NRCS-WA Opened a Second Batching Period for the Conservation Stewardship Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service in Washington (NRCS) has opened a second batching period for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Only applications eligible for Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funds will be batched and ranked during this batching period. Producers interested in applying this round need to do so by June 6, 2024.

The IRA provides an additional $472 million for the CSP across the country for fiscal year 2024 to support USDA’s conservation programs that yield climate change mitigation benefits. CSP is for producers who are passionate about conservation and environmental stewardship and offers technical and financial assistance to help them take their conservation efforts to the next level.

Through CSP, 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 agricultural or forest production on their land. CSP also 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 rate; and new soil amendments to improve water quality.

For more information on CSP in Washington, click here.

NRCS is increasing Climate-Smart Agricultural and Forestry Mitigation Activities eligible for IRA funding for fiscal year 2024 through CSP. These in-demand activities are expected to deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions or increases in carbon sequestration as well as significant other benefits to natural resources like soil health; water quality; pollinator and wildlife habitat; and air quality. In response to feedback received from conservation partners, producers, and NRCS staff across the country, NRCS considered and evaluated activities based on scientific literature demonstrating expected climate change mitigation benefits.

When applied through this framework, these activities are expected to deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions or increases in carbon sequestration. NRCS will continue to evaluate additional practices as science progresses and will evaluate and identify quantification methodologies during the fiscal year.

If you have questions as a wheat grower, reach out to Andrea Cox, conservation coordinator for the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, at (509)330-1121 or by email at andrea@wawg.org.

Leave a Reply