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2014 Washington Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

2014 Conservation Stewardship Program Signup Extended

The 2014 Conservation Stewardship Program application deadline has been extended. Applications are due February 7, 2014.


Vineyard in Central WAThe Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional conservation activities and improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities. 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.

Program Description

Through CSP, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Eligible lands include cropland pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest lands, agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe, and other private agricultural land (including cropped woodland, marshes, and agricultural land used for the production of livestock) on which resource concerns related to agricultural production could be addressed. Participation in the program is voluntary.

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.

The State Conservationist, in consultation with the State Technical Committee and local work groups, will focus program impacts on natural resources that are of specific concern for a State, or the specific geographic areas within a State. Applications will be evaluated relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns to facilitate a competitive ranking process among applicants within a State who face similar resource challenges.

The entire operation must be enrolled and must include all eligible land that will be under the applicant's control for the term of the proposed contract that is operated substantially separate from other operations.

CSP offers participants two possible types of payments:

  1. Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities

  2. Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations

The documents below require Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Excel , or Microsoft Word

Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist

Download and fill out the Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist

You don't have to turn it in to NRCS; it's there to help you determine for CSP is right for you. If you have questions regarding the Checklist, please contact your local NRCS office.

CSP Fact Sheet

The CSP program fact sheet is available for download and printing.

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.

Non-Industrial Forestry Option

CSP is also available to assist forestry producers. The following document describes this opportunity in detail.

Washington Priorities 

FY 2014  Ranking Period One Program Documents

CSP Application

Enhancement Activity Job Sheets

  • "Enhancement" means a type of 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.

National enhancement activity job sheets are available for the following resource concerns:

2014 Job Sheet homepage | Air Quality  | Animal | Bundles | Energy | Plant | Soil Erosion | Soil Quality | Water Quality | Water Quantity | National Focus Areas | Supplemental Payment Activity

Activity List

Download and look over the Conservation Stewardship Program Activity List to identify new activities you may be interested in to install or adopt:

 State Specific Enhancement Requirements

The state specific enhancements listed below are to be used for planning and contracting in Washington. If there is not a state specific enhancement listed below to meet the needs of your plan, refer to the national enhancement activity job sheets listed above.

NOTE:  For special consideration of management periods outside those dates specified in the state specific enhancements below, consult with your NRCS local Area or State Specialist.

AIR03 - Replace burning of prunings, removals and other crop residues with non-burning alternatives 
AIR04 - Use drift reducing nozzles, low spray pressure and boom height and adjutants to reduce pesticide drift
AIR07 - GPS, targeted spray application (SmartSprayer), or other chemical application electronic control technology
AIR08 - Nitrification inhibitors or urease inhibitors

ANM03 - Incorporate native grasses and/or legumes to 15% or more of herbage dry matter productivity
ANM05 - Extend existing riparian forest buffers for water quality protection and wildlife habitat
ANM07 - Extending existing field borders for water quality protection and wildlife habitat 
ANM09 - Grazing management to improve wildlife habitat
ANM10 - Harvest hay in a manner that allows wildlife to flush and escape 
ANM11 - Patch-burning to enhance wildlife habitat - NOT AVAILABLE IN WASHINGTON STATE
ANM12 - Shallow water habitat
ANM17 - Monitoring nutritional status of livestock using the NUTBAL PRO system
ANM21 - Prairie restoration for grazing and wildlife habitat
ANM23 - Multi-species native perennials for biomass/wildlife habitat
ANM25 - Stockpiling of forage to extend the grazing season
ANM26 - Managing calving to coincide with forage availability
ANM27 - Wildlife Friendly Fencing
ANM29 - On-farm forage based grazing system
ANM31 - Drainage water management
ANM32 - Extend existing filter strips or riparian herbaceous cover for water quality protection and wildlife habitat
ANM33 - Riparian buffer, terrestrial and aquatic wildlife habitat
ANM34 - Leave standing grain crops un-harvested to benefit wildlife
ANM35 - Enhance wildlife habitat on grass/legume covered expired CRP acres similar managed as hayland
ANM36 - Enhance wildlife habitat on tree covered expired CRP acres or similar managed as forestland
ANM37 - Prescriptive grazing management system for grazed lands
ANM38 - Retrofit water facility for wildlife escape and enhanced access

