MO Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of Missouri

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Grant amount: More than US $7,500

Anticipated deadline: May 10, 2020

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit Working Professional For-Profit Business

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Missouri

Location of residency: Missouri

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The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance - the higher the performance, the higher the payment.

CSP taps into producers’ deep-rooted commitment to conservation. Participants voluntarily enroll in the program because it helps them enhance natural resources and improve their business operations - providing food, fiber, and energy.

Participants enroll their entire agricultural operation in the program under a 5-year contract, with the option to renew for another 5 years. NRCS helps producers maintain or improve the existing conservation activities on their operations and adopt new ones. The program offers greater incentives for producers who want to kick their conservation up a notch with bundles of enhancements with higher payment rates.

Sustainable Production

CSP is for working lands. It is the largest conservation program in the United States with 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled in CSP. Thousands of people have chosen to enroll in the program because it helps them enhance natural resources and improve their business operation.

CSP participants are seeing real results. Some of these benefits include:

  • Increase in cattle gains per acre
  • Increase in crop yields
  • Increase in wildlife populations
  • Decrease in producer inputs
  • Greater resilience to impacts of weather extremes 
Through CSP, we can help you build your business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of your entire operation. Good land stewardship not only conserves the natural resources on your farm, ranch or forest, it also provides multiple benefits to local communities, including better water and air quality and wildlife habitat, as well as food and fiber.

CSP Contracts

The program represents a genuine commitment to conservation – CSP contracts are for five years, with the option to renew if you successfully fulfill the initial contract and agree to achieve additional conservation objectives. An NRCS conservation planner will 
work closely with you throughout the entire process. 

Contract payments are based on two components:
  • payments to maintain the existing conservation based on the operation type and number of resource concerns that are meeting the stewardship level at the time of application and
  • payments to implement additional conservation activities.

All CSP contracts will have a minimum annual payment of $1500. You will be required to maintain the stewardship level of the resource concerns you are already meeting plus meet or exceed at least one additional resource concern in each land use by the end of the contract. If the objectives of the initial CSP contract are achieved, you may be eligible to reenroll for an additional 5 year contract if you agree to adopt additional conservation activities to meet or exceed two additional priority resource concerns.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligible lands include private and Tribal agricultural lands, cropland, grassland, pastureland, rangeland and nonindustrial private forest land.
  • CSP is available to all producers, regardless of operation size or type of crops produced, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Caribbean and Pacific Island areas.
  • Applicants may include individuals, legal entities, joint operations or Indian tribes.
  • Applicants must:   
    • Include all agricultural or private forest land in your operation that you will have effective control of for the 5 year term of the CSP contract. 
    • Farm records must be established with the Farm Service Agency for these lands for your application to be evaluated meeting all HEL and Wetland conservation requirements.
    • Be prepared to provide maps that identify all land in your operation to a NRCS representative. The maps will help you and NRCS determine the land that is eligible for enrollment, payment, and if you have one or more operations to offer for enrollment.