North Carolina Conservation Stewardship Program

North Carolina Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan announces the continuous sign-up for the new Conservation Stewardship Program. Applications for the first ranking period must be submitted by September 30, 2009.


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.

Legal Authority

Section 2301 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Act) amended the Food Security Act of 1985 to establish the Conservation Stewardship Program.

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 agricultural operation must be enrolled and must include all agricultural 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

CSP Self-Screening Checklist, Application, and Activity List

2009 Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist (PDF, 98KB) (Last Modified 09/11/2009)
2009 Conservation Stewardship Program Activity List (PDF, 98KB) (Last Modified 09/11/2009)
2009 Conservation Stewardship Program Application  (PDF, 42KB) (Last Modified 09/11/2009)

Highlights and Announcements

The Public Comment period for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Interim Final Rule (PDF, 134KB) is open until September 28, 2009.

2009 Ranking Pools

Enhancement Activity

"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. 

North Carolina CSP Priority Resource Concerne

  • Soil quality
  • Soil erosion
  • Water quality
  • Water Quantity
  • Animals
  • Plants

2009 National Enhancement Activity Job Sheets

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

2009 North Carolina Enhancement Activities

Contact North Carolina Conservation Stewardship Program

Contact North Carolina Conservation Stewardship Program

Greg Walker
Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
North Carolina
Phone: 919-873-2104


Service Area

National Program