Understanding the Conservation Stewardship Program

Do you have big goals for your land, but are unsure where to start? The Conservation Stewardship Program may help. This program helps you improve your land conditions by creating a plan to meet your goals. The CSP helps create schedules for crops, improve your grazing plans, and helps you implement no-till techniques.

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How it Works

The Conservation Stewardship Program helps farmers protect and use the natural resources on their land. The CSP offers financial assistance to manage or add conservation techniqueson your farmland. The CSP helps you address issues including low quality water or soil issues. It helps put a plan in place to improve air, water, and soil for the greater good of your crops. It can also help conserve energy and limit greenhouse gas issues.

Farmers can apply for CSP funds annually. There are thousands of farmers that apply and funds are limited, so paying attention to cutoff dates is important. If you miss the cutoff or don’t get chosen one year, your application may be considered the following year.

Getting Paid

If approved, the CSP pays farmers to maintain and improve their farm’s conservation over a five-year period. The CSP dictates the amount of funds provided based on the cost of the work to be done. Certain conservation activities take precedence over others and dictate how funds get disbursed.

Farmers can receive up to $200,000 over a five-year period with a maximum payment of $40,000 per year. The payments amounts are all over the place and depend on the need in your area. The minimum payout for any farmer, however, is $1,500. Typically, farmers receive payments after October 1st of each year.

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Who is Eligible?

Farmers that own or rent any type of farmland, pasture, or agricultural land may apply for the CSP. If you do rent the land, you must prove that you have the ability to take control of the land and make changes. If you have an expiring contract (at the end of five years), you are also eligible to renew your contract at this time.

Farmers qualify based on the following:

  • Meet the need for priority resource concerns based on your area
  • Proof that you can meet or exceed the stewardship requirements based on your needs

You must then abide by the contract that states the activities you must do in order to improve the land. Farmers with the highest priority are veteran farmers and socially disadvantaged farmers. At least 5% of the CFP funds must go to farmers in this category.

How Farmers Benefit

Farmers that take part in CSP often benefit from better and higher yield crops, improved wildlife habitats, and less damage from extreme weather. The Conservation Stewardship Program has more than 70 million acres of land in it. With everyone working together, it’s a great way to improve the natural resources in our country.

The Conservation Stewardship Program helps farmers improve their land and their output. It’s a financial program that helps make it more affordable to create sustainable land and prioritize the needs of our country’s natural resources.

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