Thinking About Growing Organic? You Need a Conservation Activity Plan.
CFSA has a technical service provider who can do your Conservation Activity Plan.
Transitioning to certified organic? CAPs are your farm’s ticket to address site-specific natural resources needs with financial assistance from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). A CAP 138 also provides the nuts-and-bolts of your Organic Farm Plan for Organic Certification.
After completion of a CAP, producers can apply for cost-share assistance through the NRCS’s EQIP program to implement conservation practices identified in the plan (check to see if you are eligible for an NRCS cost-share).
- Take advantage of federal funding for conservation projects on your farm through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program-Organic Initiative (EQIP-OI).
- Address Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) resource concerns for soil erosion and quality, water quality, and plant/animal health on your farm by developing a whole-farm stewardship plan.
- Identify and provide detail for specific conservation practices, such as nutrient management, cover cropping, rotations, and pollinator habitat that are appropriate to your farm.
- Write the nuts-and-bolts of your Organic System Plan (OSP) as defined in the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Standards.
- A discussion of the farmer’s objectives for their farm.
- A whole-farm resource assessment and identification of resource concerns.
- Selection of best conservation practice options for addressing resource concerns.
- Analysis of impacts of potential conservation practices on farm soil, water, and air quality.
TYPES OF CAPs
CAP 138 – Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition
Download a Sample CAP 138
A Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition documents decisions by producers/growers who commit to implementing a whole-farm plan and associated conservation practices that assist in the transition from a conventional to an organic production system.
- Soils and farm maps
- Farm plan for the transition period
The plan addresses and makes recommendations for each of the component sections of the whole farm plan required for organic certification by the National Organic Program (NOP). The CAP 138 details soil nutrient management, soil health, livestock welfare, farm crop rotations, buffer requirements, pest management, tillage (weed) management and more. It provides guidance for good soil and water quality management on the farm.
Relevant practices may include:
- Establishment of soil-building rotations.
- Establishment of field borders and buffers.
- Beneficial and wildlife habitat.
- Organic nutrient management and cover cropping.
CAP 104 – Nutrient Management Plan
A nutrient management plan is a guidance document for management of nutrients for plant production. It addresses the environmental concerns related to the off-site movement of potential pollutants, such as sediment, manure, nitrogen, and phosphorus from farm fields.
- Soils maps and appropriate soil descriptions.
- Resource assessment results, such as wind and water erosion, runoff, water availability, soil fertility, pasture (forage) quality, etc…
- Complete hard and soft copies of the plan, which documents recommended conservation practices.
- Planned amounts of nutrient applications to fields, management of fields where recommended practices will be applied, and the timing of applications in both the short- and long-term.
NEW PROGRAM for South Carolina Farmers Only
As an extension of our Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) consulting, CFSA staff are available to provide on-farm consulting to farmers about opportunities to take advantage of cost-share assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Organic Initiative. Learn more
How to Apply for CFSA CAP Consulting
1. You must be a current CFSA member. Not a member? Join today!
2. Apply to CFSA by filling out the CAP Consulting Service Application.
CAPs must be completed in consultation with a Technical Service Provider. CFSA currently has two on-staff.
This is a rolling application addressed in the order they are received.
3. Apply to NRCS for CAP 104 or 138, naming CFSA as the Technical Service Provider.
Upon plan completion, CFSA will be reimbursed for our services by NRCS and CFSA will provide a cash rebate to you.
Incentives for CAP Planning
CAPs are paid for with funding provided by NRCS. CAP payments from NRCS are higher for “historically underserved (HU) farmers,” which includes beginning farmers, limited resource farmers, and socially disadvantaged producers.
Payments for CAPs are made directly to CFSA. Because CFSA has a paid certified Technical Service Providers on-staff, CFSA is able to provide a cash rebate to producers who contract with CFSA to do a CAP plan. The value of the rebate varies, depending on the CAP, the producer’s experience and background and any associated lab fees. CAP cash rebates from CFSA to producers are shown in the table below. The rebate is normally distributed within 30 days of receipt of payment from NRCS to CFSA.
|CAP PLAN||NORMAL REBATE TO FARMER***||HU* REBATE TO FARMER***|
|CAP 104 – Nutrient Management, less than 100 acres||$600||$900|
|CAP 104 – Nutrient Management, 100 acres or more||$600||$900|
|CAP 138 – Organic Transition||$550||$875|
*Historically under-served populations, as defined by the NRCS
***minus associated lab fees.
Farm Services Coordinator