The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Ohio is accepting applications for a second round of funding for the Classic Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to apply by the July 9, 2021 deadline.
Through CSP, conventional and organic agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat — all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land.
“Ohio producers have a unique opportunity to achieve higher levels of conservation through this second round of funding,” said Lori Ziehr, Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service Acting State Conservationist. “By taking advantage of the program, they can utilize NRCS technical and financial resources to enhance both their business operations and natural resources.”
CSP 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 rates, and new soil amendments to improve water quality.
While applications for CSP are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by July 9, 2021, to be considered for the second 2021 funding period. NRCS has specifically set aside $300,000 dollars to provide financial and technical assistance to Ohio organic producers. Many activities covered under CSP will help organic farmers continue to achieve economical sustainability, including natural borders along fields that protect organic crops. To qualify for CSP Organic funding, 75% or more of the land in operation must be certified organic or transitioning to organic production.