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Conservation Stewardship Program

Conservation Stewardship Program

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.

Accepting Applications

CSP applications are accepted on a continuous basis, however, NRCS establishes application "cut-off" or submission deadline dates for evaluation, ranking and approval of eligible applications. CSP is open to all eligible agricultural producers and submitted applications may be considered or evaluated in multiple funding pool opportunities. The following document describes how to apply for Farm Bill programs or visit the following website: Get started with NRCS.

To apply for CSP contact your local service center. 

To learn more about how to apply CLICK HERE.

Fiscal Year 2019 Nebraska CSP Deadline

Applications submitted by May 10, 2019, will be evaluated to be considered for funding in fiscal year 2018. Applications received after that date will be accepted and evaluated for future rounds of funding. 

2019 CSP Signup Announcement

CSP Fact Sheet

Conservation Program Application NRCS-CPA-1200 (PDF)

Appendix to Form NRCS-CPA-1202, Conservation Program Contract for CSP


Eligible lands include private and Tribal agricultural lands, cropland, grassland, pastureland, rangeland and nonindustrial private forest land. CSP is available to all producers, regardless of operation size or type of crops produced, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Caribbean and Pacific Island areas. Applicants may include individuals, legal entities, joint operations or Indian tribes.

Applicants must:  

  • Include all agricultural or private forest land in your operation that you will have effective control of for the 5 year term of the CSP contract.
  • Farm records must be established with the Farm Service Agency for these lands for your application to be evaluated meeting all HEL and Wetland conservation requirements.
  • Be prepared to provide maps that identify all land in your operation to a NRCS representative.  The maps will help you and NRCS determine the land that is eligible for enrollment, payment, and if you have one or more operations to offer for enrollment.
  • Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply. 

2019 CSP Nebraska Ranking Areas and Targeted Resource Concerns

Agricultural Land - Available Statewide - (click on map to see larger image of eligible area)

map of CSP ranking pool areasArea 1 Resource Concerns:

  • Soil Erosion
  • Insufficient Water
  • Water Quality Degradation
  • Fish & Wildlife
  • Livestock Production

Area 2 Resource Concerns:

  • Soil Erosion
  • Soil Quality Degradation
  • Water Quality Degradation
  • Fish & Wildlife
  • Livestock Production

Area 3 Resource Concerns:

  • Soil Erosion
  • Soil Quality Degradation
  • Water Quality Degradation
  • Fish & Wildlife
  • Livestock Production

Area 4 Resource Concerns:

  • Soil Erosion
  • Insufficient Water
  • Water Quality Degradation
  • Fish & Wildlife
  • Livestock Production

Area 5 Resource Concerns:

  • Soil Erosion
  • Soil Quality Degradation
  • Insufficient Water
  • Water Quality Degradation
  • Fish & Wildlife

Area 6 Resource Concerns:

  • Soil Erosion
  • Soil Quality Degradation
  • Water Quality Degradation
  • Fish and Wildlife
  • Livestock Production

Non Industrial Private Forest Land - Available Statewide

Resource Concerns:

  • Water Quality Degradation
  • Air Quality
  • Degraded Plants
  • Fish & Wildlife
  • Livestock Production

CLICK HERE to learn more about CSP Payment


Area 1 (West) Ranking Tools

Area 2 (North Central) Ranking Tools

Area 3 (Northeast) Ranking Tools

Area 4 (Southwest) Ranking Tools

Area 5 (South Central) Ranking Tools

Area 6 (Southeast) Ranking Tools

Non Industrial Private Forestland Ranking Tool


2019 Ranking Period 1 Supplemental Payment

A Perennial Grass;
A legume grown for use as forage, seed for planting, or green manure;
A legume-grass mixture;
A small grain grown in combination with a grass or legume green manure crop whether interseeded or planted in rotation.

Activity List

  • Download and look over the Conservation Program Activity List to identify new activities you may be interested in to install or adopt.
  • "Enhancement" means a type of conservation activity used to treat natural resources and greatly improve conservation performance.
  • Enhancements are installed at a level of management intensity which exceeds the sustainable level for a given resource concern.
  • Enhancements directly related to a practice standard are applied in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the standard.

Click on the banner below for criteria for each enhancement.

CSP Enhancements





CLICK HERE (coming soon) for a listing of State Supplemental activities. For detailed information on implementation criteria and documentation requirements of specific enhancements, please click on the Nebraska CSP Enhancements or visit the National CSP website where complete list of enhancements and the criteria for implementation may be found.

Nebraska CSP 2019 Cost List

Nebraska 2019 Practice Scenario document

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 an 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.  USDA will notify producers who are eligible to enroll.


John Mayberger
CSP Program Manager
Phone: (402) 437-4129

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

More Information

CSP Fact Sheet (PDF, 618KB)

Nebraska's CSP Program Benefits Video

Nebraska CSP Success Story (reprinted with permission from Successful Farming magazine.)

Nebraska CSP results:

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit


Find your local USDA Service Center nrcs office locator graphic

GovDelivery envelope imageSign up for Farm Bill email updates

Return to NRCS Farm Bill Homepage

CSP Archived Information:

2018 CSP Archived Information
2017 CSP Archived Information
2016 CSP Archived Information
2015 CSP Archived Information
2014 CSP Archived Information