UPDATE: Since our notice yesterday (6/28/19), the deadline for enrollment for GCI has been extended to July 19. Agricultural Producers interested in GCI should contact their local USDA service center for further details.
Enrollment notices for eligible agricultural producers to enroll in the new Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Grassland Conservation Initiative (GCI) recently went out. This program was established by the 2018 Farm Bill.
Please be aware the deadline to enroll in the new GCI program is tomorrow, June 28, 2019.
Below is information from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Texas (NRCS) regarding the enrollment period.
Grassland Conservation Initiative information from NRCS
Agricultural producers with eligible base acreage that has been in grass or grasslands over a nine-year period, rather than planted with commodity crops, have an opportunity to enroll in the new Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Grassland Conservation Initiative (GCI), which was created by the 2018 Farm Bill. Producers must sign up by June 28, 2019, to participate in this enrollment period.
Eligible producers should have received a letter from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) providing information on the new initiative and how to apply.
When enrolling in the CSP Grassland Conservation Initiative, producers must meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for one priority resource concern by the end of the five-year contract. Producers will receive $18 per acre per year for the next five years.
This initiative has different rules than the rest of CSP, and it will be administered separately. Eligible producers who apply are accepted into the initiative, their applications will not need to be ranked, and payments do not count towards the CSP payment limitations.
Eligible operations have base acres, which are lands where producers have historically grown commodity crops, where crops have not been grown from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2017, and the land has returned to grass or grasslands. Formerly, these producers would have been available for assistance through Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs available through FSA. Now, this assistance is made available through the CSP Grassland Conservation Initiative.
For more information, contact your local USDA service center. Please contact FSA if you have questions about your planting history or NRCS if you are interested in GCI.