Conservation Stewardship Program


There are 5 CSP participants in Ulster County enrolling 1,013 acres with contracts totaling $217,600 to reward good stewardship.

What is it?  

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a new voluntary conservation program that encourages agricultural and forestry producers to maintain existing conservation activities and adopt additional ones on their operations. CSP provides opportunities to both recognize excellent stewards and deliver valuable new conservation.  

How do you know if you qualify?  

CSP is available on Indian and private agricultural lands, as well as nonindustrial private forest lands in all counties in New York.  Eligible land uses include cropland, hayland, pastureland, and forestland. Individual producers, legal entities, corporations, and Indian Tribes may be eligible for the program. Applicants must be the operator of record in the USDA farm records management system and have documented control of the land for the 5 year term of the CSP contract.  Applicants must demonstrate that their agricultural or forestry management practices meet minimum stewardship requirements of the program, and be willing to implement additional stewardship activities in the future.   

What are the benefits? 

CSP provides participants with an annual payment for installing new conservation activities and maintaining existing activities. Contracts are 5-years in length. For all contracts, CSP payments to a person or legal entity may not exceed $40,000 in any year and $200,000 during any 5-year period.  

How do you get involved?  

You must complete a CPA-1200 application form at the NRCS office in your local USDA Service Center. Sign-up for the program is continuous. Producers interested in CSP are encouraged to begin the application process by completing a producer self-screening checklist which is available at an NRCS office or online at the link listed below. The self-screening checklist helps potential applicants decide for themselves whether CSP is the right program for them. If you decide to apply, you will schedule a time to meet with an NRCS employee for an interview.  At that time you will be asked a number of questions regarding the management of your agricultural or forestry operation.  This information will be used to determine your eligibility for the program, identify any new conservation activities you want to apply, rank your application, and establish payment levels. For highly ranked applicants, NRCS will conduct an on-site field verification to ensure that information provided by the applicant during the interview was accurate prior to contract approval.  Applicants will be required to provide records to verify their conservation activities. Once information is verified, NRCS and the applicant proceed to develop a contract.  

Where can you get more information?

For more information on CSP, visit your local USDA Service Center at 5 Park Lane, Highland, NY  845-883-7162 X 102 or go online at: or