The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is increasing the minimum annual payment for agricultural producers participating in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) from $1,500 to $4,000 starting in fiscal year 2024. The increase addresses challenges faced by small scale, underserved, and urban producers and improves equity in the program by making participation more financially beneficial for smaller operations. The new minimum payment is available for CSP Renewal, Classic and CSP-Inflation Reduction Act in Idaho.
“Increasing the minimum payment to CSP participants regardless of the size of their operation helps to make participation worthwhile for a larger number of producers,” said Bruce Sandoval, Acting State Conservationist for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Idaho, “By broadening the appeal of CSP, we can further expand implementation of Inflation Reduction Act funding for conservation programs.”
CSP offers technical and financial assistance to help agricultural and forest producers take their conservation efforts to the next level. The program is designed to compensate agricultural and forest producers who agree to increase their level of conservation by adopting additional conservation activities and maintaining their baseline level of conservation.
Examples of CSP enhancements that may be suitable for being adopted by smaller scale or urban producers could include:
Planting multi-species cover crops,
Mulching with natural materials in specialty crops for weed control,
Nutrient Management, and
Establishing pollinator habitats.