Agroforestry intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems. Agroforestry takes advantage of the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock.
The NRCS characterizes forest land use as land with at least 10 percent cover by trees that will be at least 13 feet (4 meters) tall at maturity. The land also shows evidence of natural tree regeneration.
See related pages:
National Forestry Handbook
The National Forestry Handbook (NFH) provides informational material to assist NRCS personnel in the planning and application of forestry and agroforestry practices on nonfederal forestland throughout the United States.
National Forestry Manual
The National Forestry Manual (NFM) describes forest policy within the Natural Resources Conservation Service and complements the General Manual.
National Agroforestry Center (NAC)
Partnership of the USDA Forest Service, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Works to accelerate the development and application of agroforestry technologies to achieve more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable land-use systems.
Environmental Protection Agency
Primarily a regulatory agency responsible for enforcing the environmental laws of the United States. Contains a search engine particularly useful for retrieving data about regulations pertaining to forestry.
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's mission is to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. This site provides a search engine relating forestry to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's mission.
USDA Forest Service
Federal agency responsible for managing all national forests in the United States. As set forth in the law, the mission of the Forest Service is to achieve quality land management under the sustainable multiple-use management concept to meet the diverse needs of the people.
How to Get Assistance
Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?
Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.
To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. 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. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:
- To 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.
- To meet other eligibility certifications.
Once complete, we’ll work with 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 according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide 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 specified 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.