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Conservation Stewardship Program

Web header for the Conservation Stewardship Program


NRCS is accepting CSP renewal applications through January 21, 2022. Current CSP Participants eligible for renewal are being notified by their local NRCS office outlining this opportunity and are being asked to visit their local field office by the application deadline.

Your Stewardship Goals. Our Assistance.

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.

No one knows more about your land than you do, and no one knows more about conservation than we do. Together we can develop a plan tailored to your land and your goals to help you increase productivity and protect the value of your land.

Our Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps you build on your existing conservation efforts while strengthening your operation. Whether you are looking to improve grazing conditions, increases 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.

Publications & Documents

Farmers Guide to 2018 Farm Bill Programs (PDF; 836 KB)
Applying for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) South Dakota (PDF; 131 KB)
Common Enhancement Activities of the CSP For Cropland in South Dakota (SD-FS-71) (PDF; 520 KB)
Common Enhancement Activities of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) - Grassland (SD-FS-72) (PDF; 710 KB)

Sustainable Production

CSP is for working lands. It is the largest conservation program in the United States with 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled in CSP. Thousands of people have made the choice to voluntarily enroll in the program because it helps them enhance natural resources and improve their business operation.


Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved cattle gains per acre
  • Increased crop yields
  • Decreased inputs
  • Wildlife population improvements
  • Better resilience to weather extremes

Through CSP, we can help build your business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of your entire operation. Good land stewardship not only conserves the natural resources on your farm, ranch or forest, it also provides multiple benefits to local communities, including better water and air quality and wildlife habitat, as well as food and fiber. Click on any of the land use images below to view the CSP enhancements.

For information on available enhancement activities for South Dakota, see the Activity List for Participants and Practice Payment Schedule for South Dakota below.

2022 South Dakota Activity List (XLSX, 87 KB)

2022 Resource Concerns Categories Resource Unit (XLSX; 16 KB)

2022 South Dakota Enhancement Supplements

2022 South Dakota Ranking Criteria-Exhibit A (DOCX; 118 KB)

2022 Display Group Ranking Questions Classic (PDF; 366 KB)

Detailed information on implementation criteria and documentation requirements of specific enhancements will be posted soon.


Joyce Trevithick, CSP Coordinator

For further information and assistance, contact your local NRCS Field Service Center.

The 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. The NRCS will make CSP available nationwide on a continuous application basis.

Application Deadline

CSP applications are accepted throughout the year at your local USDA Service Center, however the deadline to submit an application for 2022 funding consideration is January 21, 2022.


The CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands, as well as nonindustrial private forest lands statewide. Individual producers, legal entities, corporations, and Indian Tribes may be eligible for the program. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian Tribe.

Applicants must:

  • Be the operator in the USDA farm records management system for the eligible land being offered for enrollment;
  • Have effective control of the land for the term of the proposed contract;
  • Include the eligible land on an applicants entire agricultural operation;
  • Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions and adjusted gross income.


The CSP payments will compensate producers for:

  • Installing and adopting additional conservation activities;
  • Improving, maintaining, and managing conservation activities in place at the time the contract offer is accepted by the Secretary;
  • Adopting resource-conserving crop rotation to achieve beneficial crop rotations;
  • Engaging in activities related to on-farm conservation research and demonstration activities, and pilot testing of new technologies or innovative conservation practices.

South Dakota Resource Concerns and Ranking Areas

Through CSP, applicants will be able to address identified state resource concerns on working lands.  Due to the great variation in resource conditions, farming and ranching management, and climatic differences, the states agricultural land has been divided into seven ranking areas and non-industrial private forestland is a single statewide ranking area.

Chart of the resource concerns by resource locations in the state.


Resource Unit map of South Dakota with leadership names and locations.





Applicants with agricultural land applications will be ranked for the area in which the majority of their agricultural operation is located. Applicants with non-industrial private forestland will be ranked on a statewide basis.  Beginning Farmers/Ranchers and Historically Underserved applicants may choose to compete in the general pool or pools specifically available to them.

New CSP Grasslands Conservation Initiative

This new initiative will assist producers in protecting grazing land uses; conserving and improving soil, water and wildlife resources; and achieving related conservation values by conserving eligible land through grassland conservation contracts.

Eligible producers will have a single opportunity to enroll in a five-year contract. By signing the contract, producers agree to meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for one priority resource concern by the end of the five-year contract. NRCS will make payments for the initiative at a rate of $18 per acre each year not to exceed the base acres enrolled in a contract.

Prior Year Information

2021 South Dakota Enhancement Supplements

2021 South Dakota Activity List (PDF; 523 KB)

2020 South Dakota Activity List (PDF, 462 KB)

2020 South Dakota Enhancement Supplements

2019 South Dakota Enhancement Supplements

2019 South Dakota Activity List for Participants

2019 Practice Payment Schedule

2018 South Dakota Enhancement Supplements

2018 South Dakota Activity List for Participants (PDF; 368KB)

2018 Practice Payment Schedule (PDF; 996KB)

South Dakota Enhancement Supplements-2017

CAET Guidance-2017

South Dakota 2015 CSP Enhancement Activity Job Sheets

Archived South Dakota CSP Information

National CSP Website

Please contact Joyce Trevithick at (605) 352-1223 for further information.