(NEWTON) Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to renew their Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contract. Participants with existing CSP contracts expiring on December 31, 2018, can access the benefits of the recent program changes through an option to renew their contracts for an additional five years, if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. In Illinois, approximately 550 CSP contracts are reaching the end of their initial five-year contract period and may be renewed for an additional five years. The applications to renew expiring contracts are due by April 13, 2018. Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. Producers interested should contact their local USDA service center or go online at www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.