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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.

  • 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.


Agricultural producers and owners of non-industrial private forestland are eligible to apply for EQIP. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, non-industrial private forestland and other farm or ranch lands.

Socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, and veterans are eligible for an increased payment rate and may receive advance payment of up to 50 percent to purchase materials and services needed to implement conservation practices included in their EQIP contract.

Applicants must:  

  • Be an operator engaged in agriculture or forestry and have a farm number and tract established with the Farm Service Agency
  • Comply with adjusted gross income limitation (AGI)  provisions
  • Control or own eligible land
  • Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements
  • Develop an NRCS EQIP plan of operations

Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply. 

FY18 Priority Areas for Ranking



FY 2018 General and 2019 Renewal Payment Schedule

Targeted Resource Concerns

  • 2018 General and 2019 Renewal Signup: soil erosion, soil quality degradation, water quality degradation, degraded plant condition, and fish and wildlife-inadequate habitat.
  • 2018 MRBI Signup: soil erosion, soil quality degradation, insufficient water, water quality degradation, fish and wildlife-inadequate habitat.

FY 2018 General Ranking Pools














FY 2018 Conservation Activity Evaluation Tool (CAET)

FY 2019-1 Renewal Ranking Pools

  • Statewide-NIPF-General
  • Statewide-NIPF-Socially Disadvantaged
  • Statewide-NIPF-Beginning Farmer
  • Statewide-Ag-Socially Disadvantaged
  • Statewide-Ag-Beginning Farmer
  • Statewide-Ag-General

FY 2019-1 Conservation Activity Evaluation Tool (CAET) 

CSP Conservation Activities

CSP Enhancements

A CSP enhancement is a conservation activity used to treat natural resources and improve conservation performance. Enhancements are designed to maintain or exceed the quality criteria, or stewardship level, for the resource concern. Enhancements tied directly to conservation practices standards exceed the minimum treatment requirements of the standard to address additional criteria or considerations. 

NOTE: Starting a conservation activity prior to written contract approval will result in the ineligibility of that activity for CSP assistance unless a waiver is approved prior to commencement.  

How to Apply

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit or visit your local USDA Service Center.

Interested in Conservation Client Gateway?

Conservation Client Gateway is a secure web portal that lets you work with NRCS online. Landowners and land managers, whether operating as individuals or authorized representatives of business entities, can track their payments, report completed practices, request conservation assistance, and electronically sign documents. Click on Conservation Client Gateway to get started.

For More Information About CSP

Bill Norfleet
CSP State Program Manager
Office: 615-277-2595