Who Is Eligible? Applicants may include individuals, legal entities, joint operations or Indian tribes that meet the stewardship threshold for at least two priority resource concerns when they apply. Eligible lands include private and Tribal agricultural lands, cropland, grassland, pastureland, rangeland and nonindustrial private forest land. Conservation Stewardship Program funds are available to all producers, regardless of operation size or type of crops produced.
What Activities Are Eligible? Priority resource concerns for cropland include (at least two must be met for program eligibility):
- Fields are managed with few signs of erosion or soil being carried to field edges or water bodies.
- Crop residues remain on fields after harvest, or cover crops are planted.
- Grass or woody buffer areas intercept field runoff prior to entering streams, ditches, lakes, etc.
- Nutrients are applied according to land grant university recommendations.
- Areas on your farm are actively managed for wildlife habitat.
- If you irrigate your cropland, water application is scheduled based on soil moisture monitoring and/or evapotranspiration monitoring.
Please see self-screening checklist for more details on eligible activities, as well as criteria for: grassland, pastureland, and nonindustrial private forest land.
How much: Conservation Stewardship Program payments are tied to conservation performance. Both annual and supplemental payments are available. Maximum payment will not exceed $200,000 for fiscal years 2014 through 2018.
Contact: Contact your local USDA Service Center: www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted.