Skip Navigation

Conservation Activity Plans (CAP)

What Is A Conservation Activity Plan?

A Conservation Activity Plan or CAP can be developed for producers to identify conservation practices needed to address a specific natural resource need. Typically, these plans are specific to certain kinds of land use such as:

  • transitioning to organic operations
  • grazing land
  • forest land

A CAP can also address a specific resource need, such nutrient management or a herbicide resistance issue.   With a CAP plan, producers can then apply for financial assistance to implement the needed conservation practices.

What Authority Does NRCS Have For CAPs?

Farm Bill legislation provides NRCS the authority to use financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for practice payments to develop of plans appropriate for the eligible land of a program participant.  The Act specifically authorizes EQIP to be used for comprehensive nutrient management plans and other plans that further the purposes of the program. The conservation practice associated with plan development under this authority is known as a “Conservation Activity Plan”, or CAP.   

How Do CAP Costs and Payments Work?

The Farm Bill statute allows EQIP payments based upon the estimated incurred cost of practice implementation, which for a CAP will be the labor costs typically associated with development of a plan meeting agency standards and requirements.  The payment is increased for qualifying historically underserved producers.  NRCS approves CAPs and contract payment rates offered through EQIP every fiscal year. 

Eligible producers may apply at their local NRCS office. EQIP payments are made directly to program participants for development of a CAP. These CAP plans may only be developed by an NRCS-certified Technical Service Provider (TSP). Although NRCS personnel are prohibited from developing CAPs, they can assist with the development of conservation plans to address identified resource concerns.

What is 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.

You can find information about Technical Service Providers on the NRCS national TSP website. Such as:

What Technical Requirements Do CAPs Have?

Technical requirements and planning criteria for each CAP are listed in Ohio's Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG).  CAP planning criteria is available for download in the "Fiscal Year 2015 Program Guidance" table below.  This information includes the details of what must be included in each kind of CAP approved for support through EQIP.


Fiscal Year 2015 CAP Resources

Fiscal Year 2015 Program Guidance

Document or Resource Name

Description

NRCS Fiscal Year 2015 CAP Guidance Bulletin
National Bulletin 300-15-5-LTP
(PDF, 68KB)

NB 300-15-5-LTP on NRCS eDirectives website

NRCS program policy and technical guidance to support implementation of CAPs through EQIP program.

Attachment A. Approved FY 2015 CAPs,
Associated ProTracts Subaccounts and General
Descriptions
(PDF, 36KB)

Guidance to State Conservationists for which CAPs must be offered and how to rank applications the agency contracting software (ProTracts); general descriptions of each CAP.

Attachment B. Approved FY 2015 CAP Payment Rates
(PDF, 115KB)

Lists all the nationally approved payment rates for CAP practice payments. 

Attachment C. Approved FY 2015 CAP Planning
Criteria and Plan Templates
(PDF, 13KB)

Shows the requirements for each CAP plan developed by certified TSPs.  Additional “templates” may be available for specific CAPs to help further support development of the CAP.

 

Fiscal Year 2015 CAPs offered in Ohio

CAP Code
 

CAP Plan Name

CAP Payment Schedule

Description

102

Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (DOC, 146KB)

Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (PDF, 622KB)

A comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP) is a conservation plan for an animal feeding operation (AFO). It documents how nutrients and contaminants will be managed in the production and land treatment areas of the farm to protect animal health, human health and the environment.

104

Nutrient Management Plan (DOC, 35KB)

Nutrient Management Plan (PDF, 543KB)

A nutrient management plan is a document of record of how nutrients will be managed for plant production and to address the environmental concerns related to the offsite movement of nutrients from agricultural fields.

106

Forest Management Plan (DOC, 37KB)
Guide for Forester Joint Management Plan Template (PDF, 160KB)
Guide for Landowners Joint Management Plan Template (PDF, 175KB)
Managing Your Woodlands - Joint Management Template (DOC, 454KB)
Managing Your Woodlands - Management Template (PDF, 328KB)

Forest Management Plan – Mountain Region (PDF, 533KB)


Forest Management Plan – Other Region (PDF, 558KB)

A forest management plan is a site-specific plan developed for a client, which addresses one or more resource concerns on land where forestry-related conservation activities or practices will be planned and applied.

108

Feed Management Plan (DOC, 25KB)

Feed Management Plan (PDF, 554KB)

A feed management plan is a farm-specific plan developed for a client, to document control of the quantity and quality of available nutrients, feedstuffs, and/or additives fed to livestock and poultry.

110

Grazing Management Plan (DOC, 44KB)

Grazing Management Plan (PDF, 547KB)

A grazing management plan is a site-specific plan, developed with a client to address one or more resource concerns on land where grazing related activities or practices will be applied.

112

Prescribed Burning Plan (DOC, 50KB)

Prescribed Burning Plan (PDF, 565KB)

A prescribed burning plan is a site-specific plan developed with a client which addresses one or more resource concerns on land through the use of fire.

114

Integrated Pest Management (DOC, 29KB)

Integrated Pest Management Template (DOC, 26KB)

Integrated Pest Management (PDF, 542KB)

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecosystem-based, sustainable approach to manage pests. It uses a combination of techniques such as chemical tools biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices and use of resistant varieties of cultivars.

118

Irrigation Water Management Plan (DOC 448)

Irrigation Water Management Plan (PDF, 531KB)

Irrigation Water Management (IWM) controls the volume, frequency, and rate of water for efficient irrigation. Measuring soil moisture, water use by plants and climate help decide when to irrigate, and how much water to apply.

128

Agricultural Energy Management Plan (DOC, 58KB)

Agricultural Energy Management Plan (PDF, 574KB)

An Agricultural Energy Management Plan- Headquarters (AgEMP) is a detailed documentation of energy consuming components and practices of the current operation, the previous year’s on-farm energy consumption, and the strategy by which the producer will explore and address their on-farm energy conservation concerns, objectives, and opportunities.

130

Drainage Water Management Plan (DOC, 46KB)

Drainage Water Management Plan (PDF, 558KB)

Drainage Water Management (DWM) controls soil water table elevations and the timing of water discharges from subsurface or surface agricultural drainage systems.  giving the opportunity for crop use of the subsurface water and nutrients.

138

Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition (DOC, 31KB)

Organic Transition Template (DOC, 67KB)

Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition (PDF, 536KB)

A “Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition” is a conservation activity plan documenting decisions by producers/growers who agree to implement a system of conservation practices which assist the producer to transition from conventional farming or ranching systems to an organic production system.

142

Fish and Wildlife Habitat Plan (DOC, 61KB)

Fish and Wildlife Habitat Plan (PDF, 530KB)

A fish and wildlife habitat plan is a site specific plan developed with a client who is ready to plan and implement conservation activities or practices with consideration for fish and wildlife habitat.

146

Pollinator Habitat Plan (DOC, 44KB)

Pollinator Habitat Plan (PDF, 535KB)

A pollinator habitat enhancement plan is a site-specific conservation plan developed for a client that addresses the improvement, restoration, enhancement, expansion of flower-rich habitat that supports native and/or managed pollinators.

154

IPM Herbicide Resistant Weed Conservation Plan (DOC, 32KB)

IPM Herbicide Resistant Weed Conservation Template (DOC, 22KB)

IPM Herbicide Resistant Weed Conservation Plan (PDF, 545KB)

Integrated Pest Management Herbicide Resistance Weed Conservation Plan emphasizes modifications in herbicide use to suppress weeds on cropland.