The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary conservation program that helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to improve resource conditions including soil quality, water quality, water quantity, air quality, and habitat quality, as well as energy. Participants will receive an annual land use payment for operation-level environmental benefits they produce and conservation performance - the higher the performance, the higher the payment.
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.
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.
Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply.
How to Apply
NRCS accepts applications for CSP throughout the year, but producers should submit applications by March 31 to USDA service centers to be considered for enrollment in 2016. Participants with existing CSP contracts that will expire on Dec.31, 2016, have the option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. Applications to renew are also due by March 31. In Florida, producers can participate through CSP in the regional landscape-level Longleaf Pine Initiative.
Visit your local NRCS field office or go to Getting Started with NRCS to apply.
Contact your local USDA - NRCS Service Center staff.
Georganne Wiltse, program specialist, 352-338-9510, or
Jeffrey Woods, financial assistance programs, 352-338-9515.