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 • Program Workflow with Programs Business Tools • Planning in Toolkit • Managing Applications in ProTracts • Determining Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT) Performance Points
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 contract. 3
Conservation Stewardship Plan Basis for the plan: Conservation Performance Summary Report form the CMT. Field Verification 4
Conservation Stewardship Plan Conservation Stewardship Plan - Individual activities Contract - Conservation Performance Payment Points by land use and supplemental payment only 5
Conservation Stewardship Plan The Conservation Stewardship Plan will be completed after on-site field verification for approved applications, and Before contract obligation 6
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 7
Enhancements Planned individually (80 new activity codes) Adjust acres to the planned amount accepted by the applicant Customized narratives if needed Reference the job sheet 8
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) 9
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 (CTA) Do not duplicate the information in the operator’s farm plan 10
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 Report 11
Conservation Stewardship Plan Signatures Applicant- Encouraged Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) designated conservationist- required (to certify the technical adequacy of the plan conservation treatment) 12
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 13
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 14
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 15
Conservation Stewardship Plan No upload to Protracts One Conservation Stewardship Plan supports all stewardship contracts 16
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. 17
ProTracts Toolkit CMT
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 ready. • 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 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 association • Eligibility matrix will be posted on ProTracts Home Page soon
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 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 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 • 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 • 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 • Land ownership and lease information completed • Land uses selected on Legal Description tab • Fund code selected • Application status is 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 • Customer, contract number, address, funding pool name and resource concerns.
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 • 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 tie-breaker
CMT Data in ProTracts • Data will be synched up with CMT submit
Managing the Signup • Application Maintenance – Ranking searches for Ranked or Unranked Applications
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 • 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 ProTracts Rules for setting applications to pre-approved: • 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 • Linked data from CMT to generate payment rates for pre-approved applications
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 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 • 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 • Conventional planning in Toolkit
CSP and Toolkit • A new CSP Toolkit folder will be required for the applicants • 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 Toolkit National narratives provided
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 • 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