The conservation planning initiative in Georgia is designed to assist field office personnel in developing the capability to provide quality products to land users in the field. The emphasis is on providing information and planning assistance onsite, on the farm, in real time. Previously, field staff would collect information, provide information verbally, return to the field office to process, perform calculations, and print materials that would be carried back to the producer for signatures and review. The technology is available and in use for field staff to perform all of these functions in the field, allowing discussion with the landowner relative to the assistance provided and with visual interpretations of the impacts.
To meet this objective, field offices are being set up with the following tools: desktop GIS software, the Customer Service Toolkit, digital camera,portable printer, and a PLGR (GPS unit).
Examples of activities include: calculating acres on buffer zones, calculating CRP acreage outside of pivot irrigation circles, calculating soil type acres for CRP, sighting irrigation systems, updating field boundaries utilizing GPS, displaying and printing conservation problems with digital camera,completing soil database queries, printing plan and soil maps, and creating and maintaining resource inventories that are important to the field office.