Conservation efforts can be rewarding for farmers and lead to healthier soil and increased yields. Many of these efforts are supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
CSP provides both financial and technical assistance to farmers for existing conservation efforts on working lands. There are also additional financial incentives for farmers to build on their existing conservation efforts. These incentives are available for farmers who elect CSP’s enhancement or enhancement bundle options.
Enhancements and enhancement bundles build on existing conservation practices. For example, if a farmer is already implementing one species of cover crop in their operation, they can elect an enhancement through CSP to plant a multi-species cover crop. This change improves biodiversity and increases the conservation benefits associated with cover cropping.
Multiple enhancements can also be done at once to yield even greater returns via enhancement bundles. With assistance from NRCS staff, producers select bundles that contain three or more enhancements to target a specific resource concern and, in turn, receive a higher payment for these combined practices.
While conservation efforts often bring their own rewards, CSP ensures that farmers who go the extra mile to address priority resource concerns are supported. To learn more about CSP, visit cfra.org/publications/implementingconservation or contact your local NRCS office.
Center for Rural Affairs