Connecticut Conservation Stewardship Program

Connecticut Conservation Security Program (CSP)


Operators of agricultural land and non-industrial private forest land now have the opportunity to sign up for the new CSP at their local NRCS field office. To be considered for the 2009 funding year, operators will need to submit their application by September 30, 2009. Applications received after this date will be considered for the 2010 enrollment.

The purpose of the new CSP is to encourage producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional activities and improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities. You must ...

  • meet a minimum stewardship threshold
  • adopt additional practices to improve conservation on your farm

What are the Benefits?

Annual payments will be made for five years based on your stewardship level and improvements. Supplemental payments will be made for adopting a resource conserving crop rotation.

Where to Begin

Interested applicants should begin by reviewing and completing the CSP Producer Self Screening to determine if the program best meets their needs for all of the land they control.

In the new CSP, all applicants need to consider all of the land they operate, as indicated in the Farm Service Agency (FSA) records, within their application. All land the applicant has control of for the term of the contract (5 years) must already meet one resource concern (e.g., water quality) in order to be considered eligible. To be eligible, none of your land may have readily observable erosion or point sources of contamination such as gullies, manure runoff, or pesticide runoff at the farm headquarters, barnyards, manure storage facilities, landing sites, or sugar houses.

If, after completing the self-screening you feel your land could be eligible for the program, submit your completed and signed application to your local NRCS Office and work with the Farm Service Agency to ensure your farm records are up-to-date.

What's Next?

After you have submitted your full application package to NRCS, a local representative will contact you in September to come into the office and go through the online ranking (also referred to as the Conservation Measurement Tool CMT)). This ranking tool will take into account all conservation activities you are already performing on your operation and will provide you with a list of additional activities you can consider installing through CSP. Those applications with the highest ranking points will be first in line to receive a contract. Applications will be pre-selected for a contract in October.

If your application is pre-selected for a contract, you will need to meet on your farm with an NRCS representative to verify the answers you provided in the CMT were accurate. Final contract approval decisions will be made in November.

CSP requires applicants to establish records with FSA if they do not have these records established already. Where applicants have previously established with FSA, they will need to ensure these records are updated.

Farm Service Agency Records Needing to be Established or Updated Prior to Application

CSP Application Package

CSP State Priority Resource Concerns

With advice from State Technical Committee members, each state has selected a list of priority resource concerns that applicants will either need to agree to address by the end of the contract period or have already addressed at the time of application.

  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Soil Erosion
  • Water Quality

CSP Resource Conserving Crops

With advice from State Technical Committee members, each state has created a list of resource conserving crops that applicants can incorporate into their cropland acres if they are eligible for, and elect to, adopt the Resource Conserving Crop Rotation Enhancement.

Resource Conserving Crops for Connecticut CSP

(This list of approved plants is to be used when documenting a Resource
Conserving Crop Rotation under Supplemental Payment Activity - CCR99)

1. Perennial Grass, Legume, or Grass/Legume Mix

for use as forage, seed, or green manure from the following, and seeded in accordance with CT-512 Conservation Practice Standard and Specification Guide:
Timothy Red Clover
Orchardgrass Alsike Clover
Perennial Ryegrass White/Ladino Clover
Alfalfa Smooth Brome

2. High Residue Producing Crops
harvested for grain/seed (for sweet corn, the ear).
NOTE: residue/stover must not be harvested, grazed, baled, or otherwise remove from cropland:
Grain Corn Cereal (Winter) Rye
Sweet Corn Triticale
Barley Spelt
Oats Wheat

3. Cover Crops
following an annual crop in accordance with CT 340 Conservation Practice Standard and Specification Guide, with particular attention to planting dates and rates to ensure well-established vegetation that fully covers the ground during the winter period. Cover crops are not to be harvested or grazed - the plant biomass is to be killed (herbicide/no-till) or plowed-in prior to planting the following spring.
Annual Ryegrass - inter-seeded with crop in late spring Red Clover (planted after crop is harvested or inter-seeded in late spring
Cereal Rye Oats
Winter Wheat Sweet Clover
Winter Triticale Hairy Vetch
Winter Spelt Buckwheat
Winter/Spring Barley Sorghum x Sudangrass
Brassicas - canola, mustards, rape, radish Austrian Winter Peas, Field Peas

National Organic Program (NOP) (NEW)

Key to the Conservation Stewardship Program is the use of Conservation Enhancements that provide additional environmental benefits. If you are transitioning to organic or are interested in transitioning, find out how you can use CSP Conservation Enhancements during this period.


Contact Connecticut Conservation Stewardship Program

Contact Connecticut Conservation Stewardship Program

Joyce Purcell
Assistant State Conservationist - Programs
Phone: (860) 871-4028


Service Area

National Program