Sign up now for working lands conservation program

By Cora Fox
Center for Rural Affairs

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 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. (Editor’s note: The Waterville Service Center may be reached at 745-8561.)

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



Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, nonprofit organization, based in Lyons, Neb., working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action-oriented programs addressing social, economic and environmental issues.