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Washington's Conservation Activity Plans (CAPs)

The Food Conservation and Energy Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) provides authority to use Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) financial assistance for payment of practices and conservation activities involving the development of plans appropriate for the eligible land of a program participant. The Act specifically authorizes EQIP to be used for comprehensive nutrient management plans and other plans that further the purposes of the program. The conservation practice associated with plan development under this authority is known as a Conservation Activity Plan (CAP).

The Farm Bill statute allows EQIP payment up to 75 percent of the estimated incurred cost of practice implementation, which for a CAP practice will be the development of a conservation plan meeting agency standards and requirements, and up to 90 percent of the estimated incurred cost for qualifying historically underserved producers.

EQIP payments are made directly to program participants for development of a CAP by a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP).

  • Only certified TSPs may be used to provide services for development of Conservation Activity Plans. 
  • Under no circumstance shall an NRCS employee develop an EQIP funded Conservation Activity Plan. 

To view the CAP practice payment schedule, visit the EQIP overview page.

Application and Eligibility Information

Applicants must meet eligibility for Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) certification and be in compliance with the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985 as amended.

To apply, you need to sign form NRCS-CPA-1200, Conservation Program Application. Forms are available at your local USDA NRCS office. Applications are accepted on a continual basis, with a signup cutoff set each year. Applications received after the cutoff are deferred until the next round of funding.

Technical Service Provider (TSP)

All Conservation Activity Plans are developed by a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP) to help agricultural producers and forest owners address specific natural resource concerns on their land.

What is a TSP and why do I need one?
TSP’s are individuals, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, or public agencies outside of USDA that can help producers apply conservation practices on the land.

For additional CAP information, contact your local NRCS Field Office for assistance.