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Technical Service ProviderAssistance - Nutrient or Pest Management Application

Technical Service Provider Assistance - Nutrient or Pest Management Application

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Fact Sheet - Technical Service Provider Assistance - Nutrient or Pest Management Application (PDF; 32 KB)

The 2002 Farm Bill amended the 1985 Farm Bill, which authorized use of Technical Service Providers (TSPs), by requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to allow producers to receive technical assistance from individuals and entities other than the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). This provision is designed to ensure the producer is adequately assisted and NRCS has the capacity to address the workload associated with implementing Farm Bill programs.

A TSP is an individual entity (private or nonprofit business) or public agency. TSPs are competent to perform technical services and their qualifications are verified by NRCS. A TSP, when certified by NRCS, is placed on the list in TechReg. Producers must select a TSP from that list in order to qualify for payment reimbursement. This fact sheet is designed to help the producer-hired TSP to effectively offer assistance.

A producer-hired or private TSP can provide technical services in most aspects of conservation, including conservation planning, design, layout, installation, and check-out of approved conservation practices. All TSPs must perform these technical services according to NRCS conservation practice standards and specifications.

Two conservation practices which are well-suited to the services of a producer-hired TSP are nutrient management and pest management. Producers may choose to hire a private TSP and receive payment from NRCS to develop and implement a nutrient management plan or pest management plan.

At a minimum, a nutrient management plan or pest management plan will be developed for each crop type in the producer's crop rotation. Please refer to the Statement of Work (SOW) for each practice in the electronic Field Office Technical Guide (eFOTG). The SOW outlines the requirements for each phase of technical assistance.

Payment reimbursement (Not-to-Exceed [NTE] rates) is based on the NRCS costs for completing the task of using field information and the producer's goals to develop a management plan and providing follow-up on the results of applying that plan. It is important to note the collection of soil test information or pest scouting services needed for design, installation, and check out of each of these practices is not included as a part of the NTE rate. The collection of soil test information or pest scouting services can be performed by the TSP, but is not subject to the NTE rate comparison and will be an additional service (and cost) provided by the TSP to the producer.

The nutrient management incentive payment or pest management incentive payment available to eligible producers under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is intended to offset some or all of the initial start-up costs of adoption of the Nutrient Management or Pest Management Conservation Practices.

Technical assistance is available from the NRCS at your local USDA Service Center (listed in the telephone book under United States Government). More information is also available on the Kansas Web site at www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov.