The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps you build on your existing conservation efforts while strengthening your operation. Whether you are looking to improve grazing conditions, increase crop yields, or develop wildlife habitat, CSP can custom design a plan to help you meet those goals. It can help you schedule timely planting of cover crops, develop a grazing plan that will improve your forage base, implement no-till to reduce erosion or manage forested areas in a way that benefits wildlife habitat. If you are already taking steps to improve the condition of the land, chances are CSP can help you find new ways to meet your goals. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Specific deadlines are set for ranking and funding opportunities.
CSP contracts are for five years, with the option to renew if you successfully fulfill the initial contract and agree to achieve additional conservation objectives. An NRCS conservation planner will work closely with you throughout the entire process. Contract payments are based on two components:
- payments to maintain the existing conservation based on the operation type and number of resource concerns that are meeting the stewardship level at the time of application and
- payments to implement additional conservationactivities.
All CSP contracts will have a minimum annual payment of $1500.
You will be required to maintain the stewardship level of the resource concerns you are already meeting plus meet or exceed at least one additional resource concern in each land use by the end of the contract. If the objectives of the initial CSP contract are achieved, you may be eligible to reenroll for an additional 5 year contract if you agree to adopt additional conservation activities to meet or exceed two additional priority resource concerns.
To participate in CSP, you must be in compliance with highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements, and have current farm records with USDA Farm Service Agency. You must have effective control of the land for the term of the proposed contract, be actively engaged in the day-to-day management of the agricultural operation and share in the risks associated with agricultural production. You must also be meeting the stewardship threshold for at least two resource concerns at the time of application.
To sign up find Your Local USDA Service Center
- USDA - NRCS Programs
Contact Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
National service provider