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Plan Questionnaire 'Whole Farm With Livestock'

'Whole Farm Plan Questionnaire'

For an NRCS customer with livestock and several types of agricultural land which will be included in the conservation plan.

Customer Name:                                                Customer Telephone:

Property or Farm Name:                                    Mail Address:

Land Location -    County:                                   Town:

Customer email:


General Farm Information Questions:

Please provide a short description of the farm enterprise.


If possible, please provide some history regarding past ownership of this farm or of any of the tracts you manage.


What other enterprises are within this farm operation (maple sugar production, youngstock replacements, timber production, etc)?


What are the objectives or goals for the farm enterprise?


If applicable, list other decision makers for the land and their involvement. (Include contact information.)


Are you currently enrolled in any conservation programs, including easement programs? If yes, what programs?

Are there any conservation practices which have been installed on your farm recently? If yes, which?


Are there USDA Programs or conservation practices that you have heard about and/or are interested in? If yes, please elaborate.


Are there existing resource concerns on your farm that you are aware of? (Examples: soil erosion, streambank erosion, water quality, invasive plants, poor habitat, etc. If yes, what are they and which of these concerns do you plan to address?


Are there any existing plans to expand the herd size and/or land base? If yes, what are the plans?


Is your operation certified organic for land or livestock, or are you considering transition to organic production?


Are wells or springs, either active or abandoned, located on or near the farm? If yes, please elaborate.


Do any wells or springs on or near the farm have documented water quality problems? If yes, please elaborate.


Are you aware of any archeological or historic sites on or near your property? If yes, what sites and where are they located?


Do you know of any threatened, endangered or rare plant or animal species on or near your farm? If yes, what species and where are they located?


Have your fields been subsurface drained? If yes, where has the drainage occurred and to what extent?


Does your property have utilities passing through it? If yes, what utilities and where are they located? 


Farmstead - Animal Waste Management Questions:

Please provide information regarding types and numbers of livestock, barn/housing, and bedding use below:


Animal Description               (Document Breed) Average Weight Number Herd Production (lbs/yr/cow) Milking System Type Housing Type or Barn # Bedding Type Bedding Amount Used Where Is Manure Stored?
Milking Cows                
Dry Cows                
Bred Heifers                


Describe total gallons of washwater used per day:

        Parlor:                        Milkhouse:                        Holding Area:                        Other:         



Describe the current waste management system: were any facilities installed with NRCS assistance? If yes, which and when?


Describe the current and planned length of storage available in the existing system:


Describe anticipated changes or desired improvements to the waste storage / management system:


How is parlor/milkhouse washwater disposed of ? Locate the outlet pipe on a map, if applicable. 


Do you  have upright or bunker silos located on your farm?  If yes, how many of each type do you have and what happens to the silage leachate or other runoff?  


Describe how roof runoff or other clean runoff water is managed at the farmstead.


Describe existing waste handling equipment (manure spreaders, pumping equipment, etc): Describe any planned changes.


Describe existing barnyards/animal concentration areas and associated runoff issues. Describe any planned changes.



Have you ever had complaints from neighbors or other problems associated with farm related odors? If yes, please explain.


Are calf-rearing areas isolated from streams, ditches, wells or other water sources? Provide location information:


How do you dispose of dead animals / carcasses?


Do you use field waste stacking areas? (If yes, when and where are they?)


Are stored or concentrated animal wastes or waste runoff entering streams, ditches or other water bodies?


Do you use copper sulfate hoof treatment (or other)? If yes, how do you dispose of the copper sulfate wash?


Cropland (Annual Crops and Hayland) Questions:

How many acres are typically planted to (or needed) in the following crops and what are the average typical yields for these crops?:

Corn (Silage)      Corn (Grain)      Hay/Legume (In crop rotations)      Hay/Legume (Permanent)      Other


Describe the typical cropping system you use including continuous annual crops, crop rotations and permanent hay/legume fields.  Indicate the average acres typically in each.



How many hay cuttings are typical?

What tillage operations / implements are used on cropland?


Do any of your fields typically not receive manure?  If yes, which types of fields and how many acres are typically in this category?


Do the average crop yields meet your goals? If no, please explain.


Do you suspect any fields may have a compaction problem (if yes, explain why, and which fields)?


Are you aware of any erosion problems on any fields, including fields with gullies or small channels that form annually? If yes, how widespread is the problem?


Do you irrigate? If yes, what types of fields receive irrigation, how many acres are included and what are the water source(s)?


Are you following an approved nutrient management plan (meeting the NRCS standard)?

Do you use soil testing to determine nutrient application rates? If yes, how often do you typically take soil samples? What laboratory do you use?


Do you have manure samples taken to determine nutrient content? If yes, how often?

Is manure applied in split applications on cropland? If yes, when?

What is the manure application rate on cropland (per acre/year)? 

How soon is manure incorporated on cropland after spreading?

What is the manure application rate on hayland (per acre/year)? 

Is manure applied in split applications on hayland? If yes, when?

Do you use off-farm soil amendments (Sludge, Septage, Other)?  If yes, are you applying according to an approved current permit / plan from DEC?

What commercial fertilizer(s) do you typically use:

    Formulation:                    Pounds purchased annually:





Where do you store commercial fertilizers? 


Do you apply pesticides?  If yes, list the typical pesticides used:




If pesticides are custom applied, who is the custom applicator?


Have you ever had complaints from neighbors or other problems associated with chemical drift?  If yes, please explain:



Do you maintain grassed buffers between cropland and streams/ditches? If yes, how wide?



Do you maintain forested buffers between cropland and streams/ditches? If yes, how wide?



What management is currently used on existing buffers?



Do you have any fields which typically flood or pond water?  If yes where are the fields and how widespread is the problem?



Pasture Questions:

Do you pasture any livestock? If yes, please describe the types and numbers of livestock pastured:

Livestock type pastured:                        Number pastured:                 Typical dates pastured:


How many hours/day are milkers in the barn during grazing season?

How many hours/day are other livestock in the barn during grazing season?

Which pasture management type best describes your pasture system (circle those that apply):

        Prescribed/Intensive Grazing

        Randomly Rotated (within a few large pastures)

        Continuous Stocking

        Grazed Forest or Wetland

Please provide more information to describe grazing:




Describe the current livestock water system and anticipated need for improvements (include other potential sources of water):




Describe the existing fencing system, and anticipated need for improvements:




Do you use temporary fencing for any of your pasture? If yes, where or under what conditions is it used?


Forest Questions:

Do you follow a current Forest Management Plan which applies to all of your forested areas? If yes, can we get a copy?

Are you aware of current resource problems within your forested areas? If yes, please explain.


Describe your forest tree species composition:


Describe the expectations and goals you have for your forest areas:


Wildlife Questions:

Do you have an existing wildlife management plan?

Do you have any goals or objectives for managing fish, wildlife or natural areas on your land? If yes, what are your objectives, and where would you propose to do management?


Are your wildlife management objectives, currently being met?

Do you have any unused or idle fields, old orchards, low productivity forest stands, etc. on your land? If yes, what management takes place on these areas (time and schedule of cuttings, release or pruning, etc.)?


Do you know or any rare natural communities or unique or important habitats on or near your land? (Examples: clayplain forest, vernal pools or seeps, mast stands, cliffs or ledges, large cavity trees, softwood stands, thickets.)



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Last Modified: June 22, 2010