2021 CSP Classic Signup: Applications for CSP can be submitted at your local field office. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. However, applications submitted by May 7, 2021 will be considered for 2021 funding.
Applying for CSP
Applications for CSP are accepted on a continuous basis. However, a signed NRCS-CPA-1200 application form, must be submitted to the local field office by close of business May 7, 2021 for 2021 funding consideration.
Conservation Stewardship Program
Your Stewardship Goals. Our Assistance.
Have you ever looked across your property and thought about elevating your land management goals? Maybe we can help.
Together we can develop a plan tailored to your operation and your goals to help you increase productivity and protect the value of your land.
How It Works
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, increase crop resiliency, or develop wildlife habitat, we can custom design a CSP plan to help you meet those goals. We can help you identify natural resource problems in your operation and provide technical and financial assistance to solve those problems or attain higher stewardship levels in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner. For example, we can look at ways to address the amount of soil lost; mitigate the impact of excess water; reduce the contribution of agricultural operations to airborne soil particles and greenhouse gas emissions; improve the cover, food, and water available for domestic and wildlife species; or promote energy efficiencies for on-farm activities. 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.
CSP is for working lands. It is the largest conservation program in the United States. Thousands of people voluntarily enroll in the program because it helps them enhance natural resources and improve their business operation.
CSP participants are seeing real results. Some of these benefits include:
Enhanced resiliency to weather and market volatility
Decreased need for agricultural inputs
Improved wildlife habitat conditions
New CSP Grasslands Conservation Initiative
This new initiative assists 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 lands are limited to cropland for which base acres have been maintained under FSA’s ARC/PLC and were planted to grass or pasture, including idle or fallow, during a specific period. Enrolled acreage must be managed consistently with a grassland conservation plan. Producers will have a single opportunity to enroll eligible land in a five-year contract.
2021 CSP Enhancements and Bundles
Enhancements are management activities that go above and beyond the minimum conservation practice standard requirements helping the producer achieve a higher level of conservation. Bundles are enhancements that work together to provide increased conservation benefits when they are implemented as a group.
Learn all the nationally available 2021 enhancements and bundles here.
The payment schedule is a list of practices and components used for the CSP in Illinois. The list is all-inclusive and contains the practices, components, unit type, and payment rate at which the component is paid. The payment schedule provides many practice and component options. The NRCS planner will select the component that is best suited for the site conditions and applicant’s objective.
An Activity List is available to identify new activities that applicants can install or adopt. "Activities" are conservation practices and enhancements. “Enhancement” means a type of conservation activity used to treat natural resources and improve conservation performance. Enhancements are installed at a level of management intensity that exceeds the sustainable level for a given resource concern, and those directly related to a practice standard are applied in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the standard.
The Illinois Supplement to CSP 2021 Enhancements provides additional guidance and criteria for several of the available enhancements.
Ranking Process and Criteria
The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART) incorporates a program-neutral assessment with an integrated and efficient ranking tool to facilitate conservation delivery. Learn about the ranking process here.
Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
Through RCPP, NRCS seeks to co-invest with partners to implement projects that demonstrate innovative solutions to conservation challenges and provide measurable improvements and outcomes tied to the resource concerns they seek to address. Learn about RCPP here.