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CSP - Producer and Land Eligibility

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    NRCS programs and associated program benefits are available to eligible producers who meet basic eligibility requirements. All applications must meet the criteria for both producer eligibility and land eligibility to be considered for funding.

Applicant Eligibility

    Applicants may include individuals, legal entities, joint operations or Indian Tribes. All CSP applications must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Be listed as the operator in the USDA farm records management system for the operation being offered for enrollment;
  2. Document that they control the land for the term of the contract and include all eligible land in their entire operation in that contract;
  3. Comply with highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions and comply with Adjusted Gross Income provision;
  4. Comply with tenants and sharecroppers provision;

Land Eligibility

CSP is available to all producers, regardless of operation size or type of crops produced. Eligible lands include private and Tribal agricultural lands (crop and pasture), nonindustrial private forest land (NIPF), associated agricultural land, and farmstead. Producers must have effective control of the land for the term of the proposed contract. Contracts must include all eligible land associated with the applicants agricultural or NIPF operation.

Other Requirements

Stewardship Threshold Eligibility

NRCS will use the Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART) to determine whether or not the applicant is addressing resource concerns in order to meet the stewardship eligibility requirement.
 An applicant’s conservation activities must meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for the following

  • At least two resource concerns at the time of contract offer on all land uses.
  • At least one additional resource concern by the end of the conservation stewardship contract on at least one land use.
  • Renewal applicants must meet or exceed two additional PRCs or implement new or improve existing conservation activities to achieve higher levels of conservations performance for a minimum of two priority resource concerns met or exceeded in the initial contract.

Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply.

Records That may Be Required:

Specific records are required may include, but are not limited to the following documents. You can contact your local field office if you have any questions.

  • Proof of Identity: Authorized persons may be required to show a valid state driver's license, passport or other personal identification as well as Social Security or EIN numbers, address and other information.
  • Signature Authority: Self-certification of signature authority as indicated on Form CCC-901 or documents such as articles of incorporation, charter, bylaws, partnership agreements, trust agreements, wills and similar legal evidence.
  • Land Ownership or control: The applicant may be required to provide evidence of control of land through ownership documents (deeds, etc.) or lease information (rental agreements, permits, lease, etc) for the length of the contract.
  • Map depicting ownership boundaries for all land the applicant owns and operates.

Note - Confidential and private information:

Many of the program application forms or documentation require the applicant to provide sensitive, contact, financial or other confidential information.  Disclosure of this data is voluntary, but failure to provide the required information in a timely manner may result in the deferral of an application or denial of a benefit payment.  By law and policy, confidential, private and sensitive information is protected by USDA and employees and agency partners are subject to penalty and disciplinary action for inappropriate or mismanagement of private data.


NRCS Conservation Program Appeals Division
USDA National Appeals Division
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

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