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Pasture in a rotational grazing system in Davis County, Iowa.

Conservation Planning - Minnesota

A conservation plan identifies the customer’s conservation objectives and assesses and analyzes the natural resources issues on that customer’s land related to soil, water, animals, plants, air, energy, and human interaction.

What is Conservation Planning?

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) was created in 1935 to assist individuals and groups in identifying and solving conservation problems on private lands through a partnership with local conservation districts. The NRCS, with help from its partners, continues to help clients prepare conservation plans for the lands they make decisions on. The process is voluntary and participatory. Each client serves as the final decision maker throughout the process.

What is a Conservation Plan?

A Conservation Plan is a written record of your management decisions and the conservation practices and systems you plan to use, develop, and maintain on your farm or ranch. Carrying out your plan will help achieve the goals of protecting the environment and your natural resources. After soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources are inventoried and evaluated, the NRCS conservation planner will review and offer possible alternatives for you to consider. The alternatives you decide are recorded in a conservation plan, which becomes the road-map to help you achieve your goals and maintain the resources of your land.

What is in a Conservation Plan?

  • An aerial photo or diagram of your farm
  • A map of the soils on your farm and descriptions of those soils
  • Information on grasses, trees, and broad-leafed plants that grow on your farm
  • Resource inventory data which can include crop production potential, engineering designs and support data, and potential livestock and wildlife carrying capacity
  • The location and schedule for applying conservation practices
  • A plan of operation and maintenance for conservation systems of practices
  • Job sheets and fact sheets

How it Helps the Land

Conservation of the natural resources (soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources) is important to the future of Minnesota. NRCS can provide help with such issues as animal waste management, water quality, soil erosion, grazing land management, engineering, and other conservation needs.

How it Helps You

Healthy private land is America's strength. Healthy working land is the foundation of a prosperous American agriculture industry, the cornerstone of environmental quality, and the core of healthy communities.

Find Your Local Service Center

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit

Additional Information