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Conservation Stewardship Program

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The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary program that encourages agricultural producers to improve conservation systems by improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities and undertaking additional conservation activities. The Natural Resources Conservation Service administers this program and provides financial and technical assistance to eligible producers. CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forestland (NIPF) on a continuous application basis.

What's New in CSP?

  • Increased focus on generating additional conservation benefits
  • Removal of the limitation on the number of nonindustrial private forestland acres that can be enrolled in CSP
  • Increase in the flexibility to enroll land coming out of the Conservation Reserve Program.
  • A person or legal entity may not receive more than $200,000 during fiscal years 2014 through 2018. 

CSP Payments Types

CSP offers financial assistance to eligible participants through two possible types of payments:

  • Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities; and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities. 

Conservation Activity List - 2012 (PDF; 93KB)
Conservation Activity List - 2013 (PDF; 112 KB)
Conservation Activity List - 2014 (PDF; 120 KB)

  • Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations. --Documents require Acrobat Reader

RCCR 2012 (PDF; 51 KB) 
RCCR 2013 (PDF; 24 KB)
RCCR 2014 (PDF; 327 KB)

Payments will be made for conservation performance payments points estimated for each agricultural operation by the Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). Conservation performance points are unique for each agricultural operation and will be based on existing and proposed conservation activities.

Contracts cover the eligible land in the entire agricultural operation and are for five years. For all contracts entered into, CSP payments to a person or legal entity may not exceed $40,000 in any fiscal year, and $200,000 during any five-year period. Each CSP contract will be limited to $200,000 over the term of the initial contract period.

National CSP Website Information

Additional CSP information, including the following, can be found on NRCS' National CSP Website

  • Conservation Measurement Tool Questions 
  • CSP Background Information/Presentations 
  • CSP Fact Sheet 
  • CSP Self-Screening Checklist 
  • National Job Sheets 

Indiana's 2009-2014 CSP Priority Resource Concerns 

Agriculture

  • Soil Erosion
  • Soil Quality
  • Water Quality
  • Animals
  • Plants

 Non-Industrial Private Forestland (NIPF)

  • Soil Erosion
  • Water Quality
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • Air Quality

Enhancement Activity Job Sheets

"Enhancement" means a type of conservation activity used to treat natural resources and improve conservation performance. Enhancements are installed at a level of management intensity that exceeds the sustainable level for a given resource concern. Those directly related to a practice standard are applied in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the standard. Click on the topics below for national enhancement activity job sheets with Indiana supplements when applicable.

** The CSP Wildlfe Species List will be needed for various job sheets. 

2012 CSP Activity Sheets 2013 CSP Activity Sheets 2014 CSP Activity Sheets

Air Quality

Air Quality

Air Quality

Animal

Animal

Animal
*CSP Wildlife Species List

Energy

Energy

Energy

Plant

Plant

Plant
*CSP Wildlife Species List

Soil Erosion

Soil Erosion

Soil Erosion

Soil Quality

Soil Quality

Soil Quality

Special Project

Special Project

Special Project

Water Quality

Water Quality

Water Quality

Water Quantity

Water Quantity

Water Quantity

Bundles

Bundles

Bundles

 Supplemental Information

  • 2010/2011/2012 CSP Wildlife Plant Species (DOC; 330 KB)
  • CSP's Contribution to Organic Transitioning (PDF; 45 KB)

How to Apply for CSP

To learn more about how to apply for CSP, please visit NRCS' National CSP website

Contact Information

For program information, please contact your local district conservationist at the nearest USDA Service Center. For further assistance, contact MaryJo Woodruff at: 317-295-5811.