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News Release

USDA offers program to help Massachusetts farmers manage risk through conservation

Diane Petit, Public Affairs Officer

Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA)

May 17th is next ranking cut-off date

AMHERST, Mass. May 6, 2019 – Do you own or manage a farm in Massachusetts? Would you like technical and financial help in managing risk through natural resource conservation? The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) encourages you to sign up for conservation assistance through the Agricultural Management Assistance program.

You may apply for NRCS conservation programs at any time; complete applications are ranked for funding in batches periodically throughout the year. All applications determined eligible and high priority by close of business on the ranking date will be considered in the current funding cycle.

The following application ranking dates, pending available funds, are scheduled:

  • May 17, 2019
  • June 21, 2019
  • July 19, 2019

Ranking dates and the application process are subject to change.Contact your local field office for the latest information. For more information on available programs, the application process, and natural resource priorities, visit the Massachusetts NRCS website at

The AMA program provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control by incorporating conservation into their farming operations.

“For example, we can help farmers become more resilient to future drought conditions by developing or improving sources of irrigation water, constructing new or reorganizing irrigation systems on existing cropland,” said Christine Clarke, Massachusetts State Conservationist for NRCS.

Massachusetts 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.

AMA is available in 16 states where Federal Crop Insurance Program participation is historically low: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

For more information, contact your local USDA-NRCS office:

  • Greenfield field office – 413-772-0384, ext 3, serving Franklin County
  • Hadley field office – 413-585-1000, ext 3, serving Hampden and Hampshire counties
  • Holden field office – 508-829-4477, ext 3, serving Worcester County
  • Pittsfield field office – 413-443-1776, ext 3, serving Berkshire County
  • Westford field office – 978-692-1904, ext 3, serving Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk counties
  • Wareham field office – 508-295-5151, ext 2, serving Bristol, Norfolk and Plymouth counties
  • West Yarmouth field office – 508-771-6476, serving Cape Cod and the Islands

NRCS is a federal agency that works hand-in-hand with conservation districts and the people of Massachusetts to improve and protect soil, water and other natural resources.