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Conservation Stewardship and Business Tools ( Conservation Measurement Tool/ Toolkit/ Program Contracts System ). August 2009. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Discussion Topics. Conservation Stewardship Plan Toolkit Setup Program Contracts System (ProTracts) Setup

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Conservation Stewardship and Business Tools(Conservation Measurement Tool/ Toolkit/Program Contracts System)

August 2009

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer

discussion topics
Discussion Topics
  • Conservation Stewardship Plan
  • Toolkit Setup
  • Program Contracts System (ProTracts) Setup
  • Program Workflow with Programs Business Tools
    • Planning in Toolkit
    • Managing Applications in ProTracts
      • Determining Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT)

Performance Points

conservation stewardship plan
Conservation Stewardship Plan

The Conservation Stewardship Plan contains:

A record of the participant’s decisions

that describe the schedule of additional

conservation activities to be installed and

adopted to achieve additional

conservation performance improvement

under the conservation stewardship



conservation stewardship plan1
Conservation Stewardship Plan

Basis for the plan:

Conservation Performance Summary Report

form the CMT.

Field Verification


conservation stewardship plan2
Conservation Stewardship Plan

Conservation Stewardship Plan - Individual


Contract - Conservation Performance

Payment Points by land use and

supplemental payment only


conservation stewardship plan3
Conservation Stewardship Plan

The Conservation Stewardship Plan will be

completed after on-site field verification for

approved applications, and

Before contract obligation


conservation stewardship plan4
Conservation Stewardship Plan

Will contain:

New Enhancements

New practices offered through Conservation Stewardship

Program (CSP) - to meet additional stewardship thresholds

Agreed to practices not offered through CSP



Planned individually (80 new activity codes)

Adjust acres to the planned amount

accepted by the applicant

Customized narratives if needed

Reference the job sheet


conservation practices to meet additional stewardship thresholds
Conservation Practices To Meet Additional Stewardship Thresholds

Available for the explicit purpose of encouraging

producers to meet additional stewardship thresholds.

Originally selected with the applicant in the office.

Certified adequate to meet stewardship threshold

requirements after field verification

Scheduled any year of the contract

Report to Progress Reporting System (PRS)


other practices needed
Other Practices Needed

Practices “agreed to” by the applicant not offered

through CSP:

Are documented in the Conservation

Stewardship Plan

Will use Code - Progress Reporting System


Do not duplicate the information in the

operator’s farm plan


conservation stewardship plan5
Conservation Stewardship Plan

By signing Form NRCS-CPA-1202 - Appendix

Conservation Stewardship Plan

Conservation Stewardship Contract

Conservation performance levels identified

on the Conservation Performance Summary



conservation stewardship plan6
Conservation Stewardship Plan


Applicant- Encouraged

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

designated conservationist- required

(to certify the technical adequacy of the plan conservation treatment)


operation adjustments
Operation Adjustments

Annual contract reviews need to be done early enough in the year to allow for any needed substitutions before payments and potential non compliance.

Enhancements may be replaced with similar enhancements as long as the conservation performance estimated by CMT is equal to or better than the conservation performance at enrollment.

Re-run the CMT


operation adjustments1
Operation Adjustments

Conservation Performance Summary Report accepted by the applicant

Update Conservation Stewardship Plan

An enhancement replacement that results in a decline below the conservation performance level will not be allowed.

Follow policy in Title 440-Conservation Programs Manual (CPM)– Part 512, Section 512.55


supporting information maintained with the participant s plan
Supporting Information Maintained With The Participant’s Plan

Conservation Performance Summary Report from CMT (Inventory resource, benchmark data, new activities)

Plan map

Documentation for transition to organic farming

On-farm research and demos or pilot project proposal

State supplemental documents

Resource Conserving Crop Rotation (RCCR) rotation information (job sheet)

Other documentation listed on Title 440 – CPM, Part 512,

Section 512.43


conservation stewardship plan7
Conservation Stewardship Plan

No upload to Protracts

One Conservation Stewardship Plan supports all stewardship contracts


operation and maintenance
Operation and Maintenance

The participant will operate and maintain:

Existing activities on the operation to at least

meet the level of conservation performance

identify at the time of application on the

Conservation Performance Summary Report

for the contract period.

Additional conservation activities installed

and adopted over the term of the contract.






toolkit set up
Toolkit Set Up
  • Toolkit permissions must be granted to any new users.
  • Suggestion: Turn off prior year security enhancements during the signup prior to doing Refresh Domain Data to load the new enhancements for 2009 from conservation practice standards (CPS)
    • This will have no impact to existing contracts.
    • We will let you know when the enhancements are


  • Optional: Add CSP nonindustrial private forest land (NIPF) to local land uses.
  • No cost list needed for Toolkit.
Application and Appendix from ProTracts

See Title 440, Part 512, Section

512.20 for policy on applications.

Contract numbers will be “81”

determine applicant and land eligibility
Determine Applicant and LandEligibility
  • Participants will need to meet conservation

adjusted gross income (AGI) ($1 mil), have

Form AD-1026 on file, meet highly erodible land/

wetland conservation

(HEL/WC), and have a land


  • Eligibility matrix will be posted

on ProTracts Home Page soon

determine applicant and land eligibility1
Determine Applicant and LandEligibility
  • Applicants should have farm records on file with

the Farm Service Agency (FSA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010.

  • Non-traditional applicants may need to be added to

Service Center Information Management System (SCIMS)

  • FSA expects to do SCIMS and Farm Records Rollover

about September 19

  • Obligations will occur in FY 2010 and will use FY 2010

eligibility after FSA rollover

determine applicant and land eligibility2
Determine Applicant and Land Eligibility
  • Participants with active CSP 2002 contracts are

not eligible to participate in CSP 2008 on the

same land units.

    • Look at other ProTracts programs and their responses on the Form NRCS-CPA-1200 question 8
due diligence on other program participation
Due Diligence on Other Program Participation

CPM, Part 508, Section 508.94 - Prohibited Payments

A. Prohibited Activities

B. Preventing Duplicate Payments

(1) A program applicant or participant may not schedule the installation of new enhancements or practices through CSP that are earning financial assistance payments through any other U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conservation program on the same land at the same time. Program applicants will complete the Conservation Performance Summary Report Duplicate Payments Addendum during the application process.

farms operated
Farms Operated
  • New button that will determine if the participant is associated with farms in FSA farm records.
  • At least one farm must be returned to set an application to pre-approved and select the application for funding.
land description
Land Description
  • Will select one of the land uses that will be used in Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT)
  • Data must be completed before accessing CMT
  • Before CMT is available please enter estimated acres. CMT will over-write this data
required data for linkage to cmt
Required Data for Linkage to CMT
  • Land ownership and lease information completed
  • Land uses selected on Legal Description tab
  • Fund code selected
  • Application status is eligible
application status eligible
Application Status = Eligible
  • See Title 440 – CPM, Part 512, Section 512.26 and

Section 512.22(c)

  • This is not related to FSA eligibility criteria and is set in Manage Applications
  • Do not have to meet “other” criteria to access CMT which include:
    • Stewardship Threshold
    • Control of Land
    • Farm Operator
protracts data to cmt
ProTracts Data to CMT
  • Customer, contract number, address, funding pool

name and resource concerns.

using cmt
Using CMT
  • Last data saved wins.
  • Data can be saved incrementally.
  • Be aware of concurrency issues so only one person running CMT per application at one time.
  • Changing status to pre-approved locks the data and disables link to CMT.
  • Changing status back to eligible requires that CMT be accessed again and data must be submitted back to ProTracts.
cmt to protracts data share
CMT to ProTracts Data Share
  • Submit will transfer the following to ProTracts:
    • Total eligible acres
    • Total performance points
    • Acres by land use
    • Performance points per land use
    • RCCR acres and start date
    • Data for calculation in ProTracts of the


cmt data in protracts
CMT Data in ProTracts
  • Data will be synched up with CMT submit
managing the signup
Managing the Signup
  • Application Maintenance – Ranking searches for Ranked or Unranked Applications
managing the signup1
Managing the Signup
  • Changing application status through selection of funding
tie breaker
  • Cropland acre/total operation acres x cropland conservation performance payment points

+ pastureland acres/total operation acres x pastureland conservation performance payment points

+ rangeland acres/ total operation acres x rangeland conservation performance payment points

= tie-breaker.

