Deadline for the FY 2012 sign-up period has been extended to January 27, 2012.
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The Conservation Stewardship Program encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and nonindustrial private forest land. The program is available nationwide on a continuous application basis. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) replaces the Conservation Security Program with the new Conservation Stewardship Program for fiscal years 2009 through 2017.
The Conservation Stewardship Program encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by:
Through the Conservation Stewardship Program, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible
producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural
resources on their land. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie
land, improved pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest lands,
agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe, and other private
agricultural land (including cropped woodland, marshes, and agricultural land
used for the production of livestock) on which resource concerns related to
agricultural production could be addressed. Participation in the program is
The Conservation Stewardship Program is offered as a continuous signup, and applications are accepted year-round with periodic ranking announced during the year. The next application ranking period for the Conservation Stewardship Program is January 13, 2012.
Interested land managers and growers can begin the
application process by completing the following steps:
Once these steps are completed, NRCS will work with applicants to enter information about the operation in the Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). The CMT is an online questionnaire that collects information on land uses, existing conservation, and additional conservation activities the applicant is willing to undertake in order to estimate the conservation performance level the applicant will achieve. Using the information entered, the CMT determines:
Conservation Measurement Tools
The document below requires
Individuals, entities, and Indian Tribes operating agricultural or private non-industrial private forest land may be eligible for the program.
Eligible lands include privately owned cropland, grazing land, nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe. The lands must be under control of the applicant for the duration of the Conservation Stewardship contract, which is five years. The entire agricultural operation must be enrolled and must include all agricultural land that will be under the applicant's control for the term of the proposed contract that is operated substantially separate from other operations.
Areas within the operation that are not in agricultural production or that are developed, such as farm headquarters, ranch sites, barnyards, feedlots, manure storage facilities, machinery storage areas, and material handling facilities are not eligible for a program payment. Also not eligible are public lands and private lands currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, Conservation Security Program, Grassland Reserve Program, and the Wetlands Reserve Program.
Applications will be evaluated and ranked for funding relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns in a ranking pool specific to the geographic area and land use. To view the Oregon ranking pools and priority resource concerns, visit the Conservation Stewardship Program 2012 Oregon Ranking Pools page.
In addition, the program provides opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged producers. Nationally, the program aims to enroll at least five percent of total program acres operated by beginning farmers and ranchers and another five percent operated by socially disadvantaged producers. Within each specified geographic area and land use, beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged producers will have a separate funding pool.
The Conservation Stewardship Program offers participants two possible types of payments:
1.) Annual payment for installing and adopting additional conservation activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities. Conservation activities are conservation systems, practices, or management measures needed to address a resource concern or improve environmental quality through the treatment of natural resources, and includes structural, vegetative, and management activities, as determined by NRCS.
2.) Supplemental payment for the adoption of Resource-Conserving Crop Rotations.
For more information on payments and benefits, please view the following fact sheet: CSP Payments and Benefits (PDF, 1MB)
The Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist will help you find determine whether the program is right for you.
The document below requires
If you think you might be interested in the Conservation Stewardship Program, contact your local NRCS office for the next step in the application process. If you are not currently eligible for the Conservation Stewardship Program, NRCS may be able to assist you through other conservation programs. Contact your local NRCS office or visit our Web site at http://www.or.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.
Download the Oregon NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Fact Sheet. (PDF, 1.75 MB)
NRCS National Conservation Stewardship Program Information: Visit the National NRCS Web site for more information about the Conservation Stewardship Program across the Nation.
Read the Conservation Stewardship Program Interim Final Rule (PDF, 134KB).
The 2008 Farm Bill recognized the growing interest and support of organic agriculture across the country and required the development of a transparent means by which producers may initiate organic certification while participating in a CSP contract. "The Conservation Stewardship Programís Contribution to Organic Transitioning - The Organic Crosswalk", provides an explanation of how CSP enhancements can be used to assist producers in meeting individual National Organic Program (NOP) rules while going through the transitioning period.
CSP FY-2011 Application Information for