Conservation Activity Plans (CAP)

What Is A Conservation Activity Plan?

A Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) identifies conservation practices to address specific natural resource needs.  These plans are developed by land use - such as cropland, forestland, grazing land, or by natural resource concern such as air quality or nutrient management for water quality.  A producer can apply for financial assistance to help pay for a conservation professional to develop a CAP.  After a CAP is completed the producer can apply for financial assistance to implement the conservation practices recommended in the CAP.

What Authority Does NRCS Have For CAPs?

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) provides authority to NRCS for financial assistance through EQIP to support development of CAPs.   Ohio offers 13 approved CAPs through EQIP. 

Fiscal Year 2013 CAPs offered in Ohio


  Conservation Activity Plan Name and Landuse or Initiative Designation


  Comprehensive nutrient management plan (Cropland, Livestock, Pasture, Specialty, MRBI)


  Nutrient management plan (Cropland, Pasture, Specialty, MRBI)


  Forest management plan (Forestry)


  Grazing management plan (Grazing, MRBI)


  Integrated pest management (Cropland, Specialty, MRBI)


  Irrigation water management plan (Cropland, Specialty, MRBI)


  Agricultural energy management plan – headquarters (Energy)


  Agricultural energy management plan – landscape (Energy)


  Comprehensive air quality management plan (Air Quality)


  Drainage water management plan (Cropland, Specialty, Wildlife, MRBI)


  Conservation plan supporting organic transition (Organic)


  Fish and wildlife habitat management plan (Cropland, Forestry, Pasture, Specialty, Wildlife)


  Pollinator habitat enhancement plan (Cropland, Forestry, Pasture, Specialty, Wildlife)

     Note:  CAPs are not authorized for the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative.

NRCS Program and Policy Guidance for CAP Guidance

One CAP per Land Unit Restriction:  Eligible producers may submit applications for development of multiple CAPs; however, only one CAP contract may be developed on an eligible land unit (e.g., field) at the same time. Contracting of multiple CAP contracts on the same land unit is prohibited except for CNMP and AgEMP CAPs, where multiple CAP plans may be approved and implemented on the same land unit.

Technical Service Provider

Technical Service Providers - Technical Service Providers (TSPs) are individuals or businesses that have technical expertise in conservation planning and design for a variety of conservation activities. TSPs are hired by farmers, ranchers, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, or public agencies to provide these services on behalf of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Each certified TSP is listed on the NRCS TSP online registry, TechReg.  The TSP registration and approval process involves completing required training and verifying of essential education, knowledge, skills and abilities.

List of Approved TSPs

CAP Criteria and Options for Certification

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