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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. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Specific deadlines are set 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 five year term of the CSP contract. Farm records must be established with the Farm Service Agency for these lands for your application to be evaluated. You should be prepared to provide maps or identify all land in your operation on maps with an NRCS representative.  The maps will help you and NRCS determine the land that is eligible for enrollment, payment, and if you have one or more operations to offer for enrollment.

Evaluating the Application

Once your application has been filed 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 Activity Evaluation Tool.  Eligible lands will be identified and the number of resource concerns that are currently meeting and not meeting stewardship thresholds will be determined.  Each applicant must be meeting 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 or practices 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.

Watch the video below for a brief look at the Conservation Activity Evaluation Tool.

Application Ranking

Once your operation has been evaluated, is found eligible for CSP, and you have chosen the conservation activities you will adopt, your application will be ranked to determine how well your current and future management system will address national, state, and local natural resource priorities.  Your application will be rated against other eligible applications that have similar resource challenges in the same local ranking pool, with the highest scoring applications receiving contract offers first.

FY18 National and State AERT

To view the national and state questions for Fiscal Year 2018, click here.

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