Wallaces Farmer

Don’t miss deadlines for NRCS programs

Sign up by June 1 for Iowa Conservation Agreement and May 29 for Conservation Stewardship Program.

April 16, 2020

3 Min Read
Pasture and sky.
APPLY NOW: Funding is available for NRCS to partner on community-level conservation projects, and for individual farms with the Conservation Stewardship Program. Farm Progress

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering a funding opportunity for agreements that address Iowa-specific conservation issues. Deadline to submit proposals is June 1. Through the Iowa Partners for Conservation (IPC) award, successful projects will leverage NRCS resources, address local natural resource issues, encourage collaboration, and develop state- and community-level conservation leadership.

NRCS seeks agreement proposals that address at least one of the following:

  • Conduct on-site (field) monitoring of easement and other stewardship lands.

  • Promote soil health engagement in the agronomic community (private sector) with the help of conservation agronomists.

  • Conduct on-site practice certifications and follow up with producers on conservation seeding establishment.

  • Facilitate conversations with NRCS staff and partners at the field level regarding new Iowa NRCS conservation delivery schedule.

In 2019, Iowa NRCS provided about $2 million through five IPC projects. This year, an estimated $2.5 million will be available. Funding amounts can range from $75,000 to $1.5 million through one- to five-year agreements.

Proposals must be submitted electronically at  (refer to USDA-NRCS-IA-IPC-20-GEN0010749) by 10:59 p.m. June 1, and by email to [email protected] with a cc to [email protected]. Additional details are at NRCS.

May 29 application cutoff for CSP

NRCS also recently announced May 29 as the next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program applications for funding this year. Through CSP, NRCS helps farmers, livestock producers and forest landowners earn payments for expanding conservation activities while maintaining agricultural production on their land. CSP also encourages adoption of new technologies and management techniques.

“CSP continues to be a very effective tool for private landowners working to achieve their conservation and management goals,” says Kurt Simon, NRCS state conservationist in Iowa. “It’s the largest conservation program in the U.S. with more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled.”  

Changes in the 2018 Farm Bill authorize NRCS to accept new CSP enrollments from now until 2023 and makes some improvements to the program. These updates include:

  • NRCS now enrolls eligible, high-ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres.

  • Higher payment rates are now available under the 2018 Farm Bill for certain conservation activities, including cover crops and resource conserving crop rotations. 

  • Specific support is provided for organic and for transitioning to organic production activities, and a special grassland conservation initiative for certain producers who have maintained cropland base acres.

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

Learn more about CSP

CSP is offered in Iowa through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many benefits including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements and increased resilience to weather extremes. CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland. For information about CSP, contact your local service center.

USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only, and fieldwork will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible.

All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with NRCS, Farm Service Agency, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

Source: NRCS, which is solely responsible for information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content in this information asset.




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