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Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

(en Español)

Prescribed Grazing with good conservation cover on the steep lands in the Caribbean Area.Purpose

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary program that provides many conservation benefits including improvement of water and soil quality, wildlife habit enhancements and adoption of conservation activities that address the effects of climate change. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe.

New enrollments for CSP for federal fiscal year 2014 are being accepted through January 17, 2014. NRCS may conduct more ranking periods this fiscal year should funds be available. We encourage operators of agricultural land and non-industrial private forest land to sign up for CSP at your local NRCS field office.

CSP encourages producers 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. Under CSP, participants are paid for conservation performance: the higher the operational performance, the higher their payment.

Applications will be evaluated relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns to facilitate a competitive ranking process among applicants who face similar resource challenges. The entire operation must be enrolled and must include all eligible land operated substantially separate that will be under the applicant's control for the term of the proposed contract.

The geographic area covered by the CSP encompasses the entire Caribbean Area (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) including Non-Industrial Private Forest Lands (NIPF).

 
Priority Resource Concerns
for the Caribbean Area
Caribbean Area Geographic Area Map
  • Soil Quality
  • Soil Erosion
  • Water Quality
  • Water Quantity
  • Air Quality
  • Plant Resources
  • Animal Resources
  • Energy
Map of the Caribbean Area: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Benefits

Cover Crop (cowpea) with irrigation in the southern part of Puerto Rico.CSP offers participants two possible types of payments:

  1. Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities (based on your stewardship level and improvements).
  2. Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations.

Caribbean Area Resource-Conserving Crop Rotations (en Español)

1 Yams Perennial Grasses & Forbs Perennial Grasses & Forbs
2 Plantains or
Bananas
Perennial Grasses & Forbs Perennial Grasses & Forbs
3 Tanniers Perennial Grasses & Forbs Perennial Grasses & Forbs
4 Sweet Potatoes Perennial Grasses & Forbs Perennial Grasses & Forbs
5 Papaya Perennial Grasses & Forbs Perennial Grasses & Forbs
6 Vegetables Perennial Grasses & Forbs Perennial Grasses & Forbs
7 Pineapples Perennial Grasses & Forbs Perennial Grasses & Forbs
8 Pigeon Peas Perennial Grasses & Forbs Perennial Grasses & Forbs
9 Pumpkin Perennial Grasses & Forbs Perennial Grasses & Forbs
10 Cassava Perennial Grasses & Forbs Perennial Grasses & Forbs
11 Lily Perennial Grasses & Forbs Perennial Grasses & Forbs
Note: Perennial Grasses & Forbs cover maintained until next annual crop is planted.

Download and fill out the Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist (PDF, 115KB) to determine if you are eligible for CSP. You don't have to turn it in to NRCS; it's there to help you determine if CSP is right for you. If you have questions regarding the Checklist, or want to apply for the program, please contact your local NRCS office.

Download the CSP Ranking Period One Activity List (PDF, 93KB) to identify new activities you may be interested in to install or adopt. An "Enhancement" is a conservation activity used to treat natural resources and greatly improve conservation performance. Enhancements are installed at a level of management intensity which exceeds the sustainable level for a given resource concern. Enhancements directly related to a practice standard are applied in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the standard. A "Bundle" is a group of specific enhancements, which when installed as a group, addresses resource concerns synergistically.

Download the CSP Ranking Period One Enhancement Activity Job Sheets. Each Job Sheet is a complete description of the enhancement activities summarized in the Conservation Program Activity List for: Air Quality, Animals, Bundles, Energy, Plants, Soil Erosion, Soil Quality, Water Quality, Water Quantity, National Focus Areas, and Resource Conservation Crop Rotation (RCCR).

Documents & Information

Contact

Jaime Valentín, State Resource Conservationist, 787-766-5206, x. 121.