Conservation Stewardship Program
$150 Million for Producers to Improve Working Lands through Conservation Stewardship Program
NRCS is making available $150 million for agricultural producers through the Conservation Stewardship Program in fiscal 2016, which will add an estimated 10 million acres to the rolls of USDA’s largest conservation program. Applications for CSP General 2016-1 Sign-up is March 31, 2016
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 the 2014 Farm Bill for 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.
2016 CSP Application Deadline
Applications for CSP General 2016-1 Sign-up is March 31, 2016.
2016 Payment for Performance Payment Rates
The 2015 Payment for Performance payment rates are available as a PDF
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.
- Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations.
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 2016 CSP Priority Resource Concerns
- Soil Erosion
- Soil Quality
- Water Quality
Non-Industrial Private Forestland (NIPF)
- Soil Erosion
- Water Quality
- 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 Wildlife Plant Species List will be needed for various job sheets.
How to Apply for CSP
To learn more about how to apply for CSP, please visit NRCS' National CSP website
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.