Skip

Programs

NRCS's conservation programs help people reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters. Public benefits include enhanced natural resources that help sustain agricultural productivity and environmental quality while supporting continued economic development, recreation, and scenic beauty.

NRCS provides funding opportunities for agricultural producers and other landowners through these programs. Participation in our conservation programs is voluntary. NRCS accepts requests for technical assistance and applications for financial assistance throughout the year. Review the following information or visit your local NRCS service center to help determine which programs are right for you.

NRCS Financial Assistance Programs:

The Agriculture Management Assistance (AMA) program offers conservation payments to targeted beginning and limited resource farmers, small farms, and producers who have had limited participation in other USDA financial assistance programs.

Soil conservationist and land owner assess resource needs at farm.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) rewards agricultural producers who have already adopted conservation strategies on their farms.

 Conservation Stewardship Enhancement in Action

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) offers conservation practices for agricultural producers with existing resource concerns to install permanent measures, adopt new management strategies, or develop activity plans for a wide range of resource concerns. Several targeted initiatives exist within the EQIP program include the Organic Initiative, Soil Health Initiative, Energy Initiative, and more.

 NRCS discussing conservation options

 

NRCS Easement Programs:

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) - Wetlands Reserve Easements (WRE) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements (WRE) component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.

 Restored wetlands

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) - Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land.

 warm season grasses

The Emergency Watershed Protection -Floodplain Easement (FPE) Program Program provides assistance to undertake emergency measures, including the purchase of flood plain easements, for runoff retardation and soil erosion prevention to safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and the products of erosion on any watershed whenever fire, flood or any other natural occurrence is causing or has caused sudden impairment of the watershed.

 Photo of a floodplain
NRCS Technical Assistance Programs:
  • The Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) program provides support for voluntary planning and implementing conservation practices that address natural resource issues by landowners and users.

  • The Watershed Programs provide planning and project implementation on the watershed level to improve various resource conditions.

USDA Farm Service Agency Programs (NRCS provides technical support):
Other NRCS Programs:
  • The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program provides assistance to undertake emergency measures, including the purchase of flood plain easements, for runoff retardation and soil erosion prevention to safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and the products of erosion on any watershed whenever fire, flood or any other natural occurrence is causing or has caused sudden impairment of the watershed.

  • The National Resources Inventory (NRI) is a statistical survey of land use and natural resource conditions and trends on U.S. non-federal lands.

  • The Cape May Plant Materials Center serves a nine-state area for the development, testing, and application of plants for various site conditions.

  • The Soil Survey Program provides basic technical information for land users and develops county soil surveys and the associated interpretation of soil data for various land uses.