 funding.

For additional information about CSP, please schedule an appointment with your local USDA Service Center. https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/. More information can be found at farmers.gov/.

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