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Conservation Stewardship Program

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Conservation Stewardship Program

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.

Deirdre-Birmingham-Faces of CSP
 

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.

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 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.

Benefits

CSP is for working lands. It is the largest conservation program in the United States with more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled in CSP. 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:

  • Increased crop yields

  • Decreased inputs

  • Wildlife habitat population improvements

  • Increased resilience to weather extremes

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.

CSP Enhancements

Enhancements are management activities that go above and beyond the minimum conservation practice standard requirements helping the producer achieve a higher level of conservation.   For detailed information on implementation criteria and documentation requirements of specific enhancements, please visit the national CSP website  for a complete list of enhancements and the criteria for implementation. Find national CSP enhancements here.

CSP Contracts and Payments

Contract payments are made annually based on the following components:

  • Existing activity payment — payment to maintain the existing conservation based on the land uses and NRCS assessment of existing stewardship at the time of enrollment.

  • Additional activity payment — payment to implement additional conservation activities.

  • Supplemental payment — payment for adopting one of two systems: 1. adopting or improving a resource-conserving crop rotation, 2. adopting advanced grazing management.

NRCS may provide a minimum annual payment of $1,500 in any year the total contract amount is below a rate NRCS determines equitable based upon the effort required by a participant to meet contract requirements. Certain restrictions apply. You will be required to maintain your current stewardship level, plus meet or exceed at least one additional resource concern category in each land use by the end of the contract. If the objectives of the initial CSP contract are achieved, you may be eligible to re-enroll for an additional 5-year contract if you agree to adopt additional conservation activities to meet or exceed two additional state priorities.

Resources

CSP Fund Pools
CSP Application
Florida CSP Fact Sheet
Florida CSP Brochure
National CSP Website

Visit your 
local NRCS field office to apply.


Program Contact

Chakesha Harvey, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, 352-338-9515.