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Tools and References for TSPs

The following are some but not all of the web-based tools available for use by Technical Service Providers:

CanVis - Image Editing for Resource Planning:  The kit includes the basic elements needed to create photo-realistic visual simulations including CanVis training CD, and Visual Simulation Guide.

Water Erosion Prediction Tools (RUSLE2):  This site contains the official NRCS version of RUSLE2.  It is the only version of RUSLE2 to be used for official purposes by NRCS field offices.  The NRCS developed and maintains the database components on this site.

Wind Erosion Prediction Tools – Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) and the Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ): An erosion model designed to predict long-term average annual soil losses from a field having specific characteristics.

Ecological Site Information System (ESIS) -   ESIS is the NRCS repository for ecological site descriptions and for information associated with the collection of forestland and rangeland plot data. ESIS is organized into two applications and associated databases; the Ecological Site Description (ESD) application and the Ecological Site Inventory (ESI) application.  This section also provides access to technical resources and technical guidance for developing and understanding ecological sites.

Forage Suitability Group Descriptions (FSGD) -   FSGDs are interpretive reports which provide a soil and plant science basis for conservation planning where forage crops are grown. FSGDs identify adapted forage species, yearly forage production estimates, and distribution of production during the growing season. 

Manure Management Planner (MMP) -  A manure utilization planning tool developed at Purdue University to help develop nutrient management plans.  

Spatial Nutrient Management Planner (SNMP) is a decision-support tool that facilitates the collection, analysis, and presentation of spatial information related to nutrient management planning. The SNMP interface simplifies the GIS program ArcMap for nutrient management planners, and simplifies the creation of maps required for NRCS comprehensive nutrient management plans. SNMP data can be imported and exported from MMP.

USDA PLANTS Database:  The PLANTS Database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories. It includes names, plant symbols, checklists, distributional data, species abstracts, characteristics, images, crop information, automated tools, Web links, and references.

Windows Pesticide Screening Tool (WIN-PST 3.1) is a simple pesticide screening tool that evaluates the potential environmental risks for pesticides. NRCS conservationists, TSPs, extension agents, crop consultants, pesticide dealers and producers can use this tool to evaluate the potential for pesticides to move with water and eroded soil/organic matter and affect non-target organisms.

Web Soil Survey:  Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by NRCS and provides on-line access to soil maps, soil descriptive reports and other data.

Other Resources

Field Office Technical Guides (FOTG) - Section I includes payment rate information, Section III contains CAP Plan Development Criteria and Section IV contains Standards, Specifications, Statements of Work or NRCS Conservation Practices each state offers

Technical Manuals and Handbooks

Conservation Planning Policy - GM 180, part 409

The Resources section has links to additional tools and resources.