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Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) - Illinois

2016 Conservation Stewardship Program Signup

Applications for 2016 CSP can now be submitted at your local field office. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis; however applications submitted by March 31, 2016 will be considered for 2016 funding.

Program Overview
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.

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, Non-Industrial Private Forest lands (NIPF), 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.

CSP provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location. The entire agricultural operation must be enrolled and must include all agricultural land that will be under the applicant's control for the term of the proposed contract that is operated substantially separate from other operations.

Determining if CSP is Right for You
Producers can review and complete the Producer Self-Screening Checklist to determine whether the Conservation Stewardship Program is right for them.  Producers can take a copy of this form along with maps of their agricultural operation and call ahead for an appointment with their local field office.

Applying for CSP
Applications for CSP are accepted on a continuous basis. However, a signed NRCS-CPA-1200 application form, must be submitted to to local field office by close of business March 31, 2016 for 2016 funding consideration

After submitting an application, the applicant will also receive a copy of the NRCS-CPA-1202 Contract Appendix, explaining CSP contract terms and conditions. Reviewing the contract appendix up front helps the applicant understand the requirements of the CSP program. In addition, all applicants need to meet eligibility requirements in order to be a CSP participant. Contact your local field office to discuss eligibility criteria.

Stewardship Threshold
Applicants must meet the stewardship threshold for at least two priority resource concerns, listed below, when they apply and they must meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for at least one additional priority resource concern by the end of the contract for each eligible land use.

Illinois Priority Resource Concerns:

Ag Land Non-Industrial Private Forest (NIPF)
Animals (domestic & wildlife) Animals (domestic & wildlife)
Energy Plants
Soil Erosion Soil Erosion
Soil Quality Soil Quality
Water Quality Water Quality

Illinois Fund Pools
Illinois has six separate fund pools for interested CSP applicants which include:

Ag Lands:

  • Statewide Ag Lands
  • Statewide Ag Lands – Beginning Farmer
  • Statewide Ag Lands – Socially Disadvantaged

Non-Industrial Private Forest (NIPF):

  • Statewide NIPF
  • Statewide NIPF – Beginning Farmer
  • Statewide NIPF – Socially Disadvantaged

Additional Information
DUNS-SAM Information for Entities (PDF)
Historically Underserved Fact Sheet (PDF)
Organic Crosswalk (PDF)

Contact Information:
For help with the CSP program in Illinois, contact your local NRCS office.

Archived CSP Enhancement Activity Job Sheets and Activity Lists can be found here. Not all enhancements are available in Illinois.