Conservation Practice Standards
NRCS conservation practice standards provide guidance for applying
conservation technology on the land and set the minimum level for acceptable
application of the technology.
NRCS issues National conservation practice standards in its National Handbook
of Conservation Practices (NHCP). National standards for each practice are
National Handbook of
Conservation Practices (NHCP)
NHCP Notices –
Updated or new National conservation practice standards are transmitted by
notices to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices. Copies of the most
recent NHCP notices are available.
Practice Standards – The current National conservation practice standards
are available, both as MS-Word documents and in PDF format.
NOTE: National Conservation
Practice Standards should not be used to plan, design or install a conservation
practice. You must have the conservation practice standard developed by
the state in which you are working to insure that you meet all state and local
criteria, which may be more restrictive than national criteria.
State Conservation Practice Standards
Each state determines which National conservation practice standards are
applicable in their state. States add the technical detail needed to
effectively use the standards at the Field Office level, and issue them as state
conservation practice standards. State conservation practice standards may be
found in Section IV of the
eFOTG (Electronic Field Office Technical Guide).
Conservation Practice Standards Under Revision
NRCS periodically revises existing NHCP standards or develops new standards. A
table giving the status of all conservation practice standards currently
undergoing revision is located at
Every month a number of draft conservation practice standards are posted for
NRCS review and comment. (See Federal Register Review, below, for draft practice
standards that are available for review and comment by the general public.)
Practice standards currently posted are located at
ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/NHQ/practice-standards/standard-development/draft/. These files are in
Microsoft Word format.
Before revised or new conservation practice standards are added to the National
Handbook of Conservation Practices, they are advertised in the Federal Register
for review and comment by the general public. All standards currently under
Federal Register review are located at