Agricultural Management Assistance Program (AMA)
The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) provides financial assistance to agricultural producers to voluntarily address resource issues such as water management, water quality, invasive species control, and erosion control by incorporating conservation into their farming or ranching operations.
AMA was authorized in the Agriculture Risk Protection Act of 2000. The purpose of AMA is to assist producers in reducing risk to their operation. The program is available in Wyoming and 15 other states where participation in the Federal Crop Insurance Program is historically low.
AMA is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Producers can apply for financial assistance for many types of conservation practices. All signups are conducted at USDA Service Centers in Wyoming.
Program priorities are based on recommendations from the Wyoming State Technical Committee (STC). The STC is made up of representatives from various producer groups, conservation organizations, agribusinesses, and federal, state, and tribal government agencies. Each year, consideration is given to determine which resource concerns pose the greatest risk to Wyoming agricultural operations.
The current priority of the STC is the removal of Russian olive and salt cedar along riparian areas in the Big Horn Basin. The NRCS field offices in Greybull, Lander, Thermopolis, and Worland have been very proactive in using AMA funds to effect watershed-scale changes. Some of the watersheds receiving treatment to remove these invasive species include: Cottonwood Creek, Gooseberry Creek, the Nowood River, and Shell Creek.
The treatment is typically a combination of mechanical removal and a follow-up chemical application to the remaining vegetation. It is also very important for landowners to assess needed management changes and perform subsequent-year maintenance.
Agricultural producers are eligible to apply for AMA on private lands. Contracts can be written for 1-10 years, with a minimum duration of one year after the last practice is completed. Annual payments cannot exceed $50,000 per person or entity per year.
Applications will be evaluated and selected based on state ranking criteria.
Under the 2008 Farm Bill, Adjusted Gross Income provisions now apply to the AMA program. Refer to 7 CFR Part 1400 for additional information. Eligible land includes: 1) Privately owned land; 2) Publicly owned land where the land is a working component of the participant’s agricultural operation, and the participant has control of the land for the term of the contract; and 3) Tribal, BIA allotted, or Indian land.
Application signup is an ongoing process and can be done online or completed at your local USDA Service Center.
Cheryl Grapes, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, 307-233-6757