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The policy of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is that economics is an essential consideration in all agency decision making. Economic principles must be applied in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of agency policies and program activities to provide the most cost effective assistance to customers, cooperators, and partners for the sustained use of natural resources.

  • Economic principles and techniques, including cost effectiveness, economic feasibility, and benefit-cost analysis will be applied to all program formulation, management, and evaluation activities of the agency.
  • Economic effects of alternative actions should be provided to NRCS customers in order for them to make informed resource conservation decisions. NRCS policy permits cost effectiveness analysis, partial budgeting, profitability analysis, and other appropriate analysis when requested by the client. NRCS policy prohibits field offices from obtaining financial information beyond that volunteered by the client.
  • For nationwide consistency in the application of economics in all NRCS activities, the National Resource Economics Handbooks and other directives will be used as the guidance for the integration of economics into conservation planning, program implementation, and program evaluation at the field, state, regional and national offices of the agency.
  • Economic principles and techniques shall be used at all levels of the agency in order to satisfy the goal of maximizing environmental benefits per dollar expended as legislated for selected U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs.

Additional Economics Resources

Amber Waves

Amber Waves contains articles by USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) researchers and their collaborators. The Economic Research Service (ERS) is the main source of economic information and research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cornell University Cooperative Extension Service

Cornell Cooperative Extension is a key outreach system of Cornell University with a strong public mission and an extensive local presence that is responsive to needs in New York communities

Cornell University Department of Applied Economics and Management

Dollars and Sense in Conservation

Ciriacy-Wantnup, a pioneer in resource economics, explained how economic principles help us understand the conservation behavior of farmers and ranchers. Knowing these principles is still important, not just to the resource economist, but to anyone involved in furthering conservation on agricultural lands. NRCS New York has created this web page based on the original Dollars and Sense in Conservation publication.

Economic Research Service (USDA ERS)

The Economic Research Service is a primary source of economic information and research in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ERS conducts a research program to inform public and private decision making on economic and policy issues involving food, farming, natural resources, and rural development.

Web link image: Field Office Technical Guide
FOTG County Locator

Field Office Technical Guide

Technical guides are the primary scientific references for NRCS. They contain technical information about the conservation of soil, water, air, and related plant and animal resources. The FOTG contains four sections. Section One contains conservation practice costs.

More information about the FOTG.

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets

The mission of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is to foster a competitive food and agriculture industry that benefits producers and consumers alike.


New York FarmLink provides educational resources, consulting, and opportunities that enable more farms to be transferred and joint ventures to be developed for the economic enhancement of New York State agriculture.


The mission of the New York FarmNet is to provide farm families with a network of contacts and support services to help them develop skills for dealing with life challenges and transitions - through personalized education, confidential consulting, and referral.

State Agricultural Economic Information Sources

Other State, Federal, and University sponsored Web sites relating to agricultural economics. Click on the interactive map to go to the state of interest to you.

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)

The National Agricultural Statistics Service provides timely, accurate, and useful statistics in service to United States agriculture.

USDA NRCS Economics web site

Conservation Practices Photo Gallery

Contact Information

Flo Swartz, Agricultural Economist
Telephone: 315-477-6533Service Center Locator
E-mail: Flo Swartz