Indiana Conservation Stewardship Program

Indiana Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary program that encourages agricultural producers to improve conservation systems by improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities and undertaking additional conservation activities. The Natural Resources Conservation Service administers this program and provides financial and technical assistance to eligible producers. CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forestland (NIPF) on a continuous application basis.

CSP offers financial assistance to eligible participants through two possible types of payments:

  • Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities; and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities.  Conservation Activity List
  • Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations.
         RCCR (PDF; 167 KB) -- Document requires Acrobat Reader

Payments will be made for conservation performance payments points estimated for each agricultural operation by the Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). Conservation performance points are unique for each agricultural operation and will be based on existing and proposed conservation activities.

Contracts cover the eligible land in the entire agricultural operation and are for five years. For all contracts entered into, CSP payments to a person or legal entity may not exceed $40,000 in any fiscal year, and $200,000 during any five-year period. Each CSP contract will be limited to $200,000 over the term of the initial contract period.

Additional CSP Information on NRCS National CSP Web site includes the following, and more.

  • Conservation Activity List
  • CSP Fact Sheet
  • CSP Interim Final Rule -- Public Comment period is open until September 28, 2009
  • CSP Self-Screening Checklist
  • Public Meetings Stewardship and CSP Kick Off presentations

Indiana's CSP Priority Resource Concerns (statewide geographic area)


Non-Industrial Private Forestland (NIPF)

Soil Erosion Soil Erosion
Soil Quality Water Quality
Water Quality Animals
Animals Plants

2009 Enhancement Activity Job Sheets

"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. Those directly related to a practice standard are applied in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the standard. Click on the topics below for national enhancement activity job sheets with Indiana supplements when applicable.

Air Quality
Soil Erosion
Soil Quality
Special Projects
Water Quality
Water Quantity

Supplemental Information

Applying for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

Complete Self-Screening Checklist
The first step in applying for the Conservation Stewardship Program is to complete the Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist.  This checklist addresses the three aspects of eligibility, including land eligibility, applicant eligibility, and the stewardship threshold requirement.

Gather Documentation
Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT) questions for Indiana and a Conservation Activity List, listed below, are available to help producers document their existing resource conditions and conservation activities. An applicant should complete these questions prior to meeting with NRCS personnel to complete the CMT.

The following documents require Acrobat Reader.

CMT Ag Lands Introductory Questions (PDF; 11 KB)
CMT Crop Questions (PDF; 193 KB)
CMT Pasture Questions (PDF; 227 KB)
CMT Water Questions (PDF; 24 KB)

CMT Forest Introductory Questions (PDF; 9 KB)
CMT Forestland Questions (PDF; 47 KB)

Conservation Activity List

Complete Conservation Measurement Tool
Ranking of applications and payment level depend on the numerical value received after the applicant completes the Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). When the applicant has prepared answers to the questions, he/she needs to schedule an appointment with the local NRCS district conservationist at the nearest USDA Service Center to continue processing the application.

During the CMT interview, the applicant will decide which new conservation activities to undertake as part of his/her CSP contract. These conservation activities will factor into the CMT value received.

Field Verification
After the CMT is completed by the applicant and NRCS, a ranking score and conservation payment points will be evaluated for contract pre-approval. If the contract is pre-approved, an NRCS representative will conduct an on-site verification of the conservation activities reported by the applicant.

Stewardship Plan Development
When all conservation activities have been field verified, a Conservation Stewardship Plan will be developed for the implementation of the additional conservation activities. At this point, the contract will be submitted for funding. If the contract is approved for funding, the Conservation Stewardship Plan is carried out according to schedule.

Contract payments will be made in the fiscal year (October 1-September 30) after the contract activities are completed.

Payment Range Estimates (PDF; 29 KB)

Contact Indiana Conservation Stewardship Program



Service Area

National Program