Conservation Stewardship Program


Proposed Changes
Proposed Changes

S. 3042, Subtitle B

H.R. 2, sec. 280
OVERVIEW   Mostly maintains the prior CSP program. The most important change that decreases spending versus the baseline over the next decade by about $1 billion is to reduce the number of new acres coming into the program over the decade. CSP is repealed; however, much of the program is subsumed into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
When it expires: 2018 2023 (Section 2201) N/A, repeals CSP
Qualifications: Weather volatility adaptation did not qualify. Amends what qualifies for CSP to include conservation planning, soil health planning, and assisting producers with adapting to weather volatility (Sections 2202) N/A
Stewardship Contracts: Costs cannot legally factor in to rankings of different applications. Secretary is to rank applications based on environmental and conservation benefits and to consider conservation activities when renewing 5-year contracts. Ties are broken by relative costs (Section 2203) N/A
Duties of the Secretary (payments): Only resource-conserving crop rotations qualify for supplemental payments. There is no set definition for 'comprehensive conservation plan', nor payment for one. The Secretary will manage the program at $18/acre. Authorizes payments for cover crops and supplemental payments for advanced grazing management  (the use of a combination of grazing practices determined by the Secretary that provides for i) improved soil health & carbon sequestration, ii) drought resilience, iii) wildlife habitat, iv) wildlife mitigation, v) control of invasive plants and vi) water quality improvement). Additional payment is authorized for eligible advanced grazing management and resource conserving crop rotations. A comprehensive conservation plan is one that meets or exceeds the stewardship threshold for each priority resource concern, and qualify for a one time payment dependent on the number of priority resource concerns addressed in the comprehensive conservation plan and the number of land uses included in the comprehensive conservation plan. (Section 2204) N/A
Duties of the Secretary (other): Program was approved through 2023. 10,000,000 acres are to be enrolled in each fiscal year. Approves the program through 2028. 8.8 million acres are to be enrolled in each fiscal year. The Secretary is to allocate state funding for organic production and requires the Secretary to coordinate and streamline CSP with EQIP and must report to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry  on the national average rate of funding per acre for the program that fiscal year, and the payment rates for conservation activities offered to producers under the program and an analysis of whether payment rates can be reduced for the most expensive conservation activities. (Section 2204) N/A
Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: N/A Saves $1 billion Saves $12.6 billion