New York Conservation Stewardship Program

New York Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

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
  • improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities

Through the Conservation Stewardship Program, 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, 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.

The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location.

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Organic Production and the Conservation Stewardship Program
 


 

 

New York Priority Resource Concerns and Ranking Pools

Ranking Pool

Priority Resource Concerns
Animals Plants Soil Erosion Soil Quality Water Quality
Agricultural Land     X X X
Non-industrial private forestland X X X   X

 


New York CSP Ranking Pools

New York State has been divided into three CSP Ranking Pools:

  • Northeast
  • Northwest
  • Southeast

Click on the map for a full screen view of the Ranking Pools, or download a .pdf to print.
Full screen view

 

 

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New York Ranking Pools Map and Priority Resource Concerns (PDF; 181 KB)


Eligibility

Individuals, entities, and Indian tribes operating agricultural or private non-industrial private forest land may be eligible for the program.

Eligible lands include privately owned cropland, grazing land, nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe. The lands must be under control of the applicant for the duration of the Conservation Stewardship Program contract, which is five years. 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.

Areas within the operation that are not in agricultural production or that are developed, such as farm headquarters, barnyards, feedlots, manure storage facilities, machinery storage areas, and material handling facilities are not eligible for a program payment. Also not eligible are public lands and private lands currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, Conservation Security Program, Grassland Reserve Program, and the Wetlands Reserve Program.


Program Application

The Conservation Stewardship Program is offered as a continuous signup, and applications are accepted year-round with periodic ranking cutoff dates announced during the year. To be considered for the current funding round, applicants must complete the following steps by September 30, 2009:

  • complete a Producer Self-Screening Checklist (available further down this page)
  • work with the local USDA Service Center to verify their program eligibility
  • submit an NRCS-CPA-1200, Conservation Program Application (available in the Documents and Forms area of this page)
  • submit an operation map, aerial photograph or overlay that identifies their agricultural and/or forest operation and associated acreage amounts

Once these steps are completed, NRCS will work with applicants to enter information about the operation in the Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). The CMT is an online questionnaire that collects information on land uses, existing conservation, and additional conservation activities the applicant is willing to undertake in order to estimate the conservation performance level the applicant will achieve. Using the information entered, the CMT determines:

  • whether the applicant meets the land stewardship threshold necessary to participate in the program
  • the applicant’s ranking score
  • the payments that the producer will receive if he or she ranks for funding

For this first sign-up, the agency will establish payment rates after the conclusion of the first ranking period, using enrollment information to set uniform, national payment rates per land use. After payment rates are established, applicants will decide whether to move forward with the contract.

  • CSP Estimated Payment Ranges
    This link will direct you to our National USDA NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Web page. Please use your browser's Back button to return to this page.

Conservation Stewardship Program Questions

To better help you prepare for your appointment to complete the Conservation Measurement Tool, the following documents contain the questions you will be asked. There are general questions and land use specific questions. For agricultural land applications that include land in close proximity to streams or waterbodies, you will also need to answer the water questions.

Agricultural land

Crops (PDF; 59 KB)
General (PDF; 10 KB)
Pasture (PDF; 16 KB)
Water (PDF; 10 KB)

Non-industrial private forestland

General (PDF; 10 KB)
Forest (PDF; 15 KB)


Application Selection

Applications will be evaluated and ranked for funding relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns in Ranking Pools specific to geographic areas and land uses.

In addition, the program provides opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged producers. Nationally, the program aims to enroll at least five percent of total program acres operated by beginning farmers and ranchers and another five percent operated by socially disadvantaged producers. Within each specified geographic area and land use, beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged producers will have a separate funding pool.


Program Payments

The Conservation Stewardship Program offers participants two possible types of payments:

  • Annual Payment

Payments are made for installing and adopting additional conservation activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities. Conservation activities are conservation systems, practices, or management measures needed to address a resource concern or improve environmental quality through the treatment of natural resources, and includes structural, vegetative, and management activities, as determined by NRCS.

  • Supplemental payment
     

Payments are made for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations.

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.


CSP Producer Self-Screening Checklist - Is the CSP Right for You?

Before applying for the CSP, individual producers and legal entities are encouraged to use a Producer Self-Screening Checklist first to determine whether the program is suitable for them or their operation. The checklist is available in the National NRCS Web page, and at your local NRCS office.

2009 Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist
This link will direct you to our National USDA NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Web page. Please use your browser's Back button to return to this page.

If the Producer Self-Screening Checklist results indicates that you meet applicant, land, and stewardship eligibility, you should contact your local NRCS office for the next step in the application process.


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.

Each of the links below will direct you to our National USDA NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Web page. Please use your browser's Back button to return to this page.
 

Air Quality Enhancements


 

Animal Enhancements


 

Energy Enhancements


 

Plant Enhancements
 

 

Soil Erosion Enhancements
 

 

Soil Quality
 

 

Water Quality


 

Water Quantity


 

Organic Production


 

Special Projects


 

State Supplemental Information
for Conservation Activities

 


Documents and Forms

AD-1026, Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification (PDF; 116 KB)
CCC-926, Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Statement (PDF; 129KB)
FSA-211, Power of Attorney (PDF; 361 KB)
NRCS-CPA-1200, Conservation Program Application and Appendix (PDF; 38 KB)
CSP Resource Conserving Crops (PDF; 8 KB)
SF-1199, Direct Deposit Sign-Up Form (PDF; 109 KB)


Links to Our National Conservation Stewardship Program Web page

Each of the links below will direct you to our National USDA NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Web page. Please use your browser's Back button to return to this page.


Additional CSP Information

If you think you may be interested in the Conservation Stewardship Program, contact your local NRCS office for the next step in the application process. If you are not currently eligible for the Conservation Stewardship Program, NRCS may be able to assist you through other conservation programs. Contact your local NRCS office or visit the NRCS New York Programs Web site.

National Conservation Stewardship Program Information

Additional information can be found at our national NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Web site.


Contact Information

New York Conservation Stewardship Program Manager

Sarah Kron
Highland, New York
Telephone: 845-883-7162, Extension 3

Assistant State Conservationist for Programs

Don Pettit
Syracuse, New York
Telephone: 315-477-6504

Return to page links
 


Contact New York Conservation Stewardship Program

Sarah Kron
New York Conservation Stewardship Program Manager
New York
Phone: 845-883-7162

 

Service Area

National Program

Office Locaters



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