The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established both the PROTECT Formula and Discretionary Grant Programs. The PROTECT Discretionary Grants Program funds projects on a competitive basis that address the climate crisis by … Read more
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) takes a whole farm approach to conservation efforts by identifying natural resources problems and providing technical and financial assistance to solve those problems. For example, CSP can look at ways to address the amount of soil lost; mitigate the impact of excess water; reduce the contribution of agricultural operations to airborne soil particles and greenhouse gas emissions; improve the cover, food, and water available for domestic and wildlife species; or promote energy efficiencies for on-farm activities.
Similar to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, CSP is used for a wide range of practices that address natural resource concerns while improving agricultural operations. If applied for, an NRCS conservation planner will have a one-on-one consultation to evaluate current management systems in place and work with producers to select new activities that meet the producers’ objectives.
Only individuals are eligible recipients.
Approx Annual Funding Amount
The program is funded at $1 billion in FY 2023. The Inflation Reduction Act additionally invested $3.25 billion into CSP.
Cost Share Requirements
Payments vary by practice and type of contract. Three types of contracts are available:
- Annual contract payments: provides payment to maintain existing conservation based on land uses and NRCS assessment of existing stewardship at the time of enrollment.
- Supplemental payments: provides payment for adopting one of two systems: (1) adopting or improving a resource-conserving crop rotation, or (2) adopting advanced grazing management.
- Minimum contract payments: in any year the total contract amount is below a rate NRCS determines equitable, based on participant effort required to meet contract requirements, NRCS may provide a minimum annual payment of $1,500.
As a competitive grant program, CSP contract applications are available throughout the year, though application ranking dates can vary state-by-state. Contact your local NRCS field office to initiate assistance.
Contact your local NRCS field office for information on your state’s process.
This program is covered under the Justice40 Initiative.