Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Ivan Dozier announced Jan. 7 is the deadline to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and be considered for fiscal year 2022 funding. NRCS plans to invest up to $8.64 million for new CSP contracts in fiscal year 2022 in Illinois.

CSP is a financial assistance conservation program that is “a very effective tool for producers working to achieve their conservation and management goals,” said Dozier.

CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland, and nonindustrial private forest land.

Interested farmers should submit a signed application (NRCS-CPA-1200 form) to the local NRCS field office or through the Farmers.gov website using their account. A blank NRCS-CPA-1200 application form is available from the local office.

CSP applications submitted by Jan. 7 will be evaluated by the local NRCS field office staff, who will work with applicants to assess their land and resource concerns, answer ranking questions, and determine program eligibility. If an application is ranked high enough to be funded, NRCS staff will work with the applicant to develop a contract.

For more information, contact your local USDA service center or visit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/il/programs/financial/csp/.