Conservation Stewardship Program

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The Conservation Stewardship Program helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns.  Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance - the higher the performance, the higher the payment. 


What's New in CSP?

CSP IFR Public Comment Period Extended

The public comment period has been extended to January 20, 2015. The official notice is on; submit comments on the website.

CSP Interim Final Rule with Request for Comment on Federal Register website.

This interim rule with request for comment amends the CSP to incorporate statutory and programmatic changes as authorized by amendments in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Act).

Civil Rights Impact Analysis and Regulatory Impact Analysis

resource condition including soil quality,  water quality, water quantity, air quality, and habitat quality, as well as energy.

CSP provides two types of payments through five-year contracts: annual payments for installing new conservation activities and maintaining existing practices; and supplemental payments for adopting a resource-conserving crop rotation. Producers may be able to renew a contract if they have successfully fulfilled the initial contract and agree to achieve additional conservation objectives. Payments are made soon as practical after October 1 of each fiscal year for contract activities installed and maintained in the previous year.


Eligible lands include private and Tribal agricultural lands, cropland, grassland, pastureland, rangeland and nonindustrial private forest land.   CSP is available to all producers, regardless of operation size or type of crops produced, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Caribbean and Pacific Island areas. Applicants may include individuals, legal entities, joint operations or Indian tribes that meet the stewardship threshold for at least two priority resource concerns when they apply. They must also agree to meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for at least one additional priority resource concern by the end of the contract.
Producers must have effective control of the land for the term of the proposed contract. Contracts include all eligible land in the agricultural operation.

Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply.

How to Apply

Visit your local USDA Service Center visit

Download NRCS conservation program application (PDF, 267KB)

More Information

CSP Fact Sheet (PDF, 618KB)

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit

Summary of changes to CSP in the Interim Final Rule

Detailed Information

To see more detailed information about CSP, visit the CSP program homepage, 2014 Enhancement Activity Job Sheets or the 2014 Payments Rates pages.

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