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News Release

NRCS Announces Free Conservation Planning Pilot in Six North Arkansas Counties

 Landowners in Baxter, Fulton, Izard, Marion, Searcy and Stone counties can request a free conservation plan through a pilot program offered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The project, designed to combine the farming or ranching skills of the operator with the science-based knowledge of an NRCS conservation planner, runs March 3 through April 3, 2017.

“Conservation plans are the basis for all assistance NRCS provides to clients and the basic tool for clients to manage their natural resources,” said Mike Sullivan, NRCS state conservationist in Arkansas. “The greatest value comes by having the client engaged in every step of the planning process. Through participation, the client develops an understanding of the natural resource issues, interactions and treatments necessary for resource sustainability.”

The voluntary plan is developed with input from the producer and prepared by NRCS. The plan addresses resource concerns dealing with soil, water, air, plants and animals.

A conservation plan includes producer/landowner determined objectives and goals; an aerial photo or diagram of the farm; a soil map and soil description of the property; resource inventory data which can include forage or crop production potential, or potential livestock carrying capacity; a list of treatment options; the location and schedule for applying conservation practices; and a plan of operation and maintenance of conservation systems.

Benefits of a conservation plan include:

  •  Identifies problems or potential problems overlooked on a day-to-day basis
  •  Protects soil along with the farm’s productivity
  •  Helps comply with environmental regulations
  •  Helps to qualify for various USDA programs that can help implement the plan
  •  Flexible to the farms changing operational goals
  •  Provides for on-site technical assistance

To sign up for a free conservation plan, visit your local USDA field service center. To locate the local office, visit