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Reward Your Conservation Efforts with CSP!


By: Katie Hafner, Soil Conservationist


The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a farm bill program administered by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) with help from the local Conservation Districts.

Any agricultural operation can apply. Cash crop, beef cattle, dairy operations, grazing systems, vegetable growers, forestland owners, and specialty farms are all eligible! Farm records will need to be established at the Farm Service Agency (FSA) office – that is free and easy.


Water quality, soil health, wildlife habitat, air emissions, nutrient management, plant growth

This program looks at and assess farm operations as a whole. After talking a survey to see how many resource concerns are addressed, farms are given a score. Scores are converted into an annual payment that rewards producers for all their current conservation efforts.


The 5-year program also offers opportunities for farm operators to try new things as well. There are many cost-shared enhancements to choose from.

Some activities are:

- Taking corn plant tissue samples and testing them for N; adjusting inputs accordingly

- Installing a rain garden on the farm to divert water from rain gutters

- Planting a diverse cover crop mix to build soil

- Creating pollinator habitat with a mixture of grasses, flowers, forbs, and shrubs

- Planting native trees for wildlife

- Creating and implementing an advanced grazing plan to get the most from forage

- Removing autumn olive or other invasive species from fencerows, woodlots, etc.


Getting started is easy. Contact the Clinton Conservation District office and fill out an application. Applications are accepted year-round but are batched and processed annually. The 2022 deadline is fast approaching – call the office at 989-224-3720 ext. 5 or email katie.hafner@macd.org for more information.





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