Land Use / Land Cover
Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat
Report, Website/web hub
Years of Implementation
at least through FY2018, Ongoing
These resources provide information regarding an incentive identified in the report Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project, of the USDA NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) (USDA NRCS 2015a). CSP is also identified as a federal incentive contributing to pollinator conservation, by Stine et al. (2015). CSP is recommended in the Midwest subregion, though to a lesser degree than other incentive programs (USDA NRCS 2015a).
This program is available to landowners producing agricultural commodities, livestock and forest products on cropland, grassland, rangeland, pastureland, nonindustrial private forest, or agricultural lands like cropped woodlands or marshes. The NRCS provides direct financial payments and technical assistance to landowners who implement approved conservation practices on new or existing projects that improve soil, air, water, or habitat quality. Annual payments contribute to new conservation projects or maintenance of existing projects.
This program also supports supplemental payments for beneficial crop rotation. In 2015, a monarch-specific supplement was included. In 2016, a monarch-specific habitat enhancement is also available (Stine et al. 2015). Unlike some federal incentive programs, CSP does not strictly provide an area or percentage-based financial incentive. Instead, annual payments for conservation practices are based on performance.
Funded practices include both additional and existing activities, based on the formula: “Annual Land Use Payments = Land Use Acres X Performance Points (additional or existing) X Land Use Payment Rate”
In 2015, payment rates for pasture were US$0.31870/point (additional activity) and US$0.02490/point (existing activity).
For rangeland, payment rates were US$0.12499/point additional activity) and US$0.00990/point (existing activity) (USDA NRCS 2015b). Contracts are for 5-year increments, with potential for renewal. Private landowners who are actively farming and who meet additional eligibility requirements may apply to this program. At minimum, two priority resource concerns must be met (water quality, water quantity, soil quality, plants and animals) at the time of application, with an agreement to meet or exceed a stewardship threshold for another priority resource concern by the contract’s end.
A producer may receive no more than US$40,000 annually or US$200,000 between FY2014–2018 (USDA NRCS 2015c).
Amount of the Incentive
Annual payments for conservation practices are based on performance (point system). In 2015, payment rates for pasture were US$0.31870, point (additional activity) and US$0.02490, point (existing activity). For rangeland, payment rates were US$0.12499, point additional activity) and US$0.00990, point (existing activity).
Related Institutional Objectives or Targets
Loi agricole américaine