Maryland Conservation Stewardship Program

Maryland Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)


The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by:

Undertaking additional conservation activities; and Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities. CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 States and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands Areas. The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the authority for CSP to the NRCS Chief.

Program Description

Through CSP, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest lands, agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe, and other private agricultural land (including cropped woodland, marshes, and agricultural land used for the production of livestock) on which resource concerns related to agricultural production could be addressed. Participation in the program is voluntary.

CSP encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and nonindustrial private forest land. The NRCS will make CSP available nationwide on a continuous application basis.

The State Conservationist, in consultation with the State Technical Committee and local work groups, will focus program impacts on natural resources that are of specific concern for a State, or the specific geographic areas within a State. Applications will be evaluated relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns to facilitate a competitive ranking process among applicants within a State who face similar resource challenges.

The entire operation must be enrolled and must include all eligible land that will be under the applicant's control for the term of the proposed contract that is operated substantially separate from other operations.

CSP offers participants two possible types of payments:

  1. Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities
  2. Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations

Program Documents

New CSP Fact Sheet (PDF, 44KB)
CSP Kick Off (PPT, 470KB)
Public Meetings Stewardship (PPT, 711KB)
Payment Range Estimates (PDF, 29KB)
Resource Conserving Crop Rotations (PDF, 11KB)

Resource Concerns

  • Air Quality
  • Animals
  • Energy
  • Plants
  • Soil Erosion
  • Soil Quality
  • Water Quality
  • Water Quanity

Priority Resource Concerns

  • Air Quality
  • Soil Erosion
  • Soil Quality
  • Water Quality
  • Water Quantity

Geographic Area

The program and priority resource concerns are applicable statewide. (map)

How To Apply

Review the Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist and the Conservation Program Activity List. If you think CSP is right for you, fill out the the Conservation Stewardship Program Application, and turn it in to your local NRCS office.

If you have questions regarding the CSP, please contact your local NRCS office.

The documents below require Adobe Acrobat Reader:

2009 Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist (PDF, 98KB)
2009 Conservation Stewardship Program Application (PDF, 42KB)
2009 Conservation Stewardship Program Activity List (PDF, 98KB)

2009 Enhancement Activity Job Sheets

 Below are links to documents which describe in greater detail the enhancement activities in the Program Activity List.

"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.

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

Additional Information

NRCS National Conservation Stewardship Program Information: Visit the National NRCS Web site for more information about the Conservation Stewardship Program across the Nation.


Tiffany Laws
Farm Bill Specialist
Phone: 443.482.2960

Mark Rose
Phone: 443.482.2910

Contact Maryland Conservation Stewardship Program



Service Area

National Program