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Conservation Practice Standards

National conservation practice standards are presented in a table, in alphabetical order by practice name. The table also contains links to:

  • Conservation practice information sheets
  • Conservation Practice Physical Effects (CPPE) worksheets
  • Conservation practice job sheets
  • Network effects diagrams

Updated or new National conservation practice standards are released with National Handbook of Conservation Practices (NHCP) notices.  The NHCP notices are maintained in eDirectives.

New National Conservation Practice Standards

Conservation Practice Standard 605 - Denitrifying Bioreactor Fact sheet (PDF, 2.09 MB)
Conservation Practice Standard 605 - Denitrifying Bioreactor Producer Highlights (PDF, 1.23 MB)

Conservation Practice Standards

The conservation practice standard contains information on why and where the practice is applied, and it sets forth the minimum quality criteria that must be met during the application of that practice in order for it to achieve its intended purpose(s).

State conservation practice standards are available through the Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG). If no state conservation practice standard is available in the FOTG, you should contact the appropriate State Office or your local USDA Service Center.

NOTICE - National Conservation Practice standards should not be used to plan, design or install a conservation practice. You must have the conservation practice standard developed by the state in which you are working to insure that you meet all state and local criteria, which may be more restrictive than national criteria.

Conservation Practice Information Sheet

The conservation practice information sheet contains a photograph of the installed practice, plus a definition or description of the practice, where it is commonly used and a brief description of the conservation effects of this practice when it is properly applied.

Conservation Practice Physical Effects

The conservation practice physical effects (CPPE) document provides guidance on how the application of that practice will affect the resources (soil, water, air, plants, animals and human) and the resource concerns associated with each of those resources. The worksheet that is on the server reflects the best estimate of the effects, either positive or negative, of that practice on the resource concerns.   A National CPPE tool for selecting conservation practices is available here.

Conservation Practice Job Sheets

The conservation practice job sheets provide detailed guidance on the application of the practice and contain worksheets that can be used to document the practice plan and design for a specific site.  National conservation practice job sheets are available for a limited number of practices.

Network Effects Diagrams

NRCS prepares network diagrams of featured practices, or related sets of practices which act together to achieve desired purposes. Network diagrams are flow charts of direct, indirect and cumulative effects resulting from installation of the practices. Completed network diagrams are an overview of expert consensus on the direct, indirect and cumulative effects of installing proposed practice installation. They show the potential positive and negative outcomes of practice installation, and are useful as a reference point for next steps, and as a communication tool with partners and the public.