New Jersey Conservation Stewardship Program

New Jersey Conservation Stewardship Program

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

  • Undertaking additional conservation activities; and
  • Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.

The national Conservation Stewardship Program continuous sign up started August 10. The first ranking period ended September 30, 2009. Applications are being accepted NOW! The current period will remain open until closing is announced by USDA national leadership.

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) authorized the Conservation Stewardship Program. Congress renamed and revamped the former Conservation Security Program completely to improve its availability and appeal to agricultural and forestry producers. The Conservation Stewardship Program is offered in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through continuous sign-ups with announced cut-off application dates for ranking periods.

The new CSP is very different from the old Conservation Security Program. Under the old program, producers were eligible if they were in the selected watersheds. All contracts under the old CSP will be honored until the end of their contract term.

Payment Method
Another major change in the program is the method of payments. CSP will offer two possible types of payments—annual and supplemental. The annual payment will be established using the conservation performance estimated by the conservation measurement tool (CMT) used by NRCS and calculated by land use type for enrolled eligible land. A supplemental payment is also available to participants who also adopt a resource-conserving crop rotation. The annual payment limitation for a person or legal entity is $40,000. A person or legal entity cannot exceed $200,000 for all contracts entered into during any five-year period.

National Estimated Payment Ranges (30 kb)

The First Step to Participation in the New Conservation Stewardship Program

To apply for the newly revamped CSP , individual producers and legal entities are encouraged to use a self-screening checklist first to determine whether the new program is suitable for them or their operation. The checklist is available below, on the national web page, and from NRCS field offices.

CSP Producer Self-Screening Checklist (98 kb)

If the self-screening checklist results indicates that the producer meets applicant, land, and stewardship eligibility, those who may be interested in applying should review the conservation activities listed below, and then contact the local NRCS office for the next step in the application process.

Conservation Activities Available Through CSP

CSP Activity List (41 kb) Updated August 19, 2009 - General overview of available activities
The Organic Crosswalk (45 kb) - NEW - Enhancements that address NOFA certification standards
National Enhancement Activity Job Sheets: Scroll down page to find specific information on Air Quality, Animal, Energy, Plant, Soil Erosion, Soil Quality, Water Quality, Water Quantity, and Special Projects that can enhance your application.
New Jersey Supplemental Enhancement Activity Job Sheets - NEW

The Next Step to Participation in the New Conservation Stewardship Program

Review of the resource inventory questions below will help potential applicants prepare for completing the Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT) inventory with the NRCS soil conservationist after their application has been accepted.

Introductory Questions (12 kb)
Cropland Existing Activity Conservation Performance (59 kb)
Pastureland Existing Activity Conservation Performance (17 kb)
Water Bodies/ Water Courses Existing Activity Conservation Performance (12 kb)
Forest Land Existing Activity Conservation Performance (15 kb)
Conservation Stewardship Program Ranking Tool (All Questions) (85 kb)

New Jersey Program Specifics

New Jersey CSP Priority Resource Concerns are:

  • Animal (livestock and wildlife)
  • Water Quality
  • Soil Quality

Eligible producers must:

  • be listed as the operator in the USDA farm records management system for the operation being offered for enrollment.
  • document that they control the land for the term of the contract and include all eligible land in their entire operation in that contract.
  • comply with highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions and comply with Adjusted Gross Income provisions.

Eligible lands in New Jersey include:

  • cropland
  • pastureland
  • non-industrial private forestland

Application Documents
Form CCC 1200 (43 kb)

Contact New Jersey Conservation Stewardship Program

New Jersey


Service Area

National Program