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Conservation Stewardship Program

FB2018 CSP Web Asset



(NRCS Accepts Applications Year-Round)

The Conservation Stewardship Program helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance - the higher the performance, the higher the payment.


Through CSP, participants take additional steps to improve resource condition including soil quality,  water quality, water quantity, air quality, and habitat quality, as well as energy. Producers may be able to renew a contract if they have successfully fulfilled the initial contract and agree to achieve additional conservation objectives. Payments are made soon as practical after October 1 of each fiscal year for contract activities installed and maintained in the previous year. Follow this link for CSP Payment Rates.

CSP encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by:
  • Undertaking additional conservation activities.
  • Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.
CSP offers three possible payment types:
  • A payment for maintaining existing levels of resource protection and stewardship.
  • Payments for installing and adopting additional activities, including improved management and implementation of structural and/or vegetative practices necessary to address additional resource concerns.
  • Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations.


Eligible lands include private and Tribal agricultural lands, cropland, grassland, pastureland, rangeland and nonindustrial private forest land. 

  • Public lands are not eligible for program payment
  • Areas within the operation that are not in agricultural production or that are developed are not eligible for a program payment, such as: headquarters, ranch sites, barnyards, feedlots, manure storage facilities, machinery storage areas, material handling facilities
  • Private lands currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, or land enrolled in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) –Wetland Reserve Easement option.
  • Land enrolled in a Farm & Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP) easement or an Agriculture Land Easement (ALE) may be eligible for enrollment.

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 that meet the stewardship threshold for at least two priority resource concerns when they apply. They must also agree to meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for at least one additional priority resource concern by the end of the contract.
  • The entire operation must be enrolled and must include all eligible land operated substantially separate that will be under the applicant's control for the term of the proposed contract.
  • To comply with the required stewardship prerequisites necessary to demonstrate that resource protection is already being addressed, applicants will need to provide documented verification of practices and/or improved management already being applied.

Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply.


Links to downloadable job sheets for CSP Enhancements and Bundles, approved plant species for Conservation Cover Crop Rotation use in California, and conservation practices and enhancements compatibility matrix.

Funding Pools

The State Conservationist, in consultation with the State Technical Committee and local work groups, will focus program impacts on natural resources that are of specific concern for a State, or the specific geographic areas within a State. Applications will be evaluated relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns to facilitate a competitive ranking process among applicants within a State who face similar resource challenges. Applications will be evaluated relative to other applications in addressing similar priority resource concerns as shown in the table below.

CSP Fund Pools and Targeted Resource Concerns
Air Quality Impacts Inefficient Energy Use Soil Erosion

Soil Quality Degradation

Excess Water Insufficient Water Water  Quality Degradation Degraded Plant Condition Fish and Wildlife - Inadequate Habitat Livestock Production Limitation
Ag Lands: Central Coast Fund Pool (Counties) Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma
      x   x x x x  
Ag Lands: South Coast/Desert Fund Pool (Counties) Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura
      x   x x x   x
Ag Lands: Sierras Fund Pool (Counties) Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Inyo, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne
      x   x x x x  
Ag Lands: North Coast/Interior Fund Pool (Counties) Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Trinity
    x x     x x x  
Ag Lands: San Joaquin Valley Fund Pool (Counties) Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare
      x   x x x x  
Ag Lands: Sacramento Valley Fund Pool (Counties) Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo, Yuba
    x x     x x x  
Forest Lands Fund Pool (Counties) All California Counties
    x x     x x x  


Conservation Activity Evaluation Tool (CAET)

Application Evaluation Ranking Tool (AERT)

How to Apply


RaeAnn Dubay, Program Manager
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Davis State Office, California

Phone: 530-792-5653

Erik Beardsley, Program Specialist
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Davis State Office, California
Phone: 530-792-5649