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.
Together we can develop a plan tailored to your operation and your goals to help you increase productivity and protect the value of your land.
How Does CSP Work?
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 resiliency, or develop wildlife habitat, we can custom design a CSP plan to help you meet those goals. We can help you identify natural resource problems in your operation and provide technical and financial assistance to solve those problems or attain higher stewardship levels in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner. For example, we can look at ways to address the amount of soil lost; mitigate the impact of excess water; reduce the contribution of agricultural operations to airborne soil particles and greenhouse gas emissions; improve the cover, food, and water available for domestic and wildlife species; or promote energy efficiencies for on-farm activities. 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.
CSP is for working lands. It is the largest conservation program in the United States. 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:
Enhanced resiliency to weather and market volatility
Decreased need for agricultural inputs
Improved wildlife habitat conditions
Are you eligible? CSP is available to all producers, regardless of operation size or type of crops produced. Applicants may include individuals, legal entities, and joint ventures operating production agricultural land or non-industrial private forest land (NIPF).
To participate in CSP, you must be in compliance with highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements and have current farm records with USDA Farm Service Agency. You must have effective control of the land for the term of the proposed contract, be actively engaged in the day-to-day management of the operation and share in the risks associated with production.
Additional program requirements may apply.
New CSP Grasslands Conservation Initiative
This new initiative assists 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 lands are limited to cropland for which base acres have been maintained under FSA’s ARC/PLC and were planted to grass or pasture, including idle or fallow, during a specific period. Enrolled acreage must be managed consistently with a grassland conservation plan. Producers will have a single opportunity to enroll eligible land in a five-year contract.
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 where complete list of enhancements and the criteria for implementation may be found. National CSP enhancements
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:
adopting or improving a resource-conserving crop rotation
adopting advanced grazing management (AGM)
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.
How Do I Apply?
If you're ready to take your conservation efforts to the next level, we are here to help. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Specific deadlines are set for ranking and funding opportunities. Contact your local NRCS field office for more information.
More than fifteen years of experience and evolution in the program bring us to where we are today, poised to deliver improvements to a program that kicks conservation up another notch. We hope you will consider the CSP to help you build your business while implementing conservation activities that help ensure the sustainability of your entire operation and our natural resources.