7 CFR § 1469.21 - Contract requirements.
(a) To receive payments, each participant must enter into a conservation stewardship contract and comply with its provisions. Among other provisions, the participant agrees to maintain at least the level of stewardship identified in the benchmark inventory for the portion of land being enrolled for the entire contract period, as appropriate, and implement and maintain any new practices or activities required in the contract.
(1) Tier I contract requirement: additional practices and activities as included by the applicant in the conservation stewardship plan and approved by NRCS, over the part of the agricultural operation enrolled in CSP.
(i) Address an additional locally significant resource concern, as described in section III of the NRCS FOTG over the entire agricultural operation. Applicants may satisfy this requirement by demonstrating that the locally significant resource concern is not applicable to their operation or that they have already addressed it in accordance with NRCS'; quality criteria; and
(3) Tier III contract requirement: additional practices and activities as included by the applicant in the conservation stewardship plan and approved by NRCS, over the entire agricultural operation, where applicable.
(d) Transition to a higher tier of participation.
(1) Upon agreement by NRCS and the participant, a conservation stewardship contract may include provisions that lead to a higher tier of participation during the contract period. Such a transition does not require a contract modification if that transition is laid out in the schedule of contract activities. In the event that such a transition begins with Tier I, only the land area in the agricultural operation that meets the requirements for enrollment in Tier I can be enrolled in the contract until the transition occurs. Upon transition from Tier I to a higher tier of participation, the entire agricultural operation must be incorporated into the contract. All requirements applicable to the higher tier of participation would then apply. NRCS will calculate all stewardship, existing practice, new practice payments, and enhancement payments using the applicable enrolled acreage at the time of the payment.
(2) A contract which transitions to higher tier(s) of participation must include:
(i) A schedule for the activities associated with the transition(s);
(ii) A date certain by which time the transition(s) must occur; and,
(e) A conservation stewardship contract must:
(1) Incorporate by reference the conservation stewardship plan;
(3) Incorporate all provisions as required by law or statute, including participant requirements to -
(i) Implement and maintain the practices as identified and scheduled in the conservation stewardship plan, including those needed to be eligible for the specified tier of participation and comply with any additional sign-up requirements,
(iii) Comply with the terms of the contract, or documents incorporated by reference into the contract. NRCS will give the participant a reasonable time, as determined by the State Conservationist, to correct any violation and comply with the terms of the contract and attachments thereto. If a violation continues, the State Conservationist may terminate the conservation stewardship contract, and
(4) Specify the requirements for operation and maintenance of the applied conservation practices;
(5) Specify the schedule of payments under the life of the contract, including how those payments -
(6) Incorporate any other provisions determined necessary or appropriate by NRCS, or included as a requirement for the sign-up.
(h) Participants must:
(1) Implement the conservation stewardship contract approved by NRCS;
(2) Make available to NRCS, appropriate records showing the timely implementation of the contract;
(3) Comply with the regulations of this part; and
(4) Not engage in any activity that interferes with the purposes of the program, as determined by NRCS.
(j) For contracts encompassing the entire agricultural operation, the geographic boundaries of the acreage enrolled in the contract must include all fields and facilities under the participant's direct control, as determined by NRCS.