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Engineering Field Tools (EFT)

The Engineering Field Tools (EFT) is a framework of engineering tools for field office individuals to plan and design commonly applied conservation practices.

Currently there are four applications within the EFT, Survey Engineering Tool (SET), Grassed Waterway Design Tool (WDT), Terrace Design Tool (TDT), and Hydraulic Formulas Tool (HFT).  These tools not only support the planner in creating a design, but also create reports that can be used as design documentation and as final construction drawings to hand to a contractor for construction.


What is New in EFT?

The EFT Framework has been updated to version to address potential problems in Windows 10.  EFT Version is the current working version of Engineering Field Tools.  This version is available as an update to Framework version through the EFT updater site.  New users will need to install Framework version, launch the program, and then follow the instructions provided to access the update.

EFT Version includes several bug fixes to SET and TDT.  No new functionality is included in this release.

What is SET?

The Survey Engineering Tool (SET) was the first design tool created for use under EFT. This application allows users to import survey data from various surveying instruments, manually input survey data, or import DEM data such as generated by LiDAR to create electronic surface elevation maps. The tool will automatically create contour lines that can be managed by the user.

SET was developed not only as a means to create surface elevation maps but also as a support tool to the other applications in EFT that use survey information in their design. For example: The waterway design tool uses SET to establish grades and cross sections; then to plot final designs tied to site specific survey data points.

What is WDT?

The Waterway Design Tool (WDT) is used to design grassed waterways consistent with national conservation practice standards Code 412 Grassed Waterway and Code 362 Diversions. Because WDT is integrated with the Survey Engineering Tool, designers can graphically view their design as they progress through its development.

The design procedures used in the WDT are based on a tractive stress approach to channel stability described in the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Agricultural Handbook 667, and also captured in the National Engineering Handbook, Engineering Field Manual, Chapter 7, Grassed Waterways.

What is TDT?

Terrace Design Tool (TDT) is a software tool designed to assist field office staff and engineers to design erosion control terrace systems for conservation projects consistent with national conservation practice standards Code 600 Terrace and Code 638 Water and Sediment Control Basins. TDT is a plug-in component that operates seamlessly with the Engineering Field Tool framework and takes advantage of previously developed components and applications such as the Survey Engineering Tool (SET). More specifically, it can use SET's survey and alignment tools, TIN engine, cut/fill volume calculation engine, waterway design tools, earthworks structure design tools and reporting framework.

TDT benefits field office staff and engineers by consolidating knowledge and practices in the form of an easy-to-use tool for design of terrace systems. TDT benefits the end customer, the citizens and farmers, by assisting in implementation of properly planned conservation projects for the land.

What is HFT?

Hydraulic Formulas Tool (HFT) is a collection of formulas based on procedures defined in the NRCS National Engineering Handbook Part 650 (NEH 650). The formulas provide solutions to the hydraulic equations that are frequently encountered in soil and water conservation planning and design activities. HFT is based upon the hydraulic formula software originally developed by NRCS-Ohio as part of the Ohio Engineering Program, and later adapted for Windows by NRCS-Illinois.

How can I obtain EFT?

  • NRCS users– EFT Framework v4.0.1.5 has been deployed to all NRCS computers that had a previous version of EFT. To locate the program on your computer, click on “Start\All Programs\Engineering Applications\Engineering Field Tools. If EFT was not automatically deployed to your computer, you must request a manual installation through IT services.  Users can then update to the current EFT v4.0.2.6 by launching the program and following the update instructions.
  • Non-NRCS users (COMING SOON)– EFT Framework v4.0.1.5 is available for public download at (Coming Soon). This version is compatible with the Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 10 operating systems.  Users can then update to the current EFT by launching the program and following the update instructions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get EFT?

EFT is now initially delivered via SMS, which means it's automatically delivered to all those in the USDA who have CCE compatible machines and are on the receiving list. To put yourself on the list, please contact your Help Desk.

What are the System Requirements?

EFT is designed to be run from a laptop, possibly even in the field. For installation and further updates, you'll need a LAN connection.

  • The standard CCE configuration on Windows 7 or Windows 10.
  • Java Version: Java8  32 bit
    The system will not even start with an earlier version of Java.
  • Memory:
    • 512MB for minimal usage
    • 1GB or more recommended
  • Internet connection (for install and updates)
  • Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768 (minimum), 1280 x 800 (recommended)
  • Processor Speed: Fast as possible
  • Printing: EFT provides support for A, B and D paper sizes

How do I update EFT?

  • Fire up EFT, and click on Help >> Software Updates >> Find and Install >> Search for new features to install.
  • You should be presented with a selection, "National Engineering Field Tools Update Center". If so, check it and click Finish. If not, click the "New Remote Site..." button, and add "" for the URL, and "National Engineering Field Tools Update Center" for the Name. Then click Finish.
  • Checkmark "EFT" (topmost level), and choose Done.
  • Answer any prompts, and restart when asked if you want to do so.

Where can I get help with EFT?

EFT Support:

Users with an eAuth ID can also access the Help Desk portal at  On this portal they can:

  • Submit issues (i.e. tickets)
  • View the status of their issues
  • See FAQs
  • See our hours of operation and hotline number
  • Contact us via Chat
  • See Announcements

Project Manager - Josh Jordan (970) 893-0401

EFT – Training Resources

Training videos for EFT can be found at:     

NRCS users can also find support and training resources available in the NRCS Engineering Field Tools Software Community in USDA Connect.

NRCS staff interested in live training on EFT should contact:
    Eric Fleming, Agricultural Engineer, East NTSC,
    Kip Yasumiishi, Civil Engineer,