The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) helps agricultural producers manage financial risk through diversification, marketing or natural resource conservation practices.
Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) provides technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers on a voluntarily bases to address issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control by incorporating conservation into their farming operations. Producers may construct or improve water management structures or irrigation structures; plant trees for windbreaks or to improve water quality; and mitigate risk through production diversification or resource conservation practices, including soil erosion control, integrated pest management, or transition to organic farming.
How to Apply
Visit your local USDA Service Center to apply.
- The program pays financial assistance of up to 75 percent of the cost of installing conservation practices.
- The total AMA payments shall not exceed $50,000 per participant for any fiscal year.
- Participants are not subject to Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985; however participants are subject to Adjusted Gross Income provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985.
- Program offers an additional higher cost-share for historically underserved producers
- Be engaged in livestock or agricultural production.
- Have an interest in the farming operation associated with the land being offered for AMA enrollment.
- Have control of the land for the term of the proposed contract.
- Be in compliance with the provisions for protecting the interests of tenants and sharecroppers, including the provisions for sharing AMA payments on a fair and equitable basis.
- Be within appropriate payment limitation requirements
- on which agricultural commodities or livestock are produced such as cropland, hayland, pastureland, rangeland, and grassland
- land used for subsistence purposes, private non-industrial forestland or other land on which agricultural products, livestock or forest-related goods are produced
- where risk may be mitigated through operation diversification or change in resource conservation practices.
The following factors must be used when ranking criteria for applications:
- The cost effectiveness of the proposed conservation practices.
- The magnitude of the expected conservation benefits resulting from the conservation treatment and the priority of the natural resource concerns that have been identified at the local, Tribal, State, and national levels.
- How effectively and comprehensively the project addresses the priority natural resource concerns Note: Applications that result in the greatest environmental improvement should receive a higher ranking. All ranking processes and criteria must use the approved natural resource concerns that are listed in the Field Office Technical Guide for the specific area being proposed for treatment, and identify the associated national, State, and local priorities that are addressed by this treatment.
- Use of conservation practices that provide long-term conservation enhancements.
- Compliance with Federal, State, local, and Tribal regulatory requirements concerning soil, water and air quality, wildlife habitat, and ground and surface water conservation. Note: Higher ranking should be given to plans that will help producers avoid regulatory requirements altogether, meet regulatory requirements, or reduce the potential for regulations.
- Willingness of the applicant to complete all conservation practices in an expedited manner, such as completing all practices within 3 years.
- The ability to improve existing conservation practices or systems that are in place at the time the application is accepted or that complete a conservation system.
- Other locally defined pertinent factors, such as the location of the conservation practice, the extent of natural resource degradation, and the degree of cooperation by local producers to achieve environmental improvements.
Ready to get started?
Contact your local service center to start your application.
How to Get Assistance
Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?
Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.
To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. We’ll discuss your vision for your land.
NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.
We’ll walk you through the application process. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:
- To fill out an AD 1026, which ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed. It also ensures that identified wetland areas are protected.
- To meet other eligibility certifications.
Once complete, we’ll work with you on the application, or CPA 1200.
Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn in your application in time.
As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible. To do this, you’ll need to bring:
- An official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID)
- A property deed or lease agreement to show you have control of the property; and
- A farm tract number.
If you don’t have a farm tract number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm tract number if you’re interested in financial assistance.
NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants.
If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.
Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specified amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.