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Technical Service Providers

Technical Service Providers (TSPs) are individuals or businesses that have technical expertise in conservation planning and design for a variety of conservation activities. TSPs are hired by farmers, ranchers, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, or public agencies to provide these services on behalf of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).


What kind of work can a TSP do?

TSP's provide conservation technical services to NRCS clients in two broad areas: Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) development and Conservation Practice design, installation and checkout.  There are 14 separate CAPs and the conservation practices are grouped into several different categories, each with their own eligibility requirements (see table below). 


Practice Code

Conservation Activity Plan Name


General Description


Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan


A comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP) is a component conservation plan that includes a combination of structural practices, management activities, and/or land management practices for an animal feeding operation (AFO) associated with crop or livestock production.  The CNMP collectively ensures that the purposes of crop and livestock production and preservation of natural resources (especially air, soil and water quality as related to nutrient related impacts) are compatible.


Nutrient Management Plan


Nutrient management plans are documents of record establishing how nutrients will be managed for plant production while addressing identified resource concerns including the offsite movement of nutrients.


Forest Management Plan


A forest management plan is a site-specific plan developed for a client that addresses one or more resource concerns on nonindustrial private forestland where forestry-related conservation activities or practices will be planned and applied.


Feed Management Plan


A feed management plan is a farm-specific documented plan developed for a client who addresses manipulation and control of the quantity and quality of available nutrients, feedstuffs, and/or additives fed to livestock and poultry.


Grazing Management Plan


A grazing management plan is a site-specific plan developed with a client to address one or more resource concerns on land where grazing-related activities or practices will be applied.


Prescribed Burning Plan


A prescribed burning plan is a site-specific plan developed with a client that addresses one or more resource concerns on land through the use of fire.


Integrated Pest Management


An integrated pest management (IPM) plan is an ecosystem-based strategy that is a sustainable approach to manage pests using a combination of practices and IPM techniques that are characterized as chemical applications, biological control, and habitat manipulation, and modification of cultural practices and use of resistant varieties.


Irrigation Water Management Plan


An irrigation water management (IWM) plan is a site-specific plan developed to control the volume, frequency, and application rate of water for efficient irrigation.  Measurements of soil moisture, plant water use, and climate provide feedback to decide when to irrigate, and how much water to apply.


Agriculture Energy Management Plan


An agricultural energy management plan (AgEMP) is a baseline assessment for the agricultural enterprise of the energy consuming activities and components.  The plan will document a year of on-farm energy consumption, and the strategy by which the producer can prioritize on-farm opportunities to increase efficiency of their energy utilization.


Drainage Water Management Plan


A drainage water management (DWM) plan is a site-specific plan developed to control soil water table elevations and the timing of water discharges from subsurface or surface agricultural drainage systems, allowing the opportunity for crop use of the subsurface water and nutrients.


Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition


A “Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition” is a plan to help the farmer in transitioning from conventional farming practices to organic production by addressing the natural resource concerns on the operation.


Fish and Wildlife Habitat Plan


A fish and wildlife habitat plan is a site-specific plan developed with a client who is ready to plan and implement conservation activities or practices with consideration for fish and wildlife habitat and other biological resources.


Pollinator Habitat Plan


A pollinator habitat enhancement plan is a site-specific plan developed for a client that addresses the improvement, protection, restoration, enhancement, expansion of flower-rich habitat that supports native and/or managed pollinators.





Technical Criteria for Development of Conservation Activity Plans (CAP)

NRCS Technical Criteria for CAPs, establishes the minimum criteria the TSP must address in the development, implementation, formatting, and deliverables for either Planning or Practice CAPs.

Information on NRCS Technical Criteria for CAPs, are available in Section III of each state's Field Office Technical Guide.


To learn more about the NRCS TSP program, how to find a TSP, or how to become a TSP by visiting the national Technical Service Providers website.