Conservation Stewardship Program
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) presents a significant shift in how NRCS provides conservation program payments. CSP participants will receive an annual land use payment for operation-level environmental benefits they produce. Under CSP, participants are paid for conservation performance: the higher the operational performance, the higher their payment.
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; 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.
Eligible producers interested in enrolling in the CSP Program are encourage to visit their local NRCS Service Center and complete an application. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.
The documents below may require Adobe Acrobat Reader.
North Dakota CSP Geographical Areas (PDF, 285 KB - 8/24/09)
Applications will compete for funding with other applications in their area.
CSP Brochure (PDF; 18 MB)
CSP Frequently Asked Questions - Coming Soon!
North Dakota Species Lists A & B for use with the Conservation Measurement Tool (PDF, 12KB)
Resource Concerns & Ranking Pools (PDF; 18KB)
CSP Fact Sheet
The CSP program fact sheet is available for download and printing (PDF, 45KB).
CSP Federal Register Rules
Interim Final Rule (Request for Comments)
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.
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.
Be the operator of record in the USDA farm records management system for the eligible land being offered for enrollment;
Have documented control of the land for the term of the proposed contract;
Include the eligible land in their entire operation as represented for other USDA programs;
Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions and adjusted gross income.
How CSP Works
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. 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 operated substantially separate that will be under the applicant's control for the term of the proposed contract.
CSP offers participants two possible types of payments:
Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities.
Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations.
The annual payment limitation for a person or legal entity is $40,000. A person or legal entity cannot exceed $200,000 for all contracts entered into during any five-year period.
The document below may require Microsoft Excel Viewer.
For More Information
For more information and updates about CSP, please refer to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site, the National NRCS Web site, or contact the North Dakota NRCS personnel listed below.
2012 Conservation Stewardship Program Information
North Dakota Program Contact
Assistant State Conservationist (Programs)