The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control by incorporating conservation into their farming operations.
Producers may construct or improve water management structures or irrigation structures; plant trees for windbreaks or to improve water quality; and mitigate risk through production diversification or resource conservation practices, including soil erosion control, integrated pest management, or transition to organic farming.
AMA is available in 16 states where participation in the Federal Crop Insurance Program is historically low: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
- The program pays financial assistance of up to 75 percent of the cost of installing conservation practices.
- The total AMA payments shall not exceed $50,000 per participant for any fiscal year.
- Participants are not subject to Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985; however participants are subject to Adjusted Gross Income provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985.
- Program offers an additional higher cost-share for historically underserved producers
- Be engaged in livestock or agricultural production and have annual potential sales of $1,000 or more.
- Have an interest in the farming operation associated with the land being offered for AMA enrollment.
- Have control of the land for the term of the proposed contract.
- Be in compliance with the provisions for protecting the interests of tenants and sharecroppers, including the provisions for sharing AMA payments on a fair and equitable basis.
- Be within appropriate payment limitation requirements
- on which agricultural commodities or livestock are produced such as cropland, hayland, pastureland, rangeland, and grassland
- land used for subsistence purposes, private non-industrial forestland or other land on which agricultural products, livestock or forest-related goods are produced
- where risk may be mitigated through operation diversification or change in resource conservation practices.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has leadership for the conservation provisions of AMA. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is responsible for an organic certification cost-share program and the Risk Management Agency (RMA) is responsible for mitigation of financial risk through an insurance cost-share program.
NRCS amended the rule governing AMA, to maintain consistency with EQIP. This is noted in the Final Rule for Changes to Existing Programs on the Federal Register website.