ENR01 - Fuel use reduction for field operations
ENR09 - Variable frequency drive electric motors
ENR10 - Using nitrogen provided by legumes, animal manure and compost to supply 90 to 100% of nitrogen needs
ENR11 - Improving energy feedstock production using alley cropping systems with short rotation wood crops
ENR12 - Use of legume cover crops as a nitrogen source 

PLT02 - Monitoring key grazing areas to improve grazing management
PLT05 - Multi-story cropping, sustainable management of non-timber forest plants
PLT06 - Renovation of windbreak, shelterbelt or hedgerow for wildlife habitat
PLT15 - Establish pollinator and/or beneficial insect habitat
PLT16 - Intensive management of rotational grazing
PLT17 - Creating forest opening to improve hardwood stands
PLT18 - Increasing on-farm food production with edible woody buffer landscapes
PLT19 - Herbicide resistant weed management
PLT20 - High residue cover crops or mixtures for weed suppression and soil health
PLT21 - Forest stand improvement pre-treating vegetation and fuels preceding prescribed fire - NOT AVAILABLE IN WASHINGTON STATE

SOE05 - (combined SOE03 & SOE04) Continuous no-till – Organic or Non-organic systems

SQL01 - Controlled traffic system
SQL04 - Use of cover crop mixes
SQL05 - Use of deep rooted crops to break up compaction
SQL08 - Inter cropping to improve soil quality and increase biodiversity
SQL09 - Conversion of cropped land to grass-based agriculture
SQL10 - Crop management system where cropland acres recently converted from CRP cover or similar vegetation
SQL11 - Cover crop in orchards, vineyards and other woody perennial horticultural crops
SQL12 - (replaced SQL02) Intensive cover cropping in annual crops

WQL01 - Biological suppression and other non-chemical techniques to manage brush, herbaceous weeds and invasive species
WQL03 - Rotation of supplement and feeding areas
WQL04 - Plant tissue tests and analysis to improve nitrogen management
WQL05 - Apply nutrients no more than 30 days prior to planned planting date
WQL07 - Split nitrogen applications, 50% after crop emergence or pasture green up
WQL09 - Apply phosphorus fertilizer below the soil surface
WQL10 - Plant cover crop that will scavenge residual Nitrogen
WQL11 - Precision application technology to apply nutrients
WQL12 - High level integrated pest management to reduce pesticide environmental risk

WQL13 - High level integrated pest management to reduce pesticide environmental risk
WQL14 - Land application of treated manure

WQL17 - Use of non-chemical methods to kill cover crops  
WQL18 - Non-chemical pest management for livestock
WQL19 - Transition to organic grazing system
WQL20 - Transition to Organic Cropping Systems
WQL21 - Integrated pest management of organic farming
WQL22 - On farm composting of farm organic waste
WQL24 - Apply enhanced efficiency fertilizer products
WQL25 - Split application of nitrogen based on a PSNT
WQL26 - Reduce the concentration of nutrients imported on farm
WQL27 -  Drainage water management for nutrient, pathogen, or pesticide reduction

WQT01 - Irrigation system automation
WQT03 - Irrigation pumping plant evaluation
WQT05 - Remote monitoring and notification of irrigation pumping plant operation  (XLSM; 27KB)
WQT07 - Regional weather networks for irrigation scheduling  (XLSM; 31KB)Highlights and Announcements

WQT08 - Decrease irrigation water quantity or conversion to non-irrigated crop production 

Additional information can be found on the National NRCS CSP site. This site contains the CSP Fact Sheet, CSP Interim Final Rule, Payment Rates, Operations Baseline Data Questions, Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT) Inventory Questions, and Enhancement Activity Job Sheets. 

Program Contact

For questions regarding the Washington State Conservation Stewardship Program contact your local NRCS office or:

Sharon Bromiley
Area Program Liaison
USDA  - Natural Resources Conservation Service
316 W. Boone Ave  Suite 370
Spokane, WA  99201