Ohio Conservation Stewardship Program

Ohio Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

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.

2009 CSP Priority Resource Concerns and Priority Areas

Priority Resource Concerns

In Ohio, soil quality, water quality, and plants are the natural resource areas that are of specific concern for the 2009 CSP ranking period.  Applications from the Western Lake Erie Basin and the Appalachian Region will be evaluated relative to other applications in those specific geographic regions to facilitate a competitive ranking process among applicants within Ohio.  The remainder of Ohio will be evaluated as one geographic area. 

Area Soil Quality Soil Erosion Water Quality Animals Plants Energy
Western Lake Erie Basin x   x   x  
Appalachian x   x   x  
Statewide x   x   x  

CSP Priority Areas

The counties in the Western Lake Erie Basin priority area include: Allen, Auglaize, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Lucas, Mercer, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, Wyandot.

The counties in the Appalachian priority area include: Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Vinton, Washington.

Map of Priority Areas (PDF, 10 Kb)

CSP Contract Payments

CSP offers participants two possible types of payments:

  • Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities
  • Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations (see below)

Payments will be made for conservation performance payment 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 5-year period.  Each CSP contract will be limited to $200,000 over the term of the initial contract period.

Estimated Payment Ranges

Resource-Conserving Crop Rotations

A supplemental Stewardship payment may be available for participants who agree to adopt a new resource-conserving crop rotation. The local NRCS conservationist will help you identify an eligible rotation appropriate for the location and operation.

A resource-conserving crop rotation is a crop rotation that:

  • Includes at least one resource conserving crop as determined by the State Conservationist;
  • Reduces erosion;
  • Improves soil fertility and tilth;
  • Interrupts pest cycles; and
  • Reduces depletion of soil moisture or otherwise reduces the need for irrigation in applicable areas.

A resource-conserving crop is one of the following:

  • A perennial grass, legume, or grass/legume grown for use as forage, seed for planting, or green manure.

Ohio Resource Conserving Crops

How to Apply for CSP

The Producer Self-screening checklist must be completed to determine eligibility for CSP before the application will be taken. 

How to Apply - From Application to Payment

CSP Informational Materials

Producer Self-Screening Checklist - The producer self-screening checklist will help potential applicants decide for themselves whether CSP is the right program for them and their operation.  The checklist focuses on basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations, and potential payments.

CSP Fact Sheet (PDF, 44Kb)
Brochure (PDF, 846 Kb) 

Highlights and Announcements

July 29, 2009 - The CSP Interim Final Rule (PDF, 134KB) Public Comment period for is open until September 28, 2009.

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, 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

Contact Ohio Conservation Stewardship Program

Contact Ohio Conservation Stewardship Program

Felicity Weatherspoon
Program Manager
Phone: 614-255-2465


Service Area

National Program