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Participant Responsibilities

Photo of CSP participant discusses the program with NRCS         and EQIP participant manages irrigation water


Left- CSP participant discusses the program with NRCS.   Right- EQIP participant manages irrigation water Photos by NRCS

Contract Participant Responsibilities

Contracts in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) are legally binding agreements.  The applicable program Appendix must be carefully read and understood before agreeing to participate in either program.

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Some of the responsibilities of applicants and contract participants are:

  • Submit a complete, accurate and signed application form, NRCS-CPA-1200, by the application deadline.
  • Complete all eligibility requirements by the deadline specified.
  • Inform NRCS of the fund accounts that they wish to apply for.
  • Request technical assistance from NRCS for the development of the Conservation Plan.  Cooperate with NRCS in the development of the plan.
  • Ensure that the NRCS-CPA-1155, “Conservation Plan/Schedule of Operations,” is accurate and that activities can be realistically completed in the year scheduled.
  • Not start any activity before the contract funds are obligated by NRCS.
  • Receive written approval from the landowner for structural or vegetative practices that will be contracted.  The tenant must make sure there will be no landlord/tenant dispute prior to signing a contract.
  • One activity must start within 12 months after the contract was obligated.
  • Ensure that implementation of contracted activities are completed according to NRCS practice standards and specifications.  It remains the responsibility of the participant to request technical assistance from NRCS in a timely manner to allow for scheduling of the assistance and application of the practice.
  • Participants must implement contracted conservation activities using their own financial resources.  Payments are made according to the payment rate specified in the contract after NRCS has certified completion of the practice.  For CSP, activities are paid after October 1st once funds are available.  In EQIP Historically Underserved participants may receive an advance for up to 50% of the contracted amount. 
  • Identify and comply with all laws and regulations.  Obtain necessary permits prior to starting work.
  • Stop all work and notify NRCS if archaeological or historical items are discovered while doing work.
  • Maintain control of the land for the contract period.  Inform NRCS in writing within 60 days of any voluntary or involuntary loss of control of any acreage enrolled in the program, which includes, changes in the tax ID number, ownership structure/corporate form and death of a contract participant. Failure to provide timely notice could result in termination of the entire contract.
  • CSP participants must maintain status as operator of record.  Contracted land cannot be subleased.
  • Keep records that document completion of an activity for three years after completion and provide records to NRCS when requested.
  • Provide written consent to allow NRCS to consult with the US Fish and Wildlife Service if the contract has the potential to impact threatened and endangered species.
  • Perform all required Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of contracted practices for the lifespan of the practices.
  • Maintain compliance with Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland provisions of the 1985 Food Security Act.
  • Keep information current with Farm Service Agency and NRCS.
  • Comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act.  Marijuana may not be grown on the contracted acres.
  • Return to NRCS any payments that were improperly made.
  • Report to NRCS any payments received from other sources for work that is similar to what is being contracted in the program.
  • Perform an honest and good-faith effort to complete the contract. 
  • Not do anything to defeat the purpose of the contract.