Farm and Ranch
NRCS Texas encourages producers to apply today for FY2024 Conservation Stewardship Program — Inflation Reduction Act funding
Jun 18, 2024
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas has more than $4 million remaining to fund eligible Conservation Stewardship Program-Inflation Reduction Act applications received through June 21, 2024.

The maximum total payment for CSP is $200,000 over the life of the 5-year contract, For FY24, the minimum CSP annual payment was increased to $4,000 to address challenges faced by small scale, underserved and urban producers. The increase also makes participation more financially beneficial for smaller operations. 

This sign-up will be funded through Act Now, which allows NRCS to immediately approve and obligate a ranked application in a designated ranking pool when an application meets or exceeds a state-determined minimum ranking score. The state determined minimum ranking score for this sign-up is 15.

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

CSP helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners build on their existing conservation efforts while strengthening their operations.  CSP participants earn an annual payment for five years, which enables them to achieve a greater level on conservation and stewardship. NRCS will custom design a CSP plan to meet a wide range of conservation objectives. CSP-IRA is a little different than CSP Classic, as this sign-up specifically targets climate and clean energy.

Applying for Assistance

NRCS accepts applications for conservation programs year-round; however, applications must be submitted by June 21, 2024, to be considered for this round of funding. Applications received after the listed date will be automatically deferred to the next funding period. 

NRCS has developed a faster process to approve producer applications for its conservation programs. Using its “Act Now” authority, NRCS can now pre-approve applications when they meet or exceed a pre-determined minimum ranking score. Applications are ranked according to local resource concerns; the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants.

Applications for eligible practices that meet or exceed pre-determined minimum ranking thresholds, which is 15 for Texas, will be considered for priority funding when applying for this initiative. 

This means funding decisions can be made without having to wait for all applications to be reviewed and ranked. This can potentially allow farmers to start conservation projects earlier instead of waiting long periods to know if a project will be funded.

Producers, landowners and forest managers interested in applying for assistance should contact their local NRCS service center.  Applicants are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their local Farm Service Agency county office when applying for NRCS programs to establish or update records.