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Conservation Stewardship Program

rolling farmland in central New JerseyThe Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary conservation program that encourages agricultural and forestry producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by:

  • Undertaking additional conservation activities; and
  • Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.

The most current information about sign-up periods, enhancement activities, and ranking can be found on the National Conservation Stewardship Program Website.

The program requires each state to identify three priority natural resource concerns. For New Jersey, these are:

  • Animal (livestock and wildlife)
  • Water Quality
  • Soil Quality

Each state also modifies, when needed, enhancement job sheets to specify seeding dates, seeding mixes, etc. These are called Supplemental Enhancement Activity Job Sheets.

CSP offers two possible types of payments—annual and supplemental. The annual payment is established using the conservation performance estimated by the Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT) used by NRCS and calculated by land use type for enrolled eligible land. A supplemental payment is available to participants who also adopt a resource-conserving crop rotation. The annual payment limitation for a person or legal entity is $40,000. A person or legal entity cannot exceed $200,000 for all contracts entered into during any five-year period.

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National Estimated Payment Ranges (36 kb)

Producers interested in the Conservation Stewardship Program should review the application information available online or at their local NRCS office.

Land enrolled in the Conservation Security Program, Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands Reserve Program and Wetlands Reserve Program are ineligible for the new Conservation Stewardship Program.


Conservation Security Program

Although the Conservation Security Program was replaced with the Conservation Stewardship Program, producers already participating in the Conservation Security Program can still find program information online and at their local NRCS office.