Conservation Stewardship Program









Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

The 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.

Application Deadline

CSP applications are accepted throughout the year at your local USDA Service Center; however the cut-off date for 2015 funding consideration is February 27, 2015.  Applications received after February 27, 2015, will be considered for funding in the next ranking period.


The CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands, as well as nonindustrial private forest lands statewide.  Individual producers, legal entities, corporations, and Indian Tribes may be eligible for the program.  Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian Tribe.

Applicants must:

  • Be the operator in the USDA farm records management system for the eligible land being offered for enrollment;
  • Have effective control of the land for the term of the proposed contract;
  • Include the eligible land on an applicants entire agricultural operation;
  • Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions and adjusted gross income.

Applying for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) South Dakota FY2015 (PDF; 116 KB)
Common Enhancement Activities of the CSP For Cropland in South Dakota (SD-FS-71) (PDF; 241 KB)
Common Enhancement Activities of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) - Grassland (SD-FS-72) (PDF; 301 KB)
Producer Self-Screening Checklist


The CSP payments will compensate producers for:

  • Installing and adopting additional conservation activities;
  • Improving, maintaining, and managing conservation activities in place at the time the contract offer is accepted by the Secretary;
  • Adopting resource-conserving crop rotation to achieve beneficial crop rotations;
  • Engaging in activities related to on-farm conservation research and demonstration activities, and pilot testing of new technologies or innovative conservation practices.

South Dakota Resource Concerns and Ranking Areas

Through CSP, applicants will be able to address identified state resource concerns on working lands.  Due to the great variation in resource conditions, farming and ranching management, and climatic differences, the states agricultural land has been divided into three ranking areas and non-industrial private forestland is a single statewide ranking area.

Agricultural Land Ranking Pool

Resource Concerns

South East - Agricultural Land Animals Plants Soil Erosion Soil Quality Water Quality
North East - Agricultural Land Animals Energy Plants Soil Quality Water Quality
West - Agricultural Land Animals Energy Plants Soil Erosion Water Quality
Historically Underserved - Agricultural Land Animals Plants Soil Erosion Soil Quality Water Quality
Beginning Farmer - Agricultural Land Animals Plants Soil Erosion Soil Quality Water Quality


Non-Industrial Private Forestland Ranking Pool

Resource Concerns

General Animals Plants Water Quality Water Quantity
Historically Underserved Animals Plants Water Quality Water Quantity
Beginning Farmer Animals Plants Water Quality Water Quantity


Stewardship Areas_Ag_GeneralBeginning_FarmerSocially Disadvantaged_FarmerNIPF_forestland

Applicants with agricultural land applications will be ranked for the area in which the majority of their agricultural operation is located. Applicants with non-industrial private forestland will be ranked on a statewide basis.  Beginning Farmers/Ranchers and Historically Underserved applicants may choose to compete in the general pool or pools specifically available to them.

Enhancement Activity Job Sheets

"Enhancement" means a type of conservation activity used to treat natural resources and improve conservation performance.  Enhancements are installed at a level of management intensity that exceeds the sustainable level for a given resource concern, and those directly related to a practice standard are applied in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the standard. 

 Job Sheets

Conservation Stewardship Program's Contribution to Organic Transitioning

South Dakota Resource Conserving Crops

A supplemental payment is available to participants who adopt a resource conserving crop rotation.  Resource conserving crop rotation means a crop rotation that includes at least one resource conserving crop, and reduces wind and water erosion, increases soil organic matter, improves soil fertility and tilth, interrupts pest cycles, reduces depletion of soil moisture or reduces the need for irrigation.  Job Sheet CCR99 provides a description of a resource conserving crop rotation.  Supplemental information is available for South Dakota.

South Dakota Resource-Conserving Crops List (PDF; 14.7 KB)


Conservation Stewardship Program
Success for South Dakota (fact sheet; pdf; 1.1 MB)

Archived CSP Information

FY-2014 Ranking Period 1 Job Sheets (PDF)

2013 South Dakota Enhancements List (DOCX; 166KB)

2013 Activity List for Participants (PDF; 112 KB)

FY 2013 Ranking Period One Job Sheets

FY 2012 Ranking Period One Job Sheets

2012 State Enhancements

FY 2011 Ranking Period One Job Sheets

2011 SD Enhancement Supplement

FY 2010 Ranking Period Two Job Sheets

2010-2 SD Enhancement Supplement

FY 2010 Ranking Period One Job Sheets

2010-1 SD Enhancement Supplement 

National CSP Website

Please contact Jessica Michalski at (605) 532-3686 for further information.