The information presented below is based on program rules developed under the 2002 Farm Bill. With passage of the 2008 Farm Bill, statutory language changed and new program rules were written by the Department. In 2009 the Conservation Security Program was revamped to become the Conservation Stewardship Program. Producers with contracts created under the Conservation Security Program should refer to the information below. New applicants are invited to learn about the new CSP, the Conservation Stewardship Program.
The Conservation Security Program (CSP) is a voluntary program authorized through the 2002 Farm Bill. Producers qualify for CSP payments by applying and documenting high levels of on-farm conservation and management with the ability to earn increased payments by adding and/or expanding conservation activities. CSP payments may be as high as $45,000 annually. The program is offered in selected watersheds as funding is available.
CSP has a unique role among USDA conservation programs because it:
Identifies and meaningfully rewards those farmers meeting the very highest standards of conservation and environmental management on their operations;
Creates powerful incentives for other producers to meet those same standards of conservation performance on their operations; and