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Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) 2015

Staff Contact: Thomas Wiltbank, Program Specialist

Phone: (302) 678- 4169
FAX: (302) 678-0843

The deadline for the general signup for the 2015 Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is March 13, 2015 and March 31, 2015 for renewals.


The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by:

  • Undertaking additional conservation activities; and
  • Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.

CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 States and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands Areas. The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location.

Program Description

Through CSP, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest lands, agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe, and other private agricultural land (including cropped woodland, marshes, and agricultural land used for the production of livestock) on which resource concerns related to agricultural production could be addressed. Participation in the program is voluntary.

CSP encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and nonindustrial private forest land. The NRCS will make CSP available nationwide on a continuous application basis.

The State Conservationist, in consultation with the State Technical Committee and local work groups, will focus program impacts on natural resources that are of specific concern for a State, or the specific geographic areas within a State. Applications will be evaluated relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns to facilitate a competitive ranking process among applicants within a State who face similar resource challenges.  Delaware will have one ranking pool for the entire state for cropland and non-industrial forest land.

           For the map of Delaware's Ranking Pool click here

Farm Services Agency (FSA) records will be the basis for all farm records. The entire operation must be enrolled and must include all eligible land that will be under the applicant's control for the term of the proposed contract that is operated substantially separate from other operations. An applicant for CSP must be listed as the farm operator in FSA records.

CSP offers participants two possible types of payments:

  1. Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities
  2. Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations

CSP Application Information

The documents below require Adobe Acrobat Reader:

2015 Conservation Stewardship Fact Sheet
2015 Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist
2015 CSP Application  (NRCS-CPA-1200) and Appendix

Activity Lists

Look over the Conservation program Activity list to identify new activities you may be interested in to install or adopt.

"Enhancement" means a type of conservation activity used to treat natural resources and greatly improve conservation performance

Link to the National CSP Enhancement Job Sheets

2015 Activity List for Participants

Organic Crosswalk

Delaware CSP Enhancement Supplements:

The following documents require Acrobat Reader.  

Delaware CSP WQL10 Supplement 2015, (PDF 271 KB)
Delaware CSP WQT07 Supplement 2015, (PDF 128 KB)         
Delaware CSP WQL13 Supplement 2015, (PDF 141 KB)

Enhancements are installed at a level of management intensity which exceeds the sustainable level for a given resource concern.

Enhancements directly related to a practice standard are applied in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the standard.

Farm Service Agency (FSA) Records

The Conservation Stewardship Program requires applicants to establish records with the Farm Service Agency if they do not have these records established already. Where applicants already have records established with the Farm Service Agency, they will need to ensure that these records are updated.

Farm Service Agency records that need to be established or updated prior to application:

The following documents require Acrobat Reader.  

Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Statement, (PDF 227 KB)
Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification, (PDF 100 KB)
Members Information, For entities (PDF 227 KB)

CSP State Priority Resource Concerns

With advise from State Technical Committee Members, each State has selected a list of priority resource concerns that applicants will either need to agree to address by the end of the contract period or have already addressed at the time of application.

Delaware Priority Resource Concerns for 2014 CSP for Both Agricultural Land and Non-Industrial Private Forestland:

Water Quality
Air Quality
Soil Quality

CSP Resource Conserving Crops

With advise from State Technical Committee Members, each State has created a list of resource conserving crops that applicants can incorporate into their cropland acres if they are eligible for, and elect to adopt the Resource Conserving Crop Rotation Enhancement.

The following documents require Acrobat Reader.  

Delaware 2015 Resource Conserving Crops