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Iowa NRCS District Conservationist meets with neighbors about CRP in Cedar County.

Conservation Planning - Iowa

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's principal agency for providing conservation technical assistance to private landowners, conservation districts, tribes, and other organizations.

NRCS delivers conservation technical assistance through its voluntary Conservation Technical Assistance Program (CTA). CTA is available to any group or individual interested in conserving our natural resources and sustaining agricultural production in this country.

The CTA program functions through a national network of locally-based, professional conservationists located in nearly every county of the United States.

NRCS uses a nine step planning process when it begins a project. The purpose is to develop and implement plans that protect, conserve, and enhance natural resources within a social and economic perspective,

Iowa Conservation Planning Resources

  • Iowa Technical Notes - section IV of the electronic Field Office Technical Guide (eFOTG)
  • Iowa Landowner's Legal Guide - Drake University Agricultural Law Center
    • The Iowa Landowner’s Legal Guide aims to provide landowners with information and answers that protect it for the future and identify the responsibilities of landowners. The guide answers frequently asked questions and provides contact information for the agencies, organizations and professionals who can help landowners meet their goals. Included are the first six chapters of the guide, video narratives, and accompanying videos. 


IA-CPA-6 Conservation Assistance Notes

Associated Training for NRCS Environmental Evaluations

Basic Training

Categorical Exclusions

Special Environmental Concerns Training

NRCS Support Document


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