CSP is a voluntary conservation program that
supports ongoing stewardship of private
agricultural lands by providing payments for maintain-
ing and enhancing natural resources. CSP identifies
and rewards those farmers and ranchers who are
meeting the highest standards of conservation and
environmental management on their operations.
In addition, CSP creates powerful incentives for other
producers to meet those same standards of conser-
vation performance. In short, CSP rewards the best
and motivates the rest. Through these rewards and
incentives, CSP builds a foundation of natural
resource conservation that will provide benefits to
the public for generations to come.
Through CSP, the conservation benefits gained will
help farms and ranches be more economically and
environmentally sustainable and will increase the
natural resource benefits for all Americans.
How CSP Works
1. The CSP sign-up will be offered in selected priority
watersheds across the Nation.
2. Producers complete a self-assessment to
3. Eligible producers within these watersheds submit
4. Based on the application, description of conserva-
tion activities, and a follow-up interview, the
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
will determine which program tier and enrollment
category are available for the applicant.
NRCS will provide the necessary materials for
producers to complete the benchmark inventory.
Both the producer and the producer’s operation must
first meet these basic eligibility criteria:
• The land must be privately owned or tribal land
with the majority of the land located within a
selected priority watershed.
• The applicant must be in compliance with highly
erodible land and wetland provisions of the Food
Security Act of 1985, have an active interest in the
agricultural operation, and show control of the land
for the life of the contract.
• The applicant must share in the risk of producing
any crop or livestock and be entitled to a share in
the crop or lives