NB_300_22_20 - NB 300-22-20 LTP - Guidance for Processing FY 2022 Renewal Unfunded Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Applications
NB 300-22-20 LTP - Guidance for Processing FY 2022 Renewal Unfunded Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Applications
National Bulletin: 300-22-20 Date: December 27, 2021
Subject: LTP - Guidance for Processing FY 2022 Renewal Unfunded Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Applications


 
Purpose.   To provide State conservationists (STCs) and Directors of the Caribbean and Pacific Island Areas guidance for processing unfunded FY 2022 CSP renewal applications and to distribute a Chief’s waiver to the CSP regulation at 7 CFR §1470.26(c).   
 
Expiration Date.   September 30, 2022
 
Background.   Through National Bulletin (NB) 300-21-18, “FY 2021 CSP Classic and LCI Applications and Contract Obligation and FY 2022 CSP Renewal Applications,” issued in February 2021, NRCS instructed States to notify existing CSP participants who were in the fifth year of their contract of the opportunity to apply and compete for a contract renewal. NRCS is currently finalizing selection and obligation of highly ranked renewal applications received in FY 2021 and will conclude these CSP renewal obligations by December 31, 2021.

The CSP regulation at 7 CFR §1470.26(c) states, “NRCS will determine a participant ineligible for a new CSP contract on an agricultural operation for 2 years following expiration of their prior contract if the participant does not enter a renewal contract on the agricultural operation at the end of the prior contract period.” The Chief previously waived this provision for a limited number of producers as provided through NB 300-21-4, “Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Guidance for Contract Renewal Evaluation and Obligation.”
 
Explanation.   States must notify unfunded CSP renewal applicants of their status using 440-CPM-530, Subpart Q, exhibit 530.320F, “CSP Unfunded Renewal Notification Letter,” which removed language related to the 2-year ineligible period, per the Chief’s waiver included as attachment A to this national bulletin. This revised letter also informs applicants that NRCS will consider their unsuccessful renewal application in a future CSP signup unless the applicant requests NRCS cancel their application. NRCS will automatically consider unfunded renewal applicants in a future CSP signup; therefore, these unfunded FY 2022 renewal applicants do not need to sign a new NRCS-CPA-1200, “Conservation Program Application.”

As mentioned above, the Chief waived the CSP regulatory language at 7 CFR §1470.26(c). This waiver will allow for any past, current, or future participant with an unfunded pending or expired renewal application to not be determined ineligible to apply for any current or future CSP signup opportunity based upon their failure to enter a renewal contract at the end of their prior contract.

Required Actions.  States must take the following actions for FY 2022 unfunded renewal applications:

•   Notify the renewal applicant that NRCS was unable to fund their application using the template letter provided through exhibit 530.320F.
•   Leave unfunded renewal applications in the “CSP 2018-2022-1 Renewal” signup in ProTracts unless the applicant requests cancellation. We will provide additional guidance on handling unfunded renewal applications soon.
•   If a producer requests cancellation of their application, the Field Office will change the application status in ProTracts to “Canceled.” The producer would then need to submit a new NRCS-CPA-1200 for future program consideration.
 
Contact.   Direct questions about this national bulletin through the appropriate State contact using the FAPD SharePoint site.
 
 

 /s/

Jimmy Bramblett
Deputy Chief for Programs
 
 Attachment A – Chief Waiver
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