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Maine's Conservation Stewardship Program

Applications are now being taken for Fiscal Year 2013 funding consideration.

What is the Conservation Stewardship Program?

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary conservation program that encourages agricultural and forestry producers to maintain existing conservation activities and adopt additional ones on their operations.  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. 

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Eligibility/Requirements

CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands as well as nonindustrial private forest lands.  The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location.  Individual producers, legal entities, corporations, and Indian Tribes may be eligible for the program.  Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, improved pastureland, nonindustrial private forestland, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian Tribe. 

A producer must treat at lease one resource concern and one priority resource concern during the length of the CSP's 5-year contract.  The three priority resource concerns selected for Maine are:  

  • Animal

  • Soil Quality

  • Water Quality    

The applicant must: 

  • Be listed as the operator in the USDA farm records management system for the operation being offered for enrollment.

  • Must document that they control the land for the term of the contract and include all eligible land in their entire operation in that contract.

  • Must comply with highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions and comply with Adjusted Gross Income provisions.

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Benefits to Participants

CSP offers participants two possible types of payments:

  • Annual payment for installing new conservation activities and maintaining existing activities.

  • Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotation.

CSP payments to a person or legal entity may not exceed $40,000 in any year, and $200,000 during any 5-year period. 
 

Producers interested in CSP are encouraged to begin the application process by completing a producer self-screening checklist to determine whether the new program is suitable for them or their operation.


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Links

National NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Website

Maine NRCS Press Release

CSP 2012 Ranking Period One Job Sheets

CSP 2012 Ranking Period One Activity List
 

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Documents/Forms

The documents below require Adobe Acrobat Reader (.pdf):
 

Conservation Stewardship Program Fact Sheet

Conservation Stewardship Program Self-Screening Checklist

NRCS-CPA-1200 - Conservation Program Application and Appendix

AD-1026 - Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification

SF-1199 - Direct Deposit Sign-Up Form

CCC-929 - Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Supplemental Form

CCC-931 - Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information Form

FSA-211 - Power of Attorney

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Program Contact:

Bill Yamartino, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, (207)990-9100 ext. 3, or email bill.yamartino@me.usda.gov.