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Conservation Stewardship Program

Barley hay crop near Conrad, Montana

Your Stewardship Goals. Our Assistance.

CSP Resources

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.

Targeted Resource Concerns for Montana

  • Degraded Plant Condition
  • Fish and Wildlife – Inadequate Habitat
  • Soil Erosion
  • Soil Quality Degradation
  • Water Quality Degradation

Resource Conserving Crop Rotations for Montana

A Resource Conserving Crop Rotation (RCCR) for Montana can be either;

  1. A perennial grass, legume or grass legume mix grown for a minimum of two consecutive years with at least one year of another crop in the rotation. The RCCR enhancement is not eligible on land that currently is used for long term hay or pasture. The grass or legume must be grown for a minimum of two years but no more than 6 years; total rotation can be no more than 7 years. This would involve converting existing cropland where annually planted crops are grown and planting a grass, legume or grass legume mix that is grown for a minimum of two years.

  2. Growing an annual legume as a green manure or a “cocktail mix” cover crop for soil health in a small grain rotation. Interseeding of green manure or “cocktail mix” with the cash crop or seeding after harvest is allowed only under irrigated or high moisture conditions. No harvest or removal of small grain residue or cover crops is allowed.

Prior-Year Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Montana Archives


Erik Suffridge
Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
Phone: 406-587-6873
Email: Erik.Suffridge

For further information and assistance, contact your local NRCS Field Service Center.