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Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA)

Agricultural Management Assistance

The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) helps agricultural producers manage financial risk through diversification, marketing or natural resource conservation practices. NRCS administers the conservation provisions while Agricultural Marketing Service and Risk Management Agency implement the production diversification and marketing provisions.

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis and ranked in batches periodically throughout the year.


The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers for voluntarily addressing issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control by incorporating conservation into their farming operations.

AMA is available in 16 states where participation in the Federal Crop Insurance Program 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.

Producers in Rhode Island 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.

High tunnels are also included through the Rhode Island AMA Program.  To learn more about high tunnels, please visit Rhode Island’s High Tunnels web page.

Program Features

  • AMA provides financial assistance up to 75 percent of the cost of installing conservation practices.
  • 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.
  • Participants are subject to Adjusted Gross Income provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985.
  • AMA offers an additional higher cost-share for historically underserved producers.

Program Eligibility

  • 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.

Land Eligibility

  • Land 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.
  • Land on which risk may be mitigated through operation diversification or change in resource conservation practices.

More Important Program Information

The Natural Resources Conservation Service oversees the conservation provisions of AMA.  The Agricultural Marketing Service is responsible for an organic certification cost-share program, and the Risk Management Agency is responsible for mitigation of financial risk through an insurance cost-share program.

How to Apply

The best way to learn if AMA is a good fit for you is by contacting your local Rhode Island NRCS Field Office. If you choose to move forward, your local NRCS conservationist will guide you through applying for the program. 

In fiscal year 2021, AMA applications will be considered in at least one of two fund pools: AMA General and/or AMA RMA. (See fund pool specifics in the table below).  Applications are ranked, and if yours is funded, NRCS will offer you an AMA contract to receive financial assistance for the cost of implementing practices. Payment rates for conservation practices are reviewed and set each fiscal year. More information on this process is available on our How Do I Apply webpage; new-to-NRCS producers will find specific guidance for establishing farm records (Farm & Tract Number), initiating the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Compliance evaluation, updating Adjusted Gross Income, etc.

IMPORTANT NOTES regarding AMA Payment Limitations to participants:

  • Total annual payments made (directly or indirectly to a participant) shall not exceed $50,000 per participant.
  • The $50,000 payment limitation includes payments made to a participant from all USDA sources – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Risk Management Agency (RMA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
  • When signing an AMA Program Contract, a participant certifies that they will not receive payments more than the fiscal year limitation.
  • During contract life, the participant will be asked to self-certify annual income from AMA programs/sources, using Form NRCS-CPA-1263, to ensure the payment policies are followed.
irrigation pump

AMA General Fund Pool

Funding through AMA General can be used to construct or improve water management structures or irrigation structures, plant trees to form windbreaks or to improve water quality, mitigate financial risk through production or marketing diversification or the implementation of resource conservation practices including soil erosion control, integrated pest management, or the transition to organic farming.

Some commonly funded conservation practices include (but are not limited to): Water Wells and pumps, High Tunnel Systems, Microirrigation systems, or Critical Area Plantings.

Contracts funded through AMA General will address at least one of the following issues:

Concentrated Erosion
Degraded Plant Condition
Field Pesticide Loss
Field Sediment, Nutrient, and Pathogen loss
Source Water Depletion
Wind & Water Erosion

The following forms should be submitted to your local NRCS Office in Rhode Island, located at:

60 Quaker Lane, Suite 46
Warwick, RI 02886