When editing plan steps they can be set to a canceled or declined status. In these cases the form for editing a plan step does not require you to enter an actual date, however when entering the same infomration in batch the actual field is always required even if the field is not marked required in the batch template.
We're currently evaluating this issue for a fix in a future release.
Steps to Duplicate
1. Open a Constituent 2. Select the Stewardship plans tab 3. Open the Stewardship plan 4. Choose a step and Edit 5. Change the status to Canceled or Declined 6. The actual date is not required
7. Go to Batch entry 8. Add a Stewardship plan step update batch 9. Search for the same plan step 10. Change the status column to Canceled or Declined The actual date is required in batch