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2016 CSP Payment Rates

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) presents a significant shift in how NRCS provides conservation program payments. Instead of using the traditional compensation model that pays a per-acre rental rate or a percentage of the estimated cost of installing a practice, CSP pays for conservation performance — the higher the performance, the higher the payment.

Note: FY2016  payment rates remain the same as FY2015.

Annual Payments

Under CSP, participants receive annual land use payments for operational level environmental benefits they produce. A split payment structure provides separate annual payments for conservation activities being added (additional activities) and those already in place (existing activities).

A CSP participant’s annual land use payments for both additional and existing activities are calculated as:

Annual Land Use Payments = Land Use Acres X Performance Points (additional or existing) X Land Use Payment Rate


Note: A participant must install additional activities on a land use in order for that land use to earn annual payments.

Supplemental Payment

A supplemental payment is available to participants earning an annual payment who also agree to adopt a resource-conserving crop rotation on cropland. To determine the supplemental payment rate, NRCS technology specialists identified representative resource-conserving crop rotations and associated yields, and then collected cost information to compare net-returns under "conventional" and "resource-conserving" crop rotations. The supplemental payment rate is based on the differences in crop production costs between conventional and resource-conserving crop rotations. 

2016 CSP Payment Rates Annual Payments

Land use

Additional Activity
Payment Rate

Existing Activity
Payment Rate


$0.40157 / point

$0.02897 / point

Pastured Cropland

$0.31870 / point

$0.04213 / point


$0.31870 / point

$0.02490 / point


$0.12499 / point

$0.00990 / point


$0.15803 / point

$0.00854 / point

Supplemental Payments

Adopt Resource-Conservation Crop Rotation - $15.00/acre

Improved Resource-Conservation Crop Rotation - $5.00/acre


This information is also available as a PDF you can download (PDF, 245KB)