Pennsylvania Conservation Stewardship Program

Pennsylvania Conservation Stewardship Program


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

  • Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities; and

  • Undertaking additional conservation activities.

CSP is available in Pennsylvania on private agricultural lands and non-industrial forest land. The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location.

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, improved pastureland, nonindustrial private forest lands, 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. CSP is 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 Pennsylvania, or specific geographic areas within the State. Applications will be evaluated relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns to facilitate a competitive ranking process among applicants who face similar resource challenges. Because of acreage and funding limits, not all applicants may be offered a contract.

The entire agricultural operation must be enrolled and must include all agricultural land that will be under the applicant's control for the five-year term of the proposed contract.

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.


2009 Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist (PDF, 32KB)
2010 Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist - Updates Coming Soon!


Conservation farmers and forest managers who submitted an application by September 30, 2009 were considered in the first ranking cycle. CSP has a continuous open application policy; applications received after September 30th will be considered in the subsequent next ranking cycle. A cutoff date to submit applications for the second cycle has not been determined. People interested in being considered for CSP are encouraged to apply now.

Payment Information

2009 Estimated Payment Range (PDF, 30KB)
2010 Estimated Payment Range - Updates Coming Soon! 

2009 Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) - Priority Resource Concerns

2009 CSP Priority Resource Concerns (PDF, 24KB)

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. 

2009 Conservation Stewardship Program Activity List (PDF, 35 KB)
2010 Conservation Stewardship Program Activities - Updates Coming Soon!

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

Pennsylvania Supplements

Pennsylvania's Resource Conserving Crops for CSP

Contact Pennsylvania Conservation Stewardship Program

Contact Pennsylvania Conservation Stewardship Program

Katrina Thompson
Program Manager
Phone: 717-237-2260


Service Area

National Program