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The policy of the Natural Resources Conservation Service is that economics is an essential consideration in all agency decision making. Economic principles must be applied in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of agency policies and program activities to provide the most cost effective assistance to customers, cooperators, and partners for the sustained use of natural resources.

  • Economic principles and techniques, including cost effectiveness, economic feasibility, and benefit-cost analysis will be applied to all program formulation, management, and evaluation activities of the agency.
  • Economic effects of alternative actions should be provided to NRCS customers in order for them to make informed resource conservation decisions. NRCS policy permits cost effectiveness analysis, partial budgeting, profitability analysis, and other appropriate analyses when requested by the client. NRCS policy prohibits field offices from obtaining financial information beyond that volunteered by the client.
  • For nationwide consistency in the application of economics in all NRCS activities, the National Resource Economics Handbooks and other directives will be used as the guidance for the integration of economics into conservation planning, program implementation, and program evaluation at the field, state, regional and national offices of the agency.
  • Economic principles and techniques shall be used at all levels of the agency in order to satisfy the goal of maximizing environmental benefits per dollar expended as legislated for selected U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs.

For more information about NRCS Economics, visit the national NRCS Economics web page.


Economics Materials and Links

  Va Agricultural Statistics - contains Virginia and Census of Agriculture data
  NHQ Resource Economics & Social Science Division - contains a variety of socio-economic data and historical information on conservation, and links to other related sites
  Wheldon Cooper Center for Public Service - contains a large variety of data sets from public agencies including Census data, employment statistics, etc.
  National Agricultural Library - provides access to the National Agricultural Library's on-line resources

Virginia Cooperative Extension Service: - contains a wealth of information related to farming including the agricultural business, finance, budgeting and marketing as well as the environment and natural resources