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Apply for CSP

How Do I Apply?

If you're ready to take your conservation efforts to the next level we are here to help. NRCS accepts applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) at any time throughout the year. NRCS sets specific deadlines for ranking and funding opportunities.  Contact your local NRCS field office for more information. 

Preparing Your Application

Applications must include all agricultural or private forest land in your operation that you will have control of for the 5-year term of the CSP contract. You need to establish farm records with the Farm Service Agency for these lands before NRCS will be able to evaluate your application. You will need to identify all land in your operation when you meet with an NRCS representative. 

Evaluating the Application

Once you request assistance or complete an application, the local NRCS conservation planner will have a one-on-one consultation with you to evaluate your current management system and the natural resources on your land using the Conservation Assessment and Ranking Tool (CART).  Eligible lands will be identified and the number of resource concerns that are currently meeting CSP stewardship thresholds will be determined.  Each applicant must meet the stewardship threshold for at least two resource concerns on each land use at the time of application.  The applicant must also agree to address one additional resource concern for each land use by the end of the contract to be eligible.

The NRCS conservation planner will present a variety of CSP conservation activities for you to consider implementing on your land, based on the resource stewardship thresholds you would like to meet or exceed. The variety of CSP conservation activities that are offered give you many options for selecting enhancements, practices, or bundles that help you improve your current management system, increase your profits, and meet your stewardship goals.  These improvements work naturally with your land to bring out your land’s best potential.

Application Ranking

Once NRCS completes an assessment of your operation  and you choose the conservation activities you will implement, NRCS will rank your application to determine how well your current and future management system will address national, state, and local natural resource priorities.  NRCS will rank your application against other eligible applications that have similar resource challenges in the same local ranking pool, with the highest scoring applications receiving contract offers first.

Ranking questions for your local area will be posted as they become available. Visit your state CSP page to view local questions.

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