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Conservation Stewardship Program


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Interested agricultural producers should contact their Local USDA NRCS Office.

Enrollment authority for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has been extended under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will accept new applications and provide administration and oversight to all existing contracts. Application batching periods have been established for Louisiana pending fund availability.

New! Conservation Stewardship Program in the News - NRCS National News Release

Conservation Stewardship Program  Introduction

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. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the authority for CSP to the NRCS Chief.

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.

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.

NRCS will offer approved eligible participants:

  1. Annual payments for:
    1. Installing and adopting additional conservation activities, and
    2. Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.
  2. A supplemental payment on cropland to a participant receiving annual payments, who also agrees to adopt a resource-conserving crop rotation.

How To Apply

Download and fill out the Conservation Stewardship Program Application (PDF; 40 KB), and turn it in to your local Louisiana NRCS field office.  As part of the CSP application process, you'll work with NRCS field personnel to complete your resource inventory using a Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). The CMT determines the conservation performance for existing and additional conservation activities.

Visit the national NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Web site to reference enhancement activity job sheets, Baseline Inventory and Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT) questions.

Louisiana CSP Maps

Click on maps for full screen version in PDF format which requires Adobe Acrobat.

2013 CSP Cropland, Pasture, and Range Map (PDF; 1.1 MB) 2013 CSP Non-Industrial Private Forestland Map (PDF; 1.1 MB)
CSP 2013 CCPI-MRBI Map (PDF; 715 KB) CSP 2013 CCPI Map (PDF; 705 KB)

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.