TSPs What Landowners Need to Know Fact Sheet - Date 2006
TSPs: What Landowners Need to Know Fact Sheet
TSPs are Here to Help...
The newest options landowners have for getting conservation on the ground is
using NRCS’ helping hands, the Technical Service Providers. Called “TSPs,” these
contractors are available across the state of Illinois. They know conservation
and have acquired the technical skills and educational requirements to do much
of the same work NRCS employees typically do.
The fact is a TSP may be able to plan and install your conservation practice
sooner than NRCS can. You can hire an approved TSP to do the work you need. Once
the work is done and NRCS staff ensures it was done adequately, then you may be
reimbursed—up to the contract amount—for what the TSP bills you for the job.
Things to Consider...
the right TSP. Use the same care in selecting a TSP as in choosing
any other contractor. A list of certified TSPs can be found on the TechReg
website. Check references and review qualifications. Ask for referrals from
other producers in the area who have used TSPs.
- Remember the permits. You are responsible for obtaining
all needed permits for the job. If you expect the TSP to obtain them, put it
in the contract. Be ready to pay for it.
- Quality work is critical. Both you and the TSP are
responsible for ensuring that the contract work conforms to the NRCS
Illinois Field Office Technical Guide Standards. If it does, NRCS provides a
one-time reimbursement based on the amount stipulated in the program
- Plan ahead. Once the completed job is approved, you’ll
receive financial assistance from NRCS. It is ultimately your responsibility
to pay the TSP, so consider working out payment arrangements prior to the
start of a project.
Follow These Steps...
When you use a TSP, it greatly reduces NRCS involvement, so remember
...Tell NRCS you’ll need TSP funding in your EQIP contract and make sure
TSP funds are available before you schedule the work. NRCS needs to
know your intent to use a TSP and considers this when scheduling contract jobs
for the year. TSP funds are limited so make sure yours can be covered.
...Find a certified TSP. Go online and select from the list of
official and certified TSP contractors in your area.
...Establish a contract with the TSP of your choice. Be sure
they know your needs and agree on your price.
...Obtain clearance on cultural resource issues on the jobsite.
This ensures that earthwork will not disturb any cultural artifacts that might
be on the site.
...Monitor the progress of your TSP on the job. Remember, they
work for you.
...Ensure the TSP has properly installed the practice as agreed upon in
the contract. The design and installation must meet NRCS requirements
...Submit completion documentation to NRCS. This informs NRCS
that the job is done.
Can NRCS recommend a TSP for me? No. NRCS is
not permitted to recommend one TSP over another. TSP qualifications are
listed on TechReg website (see below). Check and see if the TSP is certified
in the specific area you need.
What if the TSP cost is more than my NRCS
reimbursement? It could cost you. Remember, the full cost of the TSP’s work
is your responsibility. Establish upfront what your maximum cost can be.
NRCS reimbursement is limited to the contract amount. If the TSP charges you
more, you pay the difference.
What if the completed practice doesn’t meet
NRCS standards? If this happens, NRCS cannot pay you cost-share funds or
cover TSP costs for an inadequate job. Remember, NRCS is not liable for the
TSP’s work. It is critical that TSP work meet NRCS standards, otherwise the
cost of the job comes out of your pocket.
What if the TSP I pick is on the certified
list, but is not certified for the particular practice I need? Do not select
a TSP for a job they aren’t certified to do. NRCS cannot reimburse you for
work done by an unqualified TSP or for work that does not meet NRCS
If I don’t have an EQIP (or other program)
contract, can I still hire a TSP and have NRCS pay for the work they do? No.
You must have an existing contract and a conservation plan with NRCS to be
eligible. However, you are free to hire a TSP to do perform any other
project you want on your farm since they are free agents, but NRCS is not
If I have reserved TSP funds in my NRCS
contract for this year, can I wait until next year to have them do the work?
No. You risk contract default. Talk to your District Conservationist for
Will NRCS help me settle conflicts I have with
my TSP? No. You have a contract with the TSP. There is no contract between
your TSP and NRCS. It is your responsibility to ensure you get what you need
from the TSP. To
To Learn More...
This fact sheet offers an overview of the TSP initiative. More information is
available though the internet.
Visit NRCS at
View Standards and Specifications of Conservation Practices in e-FOTG:
Log into the TSP Site:
Updated December 2012
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Download Printable Fact Sheet
A printable version of this fact sheet is available in Adobe Acrobat
TSP-What Landowners Need to Know Fact Sheet
TSP-WhatLandownersNeedtoKnowFS.pdf (PDF, 3 MB)