Get Started with NRCS
Courtesy of the Iowa NRCS

Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?

Natural Resources Conservation Service, or NRCS, offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. To get started, it is recommended you stop by your local NRCS field office. Read more...

We’ll discuss your vision for your land.

NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes:
resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.

We’ll walk you through the application process for financial assistance.

We will work with you o fill out an AD 1026, which ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed. It also ensures that identified wetland areas are protected.  Additionally we will work with you to meet other eligibility certifications.

Once complete, we’ll help you on the application, or CPA 1200.

Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking
periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn
in your application in time.

As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible.

To do this, you’ll need to bring:

  • An official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID)
  • A property deed or lease agreement to show you have control of the property; and
  • A farm tract number.

If you don’t have a farm tract number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm tract number if you’re interested in financial assistance.

NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them
They will be ranked according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work provided and the needs of applicants.

If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.

Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specific amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.