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Conservation Stewardship Program

2018 Conservation Stewardship Program Signup:
Applications for CSP can now be submitted at your local field office. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis; however, applications that were submitted by March 2, 2018 are considered for 2018 funding.

2019 Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Renewal Signup
Participants with active CSP 2014 contracts can submit an application at your local field office from now until April 13, 2018 to renew your CSP contract.  Current CSP participants are encouraged to contact your local field office to determine if you are eligible for apply for a CSP renewal.

Applying for CSP
Applications for CSP are accepted on a continuous basis. However, a signed NRCS-CPA-1200 application form, must have been submitted to the local field office by close of business March 2, 2018 for 2018 funding consideration.

Download the CSP application below:

After submitting an application, the applicant will also receive a copy of the NRCS-CPA-1202 Contract Appendix, explaining CSP contract terms and conditions. Reviewing the contract appendix up front helps the applicant understand the requirements of CSP.  In addition, all applicants need to meet eligibility requirements in order to be a CSP participant. Contact your local field office to discuss eligibility criteria.

Download the CSP Contract Appendix below:

For more information about CSP visit:

CSP Your Stewarship Goals. Our Assistance.


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.

Deirdre-Birmingham-Faces of CSP

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, increase 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 more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled in CSP. Thousands of people that have made the choice to 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:

  • Improved water quality
  • Improved cattle gains per acre
  • Increased crop yields
  • Decreased inputs
  • Wildlife population improvements
  • Better resilience to weather extremes

2018 CSP Enhancements

Enhancements are management activities that go above and beyond the minimum conservation practice standard requirements helping the producer achieve a higher level of conservation. 

Learn all the available 2018 enhancements by selecting any of the land uses below:

Associated Ag Land | Crop | Farmstead | Forest | Pasture | Range


CSP Supporting Documents:

Documents Description
Coming Soon
Payment Schedul
e [xlsx]
The payment schedule is a list of practices, enhancements and bundles used for CSP, RCPP-CSP and CSP-MRBI programs in Illinois. 
Activity List [PDF] An Activity List is available to identify new activities that applicants can install or adopt.  “Enhancement” means a type of conservation activity used to treat natural resources and improve conservation performance.  Enhancements are installed at a level of management intensity that exceeds the sustainable level for a given resource concern, and those directly related to a practice standard are applied in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the standard.
Enhancement Compatibility Matrix [PDF] Explains which enhancements are compatible with other enhancements and land uses.
Illinois CSP Supplement [PDF] The Illinois Supplement to CSP 2018 Enhancements provides additional guidance and criteria for several of the available enhancements. In addition, the Illinois Supplement to CSP 2018 Enhancements provides information about the available resource conserving crop rotations.
Historically Underserved (HU) Producer
Fact Sheet
The term historically underserved producer means an eligible person or legal entity is an Indian Tribe, beginning farmer or rancher, socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, or limited-resource farmer or rancher.  The fact sheet defines the group to help individuals determine whether or not they qualify as a member of one of these unique groups.

Conservation Activity Evaluation Tool (CAET):  Once your application has been filed the local NRCS conservation planner will have a one-on-one consultation with you to evaluate your current management system and the natural resources on your land using the Conservation Activity Evaluation Tool.  Eligible lands will be identified and the number of resource concerns that are currently meeting and not meeting stewardship thresholds will be determined.  Each applicant must be meeting stewardship threshold for at least two resource concerns on each land use at the time of application.  The applicant must also agree to address one additional resource concern for each land use by the end of the contract to be eligible.

Illinois CSP Funding Pools, Associated CAET and Ranking Documents

Statewide Funding Pools Targeted Resource Concerns Associated CAET Ranking Documents
Statewide Ag Lands

Stateside Ag Lands -
Beginner Farmer

Statewide Ag Lands -
Socially Disadvantaged
Soil Erosion, Soil Quality
Degradation, Water
Quality Degradation,
Degraded Plant
Condition, and Fish and
Wildlife-Inadequate Habita
Associated Ag Land [PDF]
Crop Annual Mixed [PDF]
Crop Perennial [PDF]
Farmstead [PDF]
Pasture [PDF]
Coming Soon
IL CSP Statewide Agricultural Lands Ranking (docx)
Non-Industrial Private Forest

- Statewide NIPF

- Statewide NIPF –
   Beginning Farmer

- Statewide NIPF –
   Socially Disadvantaged
Soil Erosion, Soil Quality
Degradation, Water
Quality Degradation,
Degraded Plant Condition,
and Fish and Wildlife-Inadequate Habitat
Associated Ag land [PDF]
Farmstead [PDF]
Forest [PDF]
Coming Soon
IL CSP Statewide NIPF Ranking (docx)
Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI)

MRBI Clinton Lake for DeWitt, McLean, and Piatt Counties

  • MRBI - Clinton Lake Ag Lands
  • MRBI - Clinton Lake Ag Lands - BF
  • MRBI - Clinton Lake Ag Lands - SD

MRBI Upper Macoupin for Macoupin County

  • MRBI - Upper Macoupin Ag Lands
  • MRBI - Upper Macoupin Ag Lands - BF
  • MRBI - Upper Macoupin Ag Lands – SD

MRBI Vermillion for Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, and McLean Counties

  • MRBI - Vermillion Ag Lands
  • MRBI - Vermillion Ag Lands -BF
  • MRBI - Vermillion Ag Lands – SD
Soil Erosion, Soil Quality
Degradation, Insufficient
Water, Water Quality
Degradation, and Fish
and Wildlife-Inadequate
Associated Ag Land [PDF]
Crop Annual Mixed [PDF]
Crop Perennial [PDF]
Farmstead [PDF]
Pasture [PDF]
Coming Soon
IL CSP MRBI Screening Questions, Ranking Criteria, and IL Watersheds Map (PDF)

More information about CSP visit: