NB_440_22_4 - NB 440-22-4 PGM – Gathering State Level Data Related to NRCS, TSPs, and Partners Providing Technical Assistance for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
NB 440-22-4 PGM – Gathering State Level Data Related to NRCS, TSPs, and Partners Providing Technical Assistance for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
National Bulletin: 440-22-4 Date: November 16, 2021
Subject: PGM – Gathering State Level Data Related to NRCS, TSPs, and Partners Providing Technical Assistance for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Action Required By:  December 15, 2021


Purpose.  Gathering data about technical assistance for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) using a survey created by the University of Wisconsin - Division of Extension, in coordination with the CRP Advisory Board.


Expiration Date.  September 30, 2022


Background.  State CRP program managers’ survey responses are needed to capture current workload performed by three different groups and to indicate States’ desire and need for further assistance implementing CRP. The survey will capture CRP technical assistance provided by NRCS staff, partners, and Technical Service Providers (TSPs). It will also indicate States’ needs for additional NRCS, Partner, or TSPs to accomplish technical assistance outlined in the current CRP MOA with FSA.


Explanation.  The CRP technical assistance workload has increased as outlined in the current MOA with FSA. The increase in technical assistance supports producers in the success of CRP practices to establish and address resource concerns over a 10-to-15-year contract. The increased workload can be addressed several ways. This survey documents the use of NRCS, partners, and TSP’s assistance with workload. The data captured in this survey will reflect how workload is currently addressed and the States’ desire to increase use of all three types of technical assistance. The results of this survey will provide information related to the need for additional technical assistance for NRCS to implement CRP. National headquarters NRCS and FSA will explore the potential need for additional agreements and how to make payments to TSPs. The information gathered in this survey is NOT correlated with, nor will it negatively affect, states annual CRP budget.

Explanation of the three groups of individuals who provide technical assistance for implementation of CRP will assist with the understanding how to answer the survey questions.

1. NRCS employees provide direct technical assistance to landowners and operators for CRP.

2. Partners who assist NRCS with technical assistance. Organizations develop an agreement with NRCS to provide technical assistance to implement CRP. Many partners who assist NRCS have access to NRCS resources including authentication into Conservation Desktop; therefore, write conservation plans, design practices, practice implementation and check out, and assist producers with practice management and maintenance. Partners may include State agencies, local agencies or district and NGO (nongovernmental organization) who may or may not be co-located in a field or State office.

3. TSPs provide services to agricultural producers such as farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners on behalf of the NRCS. TSPs are certified to help these producers plan, design, and implement conservation practices on their land. TSPs include but are not limited to individuals, private businesses, American Indian tribes, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies. TSPs expand the number and availability of conservation technical experts capable of offering customized, one-on-one conservation advice to agricultural producers. For the purposes of this survey, TSPs are documented in NRCS Registry (formerly TechReg).

State CRP Managers are requested to preview a copy of the survey that is attached to this bulletin, gather all the information needed to provide a complete response, then click on the link below to complete the survey for your state. Each State is to complete only one survey. The data entry should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Keep in mind, the answers you provide reflect the State as a whole and how the State is currently utilizing and would like additional assistance to address CRP workload.

Click this link to begin the survey: UWMadision CRP State Survey


Contact.  Questions about this survey can be directed to Kevin Erb, University of Wisconsin-Extension, at kevin.erb@wisc.edu or 920-391-4652; or to Katrina Thompson, NRCS National CRP Program Manager, at katrina.thompson@usda.gov.



Deputy Chief for Programs



Attachment - CRP Technical Assistance Survey

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