Deadline nears for applying to USDA Conservation Stewardship Program

— Photo from USDA

The Conservation Stewardship Program “helps farmers and forest landowners expand their conservation activities and take their conservation to the next level,” says the United States Department of Agriculture.

April 19 is the third application deadline for the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service New York Conservation Stewardship Program.
“Whether you are looking to improve grazing conditions, increase crop resiliency, or develop wildlife habitat, we can custom design a CSP plan to help you meet those goals,” says the Conservation Service. “We can help you identify natural resource problems in your operation and provide technical and financial assistance to solve those problems or attain higher stewardship levels in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner.”

The service works one-on-one with producers to develop a conservation plan that outlines and enhances existing efforts.

The stewardship program helps farmers and forest landowners expand their conservation activities and take their conservation to the next level.

Through the program, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation and climate-smart activities like cover crops, forest stand improvement, tree and shrub establishment, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat — all while maintaining active agricultural or forest production on their land, according to a release from the USDA.

The stewardship program also encourages the adoption of new technologies and new management techniques such as precision nutrient management, improved grazing systems, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality.

Submit applications at your local NRCS Service Center. All applications are competitive and are ranked based on national, state, and locally identified resource priorities and the overall benefit to the environment. Applications received after April 19 will be considered in the next batching period.

The closest Natural Resources Conservation Service Office to Albany County is the Troy Service Center at 1612 Route 7 in Troy, which can be contacted by phone at 518-271-1740 or by emailing Dianna Stanton at

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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