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A field with soybeans in the foreground, a farmstead with trees in the background, and cloudy blue skies above.

Croplands Assessments

Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) croplands assessments quantify the effects of voluntary conservation efforts across the nation’s croplands at both regional and national scales.

About CEAP Croplands Assessments

Through CEAP, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) quantifies trends in cropland conservation practices, and associated outcomes, over time. This data empowers a diversity of customers to evaluate conservation successes, identify potential improvements, and set targeted, measurable goals for the future.

Cropland farmers may leverage CEAP findings to inform on-the-ground decisions related to conservation tillage, cover crops, irrigation, nutrient management, and many other conservation actions. NRCS and conservation partners equally rely on CEAP assessments to evaluate regional and national conservation outcomes and to guide targeted, data-driven prioritization of future efforts and initiatives.

CEAP croplands assessments are developed using confidential farmer surveys coupled with modeling. Data sources for CEAP models include the National Resources Inventory and records from both NRCS and Farm Service Agency offices at USDA Service Centers. Additional details on this sampling and modeling approach are available on the CEAP Frequently Asked Questions page.

CEAP Croplands Publications

Reports and Articles
Fact Sheets: Conservation Insights
Webinars and Blogs
Farmer Survey Documents
Croplands Modeling Documentation

CEAP Croplands Highlights

The below highlights represent recent resources and key findings released by CEAP on croplands conservation efforts and outcomes. Visit this webpage frequently to see what's new, or browse the above publications to access a range of published resources from CEAP croplands assessments.

Conservation Insight Fact Sheet

Reduction in Annual Fuel Use from Conservation Tillage

This Conservation Insight provides the latest USDA data on conservation tillage adoption across the United States and highlights potential fuel savings associated with transitioning from continuous conventional tillage to forms of conservation tillage, including continuous no-till.

Field of growing corn, with stubble remaining from no-till practices and cloudy blue skies above.

Save Money on Fuel with No-Till Farming

How much fuel can farmers save each year by transitioning from conventional tillage to continuous no-till? This blog answers this question in both gallons and dollars per acre calculations based on findings from the latest national CEAP croplands assessment.

Soybeans grow through corn stubble in a no-till field, with cloudy blue skies above.
Webinar Recording

Impact of Cover Crops on Nitrogen and Phosphorus Dynamics

This Conservation Outcomes Webinar highlights the effects of cover crops and reduced tillage practices on nutrient and sediment losses from croplands and associated water quality outcomes. The presenter is Dr. Kenneth Staver, University of Maryland, Wye Research and Education Center.

Soybeans grow through remaining corn residue on a cropland field managed under no-till.

Additional Resources

Chris Lester

Acting Modeling Team Lead and Croplands Lead, Conservation Effects Assessment Project