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Conservation Stewardship Program

Conservation Stewardship Program

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, 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.

2017 CSP Sign-Up

NRCS accepts applications for CSP throughout the year. We announce signup cutoff deadlines as funds become available. Check back soon for more information regarding the fiscal year 2017 CSP signup cutoff deadline.

CSP Enhancements

Enhancements are management activities that go above and beyond the minimum conservation practice standard requirements helping the producer achieve a higher level of conservation. 

Click on any of the land use images below to view the CSP enhancements. 

Choose your land use for CSP.Perennial CropsAnnual CropsFarmsteadPastureRangelandForest

 

Conservation Stewardship Program Application Materials

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.

Other Resources

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.

Conservation Stewardship Program's Contribution to Organic Transitioning - The Organic Crosswalk (PDF)

Iowa Statewide Priority Resource Concerns

  • Soil Quality
  • Soil Erosion
  • Water Quality
  • Animals (Includes Livestock and Wildlife)
  • Plants

Iowa Resource Conserving Crop Rotations

Resource-conserving crop means a crop that is one of the following:

  1. A perennial grass;
  2. A legume grown for use as forage, seed for planting, or green manure;
  3. A legume-grass mixture;
  4. A small grain grown in combination with a grass or legume green manure crop whether inter-seeded or planted in rotation.

CSP Contact:
Dave Brommel, 515-284-4353

For further information and assistance, contact your local NRCS Service Center