2014 Conservation Stewardship Program | NRCS UTAH



February 7, 2014 - Deadline for applications to be considered for the 2014-1 ranking and funding period

The Conservation Stewardship Program is a voluntary program that pays participants for conservation performance. The program encourages agricultural and non-industrial forestry producers to address resource concerns on their lands by improving and a maintaining existing conservation activities and undertaking additional conservation activities.

The program is available nationwide on a continuous application basis with announced cut-off dates for ranking and funding. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) replaces the Conservation Security Program with the new Conservation Stewardship Program for fiscal years 2009 through 2017.

CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 States and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands Areas. The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the authority for CSP to the NRCS Chief.

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Is CSP Right For Me?

The Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist will help you determine whether the program is right for you.

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Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist (PDF, 115KB)

You do not have to turn it in to NRCS. It is here to help you determine if CSP is right for you. If you have questions regarding the Checklist, please contact your local NRCS office.


CSP is available to all producers, regardless of operation size or crops produced, in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Caribbean and Pacific Island areas. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe. Applicants may include individuals, legal entities, joint operations, or Indian tribes. They must:

  • Be the operator of record 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;
  • Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions of 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 12 and adjusted gross income provisions of 7 CFR part 1400; and
  • Include the eligible land in their entire agricultural or forestry operation

Land Control

  • The applicant must have control of the land for the term of the proposed contract. Click here for more information on requirements for land control. (PDF, 84 kb)

CSP Application Process

  • Download review and complete the Conservation Stewardship Program Application NRCS-CPA-1200 (PDF, 104kb) with Appendix form, and turn it in to your local NRCS office. Please retain a copy of the Appendix for your records.

Conservation Measurement Tool Inventory Questions

As part of the CSP application process, you will work with NRCS field personnel to complete your resource inventory using a Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). The CMT determines the conservation performance points for existing and additional conservation activities.

The documents below are copies of the resource inventory questions, grouped by land use. You should download and the questions, and draft responses to all relevant questions. Schedule an appointment with your local NRCS office to review you CMT responses


Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT) Scoring Process

NRCS will use the CMT to evaluate CSP applications through a point-based system to estimate environmental benefits. The CMT evaluates existing and proposed new activities to calculate conservation performance points which will be used for ranking and payment purposes.

Conservation performance points are programmed in the CMT, along with all controls, filters, and calculations. A scientific validation of CMT is underway and future modifications to these points may be needed.

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CMT Scoring Process One Pager (PDF, 46KB)

Payment for Performance (PDF, 124kb)

Operational Baseline Data (OBD) Questions

The documents below are required to establish with NRCS the baseline data for your operation. You should download the questions and draft responses to all relevant questions. Schedule an appointment with your local NRCS office to review your OBD responses.

2014 Activity List

Participants can select from a variety of activities to address resource concerns on their lands.

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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 synergetically.

The following links lead to Enhancement Activity Job Sheets. Each Job Sheet is a complete description of the activities summarized by the Conservation Program Activity List:
2014 Utah CSP Enhancement Activity Job Sheets

2014 National CSP Job Sheet homepage

The Organic Crosswalk

The 2008 Farm Bill recognized the growing interest and support of organic agriculture across the country and required the development of a transparent means by which producers may initiate organic certification while participating in a CSP contract. "The Conservation Stewardship Program’s Contribution to Organic Transitioning - The Organic Crosswalk", provides an explanation of how CSP enhancements can be used to assist producers in meeting individual National Organic Program (NOP) rules while going through the transitioning period.

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The Organic Crosswalk (PDF, 45KB)

2014 CSP Priority Resource Concerns by Ranking Pool


National CSP


Find a local USDA Service Center

For more information on the statewide Conservation Stewardship Program contact Kim Burr, Farm Bill Specialist at (801) 524-4561