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Code Talk

By Toni M. Flax, Range Management Specialist
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Hill City, Kansas

Walk into a government office and you will hear what you may believe is code talking. Everyone is discussing “CTA,” “CSP,” “EQIP,” “WHIP,” and “LPCI.” If you are familiar with the “code” you may know exactly who you need to talk to and why. However, most people who walk in the door have little understanding and feel lost. So for those people, read on and I will decode some of it for you.

To start with, there is more than one agency in a service center with their “codes.” We will focus on the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); our mission is “Helping People Help the Land”. How do we do that? Through Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA). Upon your request, we provide you technical planning for any conservation resource concerns for any agricultural lands you may have. Think you have an erosion problem? Give us a call. We will meet at your place and discuss what might cause your issues and then work with you on a voluntary plan that will alleviate your concerns. We may even be able to give you options or ideas that you never dreamed possible. How about your rangeland? Have a tree issue or need water? Let’s take a look at it together and we may be able to write a plan that deals with the immediate issues, but we might also find other resource concerns that could be causing your issues and need addressed.

Once a conservation plan is in place that meets your needs and operation then we will look at our “codes” and see if we can also assist you financially in implementing your plan. We have several options: Agriculture Water Enhancement Program (AWEP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP). The easement programs available are the Grassland Protection Program (GRP), Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), and the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP). There are also some special initiatives in Kansas such as the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative (LPCI) and the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative (OAI). These are just a few of the options available.

Remember, our assistance is free and your participation is voluntary. To find the best program that is beneficial to you and meets your needs is to start by requesting CTA!

Full descriptions of programs available can be found on our website at Contact your local NRCS office or conservation district office located at your local county USDA Service Center (listed in the telephone book under United States Government or on the internet at Follow us on Twitter @NRCS_Kansas. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.