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Conservation Stewardship Program

Conservation Stewardship Program

Have you ever looked across your property and thought about some land management goals you would like to take to the next level? Maybe we can help.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps you build on your existing conservation efforts while strengthening your operation. Whether you are looking to improve grazing conditions, increase crop yields, or develop wildlife habitat, we can custom design a CSP plan to help you meet those goals. We can help you schedule timely planting of cover crops, develop a grazing plan that will improve your forage base, implement no-till to reduce erosion or manage forested areas in a way that benefits wildlife habitat. If you are already taking steps to improve the condition of the land, chances are CSP can help you find new ways to meet your goals.

What is the Conservation Stewardship Program?

CSP helps agricultural producers and forestland owners maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance ‐ the higher the performance, the higher the payment. Through CSP, participants take additional steps to improve the resource conditions on their land—soil, water, air, plants, animals (both domestic and wildlife), and energy conservation. For more information, visit the national CSP web page.

CSP conservation activities available in Pennsylvania for 2021

Click here for information on individual CSP activities

Click Here for information about CSP payments

How to Apply

Submit a completed Conservation Program Application and a map delineating your entire agricultural or forest operation to your local NRCS Office. Applicants with both agricultural and forest land can submit one application and indicate if they are requesting consideration under agricultural land, forest land, or both. Applicants requesting consideration as a veteran, socially disadvantaged, or beginning farmer must self‐certify by marking all applicable status boxes on Form NRCS‐CPA‐1200. 

Beginning in 2020, applicants can request consideration under an organic option if 75 percent of the operation is certified organic or transitioning to organic. The Conservation Stewardship Program for Organic Producers (PDF) brochure provides an explanation of how CSP enhancements can be used to assist organic producers.

    CSP Application
    CSP Contract Appendix describes eligibility and contract requirements:

When to Apply

NRCS accepts applications on a continuous basis throughout the year and evaluates all applications received by specific application submission dates. For Fiscal Year 2022, the application submission dates are:

            CSP Renewal - March 31, 2021
            CSP Classic - May 2, 2022

Program Contacts

Ashley Lenig
Conservation Program Manager


Scott Heckman
Assistant State Conservationist for Programs

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2021