duplications revisited
Duplications Revisited
  • The following warning message will appear when setting applications to pre-approved.
  • Applicants with separate operations (Agricultural Lands and/or NIPF) may have separate applications; however, the same acres cannot be duplicated.
  • Warning! This applicant has the following active CSP contracts <contract number>. Land enrolled in the CSP is ineligible for enrollment in the CSP. Verification that this application is on different land units is required prior to setting this application to pre-approved.
tentative selection for funding
Tentative Selection for Funding

ProTracts Rules for setting applications to


  • CMT scores present for all applicable land uses
  • Livestock, crop, and organic question answered
  • Minimum one farm associated with participants
  • Tie-breaker present
  • Warning regarding Conservation Security Program participation
application costs and payment rates
Application Costs and Payment Rates
  • Linked data from CMT to generate payment rates for

pre-approved applications

payment rates
Payment Rates
  • Cost per point will be added to ProTracts after the “Payment Discovery Period”
  • Further information will be provided on next steps once the rate is available
application costs and payment rates1
Application Costs and Payment Rates
  • Calculate button will allow

auto-generation of the

contract items and

payment rates for printing

on Form NRCS-CPA-1155

on site field verification
On-Site Field Verification
  • Verification in the field.
  • Enter date visit was completed.
  • Date will be required to approve an application

and will be stored in contract history.

planning enhancements in toolkit
Planning Enhancements in Toolkit
  • Conventional planning in Toolkit
csp and toolkit
CSP and Toolkit
  • A new CSP Toolkit folder will be required for the


  • Land units should NOT be merged
  • One Stewardship plan should support all

Stewardship contracts (ag operation and NIPF)

  • Practices needed to meet stewardship threshold

requirements and  not offered through CSP will be

planned in the Stewardship Plan as CTA

planning enhancements in toolkit1
Planning Enhancements in Toolkit

National narratives provided

plan maps
Plan Maps
  • Basic plan maps with treatment unit boundaries

and attribute labels

    • Include program in the local land use data field i.e., CSP - NIPF
toolkit plan
Toolkit Plan
  • Plan will be generated with details on enhancements that are available on the CMT Conservation Performance Summary Report
  • Plan is signed by the designated conservationist with voluntary participant signature
  • The plan is incorporated by reference in the CSP appendix
approving applications
Approving Applications
  • Participant eligibility is validated
  • At least one farm present
  • At least one item in contract
  • Participant payment limitations are validated
  • Field verification is completed
protracts contracting
ProTracts Contracting
  • Generate Form NRCS-CPA-1155
protracts contracting1
ProTracts Contracting
  • See Title 440 CPM, Part 512, Section 512.42 for steps in approving and signing contract documents.
  • Participant will sign Form NRCS-CPA-1202 ,

Form NRCS-CPA-1155, and the appendix.

  • CSP obligations will go through standard financial management obligation second level review in Fund Manager.
payment limitations enforced in protracts
Payment Limitations Enforced in ProTracts

Title 440 - CPM – Part 508 - Section 508.95 - Payment Limitations

  • Person or Legal Entity Limitations
  • Regardless of the number of contracts entered into under

the program, a person or legal entity may not receive, directly or indirectly, payments that, in the aggregate, exceed:

(i) $40,000 during any fiscal year for all conservation stewardship contracts entered into, and

  • $200,000 for all conservation stewardship contracts

entered into during any five-year period

(2) The above limitations exclude funding arrangements with federally recognized Indian tribes or Alaska Native corporations as described in Title 440, CPM, Part 508, Section 508.95(C).

obligating contracts
Obligating Contracts

Will store history of the application from the ProTracts and CMT evaluation

annual reminder letters
Annual Reminder Letters
  • Send annual practice reminder letters at the

beginning of the calendar year.

contract reviews
Contract Reviews
  • Title 440, CPM, Part 508, Section

508.103 - Contract Reviews

  • Follow guidance in Title 440 - CPM, Part 512, Section 512.55. Annual reviews will be completed early enough in the year to allow for completion of any necessary corrective actions prior to issuance of the annual payment.
annual payments
Annual Payments

Title 440 – CPM , Part 508, Section 508.90 - Payment


  • Annual Payment
  • Supplemental Payment

Section 508.93 - Timing of Payments

  • (1) The NRCS will make annual and supplemental

payments as soon as practicable after October 1 of each

year for activities carried out in the previous year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.