Skip Navigation

Conservation Stewardship Program

 Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.


Your Stewardship Goals. Our Assistance. Image depicts cover crop.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.


Through CSP, participants take additional steps to improve resource conditions including soil quality, water quality, water quantity, air quality, and habitat quality, as well as energy.

CSP provides two types of payments through five year contracts:

  • Annual payments for installing new conservation activities and maintaining existing practices
  • Supplemental payments for adopting a resource-conserving crop rotation

Producers may be able to renew a contract if they have successfully fulfilled the initial contract and agree to achieve additional conservation objectives. Payments are made as soon as practical after October 1 of each fiscal year for contract activities installed and maintained in the previous year.



How to Apply

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. 

Applicants must submit Form NRCS-CPA-1200, Conservation Program Application, and a map delineating the entire agricultural or Nonindustrial Private Forest Land (NIPF) operation. Agricultural land applications will compete separately from NIPF applications. An applicant with both NIPF and agricultural land may submit one application for NIPF, one for agricultural land, or two applications (one for each land type). Applicants requesting consideration as a veteran, socially disadvantaged, or beginning farmer or rancher must self-certify by marking all applicable status boxes on Form NRCS-CPA-1200.

Two application types are:

  • Connecticut Statewide Agricultural Land (Conservation Activity Evaluation Tool -- coming soon)
  • Connecticut Statewide Nonindustrial Private Forest Land (Conservation Activity Evaluation Tool -- coming soon)


Applicant Eligibility -- Applicants may include individuals, legal entities, joint operations, or Indian Tribes. All CSP applications must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be listed as the operator in the USDA farm records management system for the operation being offered for enrollment
  • Document that they control the land for the term of the contract, and include all eligible land in their entire operation in that contract
  • Comply with highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions and comply with Adjusted Gross Income provisions
  • Comply with tenants and sharecroppers' provision

Land Eligibility -- CSP is available to all producers, regardless of operation size or type of crops produced. Eligible lands include private and Tribal agricultural lands (crop and pasture), Nonindustrial Private Forest Land, associated agricultural land, and farmstead. Producers must have effective control of the land for the term of the proposed contract. Contracts must include all eligible land associated within the applicants' agricultural or NIPF operation.

Stewardship Threshold Eligibility -- NRCS will use the Conservation Activity Evaluation Tool (CAET) to determine whether or not the applicant is addressing resource concerns in order to meet the stewardship eligibility requirement.

An applicant's conservation activities must meet or exceed the stewardship threshold on all land uses for both of the following:

  • At least two resource concerns at the time of the contract offer
  • At least one additional resource concern by the end of the conservation stewardship contract

Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply.

Application Ranking -- Once your operation has been evaluated, is found eligible, 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.

Ranking Tools are available below:

Available Ranking Pools and Associated Targeted Resource Concerns


Ranking Pools



Resource Concern

Air Quality Impacts



Degraded Plant Condition

Targeted Resource Concern

Targeted Resource Concern

Excess Water



Fish & Wildlife – inadequate habitat


Targeted Resource Concern

Inefficient Energy Use



Insufficient Water



Livestock Production Limitation

Targeted Resource Concern


Soil Erosion

Targeted Resource Concern

Targeted Resource Concern

Soil Quality Degradation

Targeted Resource Concern

Targeted Resource Concern

Water Quality Degradation

Targeted Resource Concern

Targeted Resource Concern


2021 Enhancement Compatibility (Connecticut)

2021 Conservation Stewardship Program Payment Schedule

2021 Activity List for Participants (Connecticut)


2021 Enhancement Job Sheets

CSP Enhancements






Contact: Carol Grasis
Assistant State Conservationist-Programs
(860) 871-4028