Conservation Stewardship Program
The 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
Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities
CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands 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.
Through CSP, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, an related natural resources on their land. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved 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 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:
Annual payment of installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities
Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations
Application sign-up is an ongoing process and can be done online at USDA Service Center eForms Web Site
Follow the instructions and information as you enter this site.
If you are unable to submit your application online you can fill out the form, print, sign and mail, fax or hand deliver to your local USDA NRCS Service Center.
Ranking periods are identified and all applications that have been received prior to the ranking period cut-off will be ranked against each other. Applications received after the cut-off date will be held for ranking during the next ranking period.
How to Apply
Visit your local USDA Service Center to apply or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted.
CSP Fact Sheet (PDF, 618KB)
To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted
Find your local USDA Service Center