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Conservation Stewardship Program

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.

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.

Sustainable Production

CSP is for working lands. It is the largest conservation program in the United States with 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled in CSP. Thousands of people have made the choice to voluntarily enroll in the program because it helps them enhance natural resources and improve their business operation.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved cattle gains per acre
  • Increased crop yields
  • Decreased inputs
  • Wildlife population improvements
  • Better resilience to weather extremes

Through CSP, we can help build your business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of your entire operation. Good land stewardship not only conserves the natural resources on your farm, ranch or forest, it also provides multiple benefits to local communities, including better water and air quality and wildlife habitat, as well as food and fiber.

Additional CSP information, including the following, can be found on NRCS' National CSP Website

  • Conservation Measurement Tool Questions 
  • CSP Background Information/Presentations 
  • CSP Fact Sheet 
  • CSP Self-Screening Checklist 
  • National Job Sheets 

CSP Enhancement Fact sheets

Cotton (PDF;231 KB)

Forestry (PDF;230 KB) Poultry (PDF;162 KB) Soybeans (PDF;193 KB)
Corn (PDF;231 KB) Livestock (PDF;217 KB)

Rice (PDF;172 KB)

Wheat (PDF;144 KB)

Crops (PDF;197 KB)

Organics (PDF;232 KB)

Soil Health (PDF;176 KB)

Wildlife (PDF;171 KB)

Dairy (PDF;183 KB) Pork (PDF; 184 KB)

Sorghum (PDF;193 KB)


2017 Conservation Activity Evaluation Tool (CAET) Questions for Indiana

The following questions will be used to evaluate each land use and management system on eligible applications to see if they meet the minimum stewardship threshold criteria for CSP.

  • Address a minimum of two resource concerns at the time of application for each management system.
  • Meet or exceed one additional resource concern through the adoption of additional conservation activities which include practices and enhancements.

2017 Renewals Payment for Performance Payment Rates

CSP Payments Types

CSP offers financial assistance to eligible participants through two possible types of payments:

Payments will be made for conservation performance payments points estimated for each agricultural operation by the Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). Conservation performance points are unique for each agricultural operation and will be based on existing and proposed conservation activities.

Contracts cover the eligible land in the entire agricultural operation and are for five years. For all contracts entered into, CSP payments to a person or legal entity may not exceed $40,000 in any fiscal year, and $200,000 during any five-year period. Each CSP contract will be limited to $200,000 over the term of the initial contract period.

Indiana's 2017 Renewals CSP Priority Resource Concerns 


  • Soil Erosion
  • Soil Quality
  • Water Quality
  • Animals
  • Plants

 Non-Industrial Private Forestland (NIPF)

  • Soil Erosion
  • Water Quality
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • Air Quality

Enhancement Activity Job Sheets

"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. Those directly related to a practice standard are applied in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the standard. Click on the topics below for national enhancement activity job sheets with Indiana supplements when applicable.

** The CSP Wildlife Plant Species List will be needed for various job sheets. 

2014 CSP Activity Sheets 2015 and 2016 Renewals CSP Activity Sheets 2017 CSP National Enhancements and Indiana Supplements

Air Quality

Air Quality Associated Ag Lands

*CSP Wildlife Species List

Animal Crop (Annual and Mixed)


Energy Crop (Perennial)

*CSP Wildlife Species List

Plant Farmstead

Soil Erosion

Soil Erosion Forest

Soil Quality

Soil Quality Pasture

Special Project

Special Project - Not Applicable  

Water Quality

Water Quality  

Water Quantity

Water Quantity  



 Supplemental Information

How to Apply for CSP

To learn more about how to apply for CSP, please visit NRCS' National CSP website

Contact Information

To apply for EQIP, contact your local service center.

If you have questions about the information on this page, please contact Adam Heichelbech.