Georgia Conservation Stewardship Program

Georgia Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

CSP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to promote the conservation and improvement of soil, water, air, energy, plant and animal life, and other conservation purposes on Tribal and private working lands. Working lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pasture, and range land, as well as forested land that is an incidental part of an agriculture operation. The program provides equitable access to benefits to all producers, regardless of size of operation, crops produced, or geographic location.

Farmers in Georgia watershed are eligible to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program in 2009. To be considered for funding in this first cycle, applications must be received by September 30, 2009.

News Release (32.3 KB)
Fact Sheet (262 KB)
Large Map (464 KB)

How Do I get Started?

1.  All producers must complete a self-assessment to determine their eligibility. Self-assessment worksheets are available at the local NRCS offices and also available online. Completed worksheets should be taken to local NRCS offices along with proof of control of the land and maps of the property. If you are not eligible for CSP, you may be eligible for other conservation programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, the Wetlands Reserve Program, etc. 

     Producers who may not be eligible can find out about programs that can help them achieve a higher level of conservation so that they may apply for CSP in the future.

To complete the Self-Assessment on-line, go to CSP Self-Assessment

The assessment will help you:
            1. Determine if you meet the basic eligibility requirements,
            2. Document your stewardship work--including conservation
                practices, and
            3. Prepare a benchmark inventory documenting conservation
                treatments you have implemented.

Self-Assessment Worksheet (98 KB)
Fact Sheet Showing How CSP can Benefit Organic Producers (47 KB)

Ranking Criteria

Applications in Georgia will be ranked based on four priority natural resource concerns. The four ranking concerns are: 1. Water Quality 2. Water Quantity 3. Soil Quality and, 4. Soil Erosion.

Two ranking pools have been established to rank applications with similar resource concerns, one for north Georgia and one for south Georgia. The areas were not selected by geography. They were selected because of the similarities of the resource concerns in those areas.

Georgia 2009 CSP Resource-Conserving Crop Rotation Enhancement

There are three categories of resource-conserving crop rotations in the 2009 Georgia CSP enhancement.  Examples of rotations are included in each of the categories described below.  Producers are not limited to using these rotations.  They are encouraged to add cover or a perennial crop to their rotations.  However, all rotations must be followed for 3 years.  If a rotation is less than this time period, begin the rotation again to complete the required three years in order to qualify for the enhancement.  

  • No-till planting is encouraged in all resource-conserving rotations, but this practice is not mandatory to qualify for this enhancement.
  • Small-seeded vegetables may not germinate well in the residue of a rye cover crop because of allelopathy as discussed in the Georgia Cover Crop Standard (Code 340).    
  • Producers who use herbicides to control weeds in corn should consider the effects of herbicide residue on vegetables and other crops before adopting a rotation. 

I.  Rotate at least 2 crops and produce a perennial crop for at least 2 years.  The perennial crop may be cut for hay or grazed followed by an annual crop. 

  1. Years 1 and 2 - Tall fescue or bahiagrass
    Year 3 - Any low-residue annual crop 

II.  Rotate at least 2 annual crops and add a cover crop to at least one of these crops.   Silage or cover crop residue can not be harvested or removed from the system.  Although only one cover crop is required in this category, conservation planners should talk to producers about using cover crops with all annuals, especially the low-residue crops.  Cover crops have been added to all the low-residue crops the examples below as a result.

  1. Year 1 - Corn for grain following a rye/crimson clover cover crop 
    Year 2 - Soybeans
  2. Year 1 - Corn for grain 
    Year 2 - Soybeans followed by a rye cover crop
  3. Year 1 - Corn for grain
    Year 2 - Peanuts followed by a rye cover crop 
    Year 3 - Cotton followed by a rye cover crop
  4. Year 1 - Rye cover crop followed by vegetables
    Year 2 - Corn for grain 
    Year 3 - Corn silage or vegetables
  5. Year 1 - Fall cover crop of rye or crimson clover followed by a row crop or 1-2 crops of vegetables during the spring and/or summer.  Additional information about using a crimson clover cover crop is found in the 2009 EQIP technical guidance for row crops.
  6. Year 1 - Spring or summer cover crop of buckwheat, browntop or pearl millet, or haygrazer followed by 1-2 crops of vegetables during the fall and/or winter

III. Rotate at least 3 annual crops and produce high-residue crops for at least one-half of the rotation period. 

  1. Year 1 - Corn for grain
    Year 2 - Wheat for grain double cropped with soybeans
  2. Year 1 - Peanuts
    Year 2 - Corn for grain
    Year 3 - Cotton 
    Year 4 - Corn for grain
  3. If two vegetables are grown in sequence, the rotation below is only the first two years
    Year 1 - Corn for silage or 1-2 crops of vegetables
    Year 2 - Wheat for grain
    Year 3 - Corn for silage or 1-2 crops of vegetables
    Year 4 - Wheat for grain

CSP Enhancement Job Sheets (436 KB)
Payment Range Estimates Fact Sheet (422 KB)
Interim Final Rule for CSP

Contact Georgia Conservation Stewardship Program



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