NRCS Course Prerequisites and Requirements

The following outline the prerequisites for specific NRCS Core Courses. These will be updated as applicable to keep you informed.

Conservation Planning, Part 2 & 3

Description: This course designed to get the student familiar with the nine-step planning process and the basics of conservation planning as it is practiced by conservation districts and NRCS. The course consists of the AgLearn prerequisites, a five day long in-class instruction session, field visits, and submittal of a conservation plan for review and approval. Each course attendee will be paired with a mentor to assist with getting the plan completed in the time allotted, and of sufficient quality to be certified. The submitted plans will be reviewed by a master planner for quality and completeness.


Complete the following three courses in Aglearn:

1. Conservation Planning, Part 1 (NRCS-NEDC-000019) (est. 8 hours)

2. Introduction to the Field Office Technical Guide (NRCS-NEDC-000149) (est. 4 hours)

3. Cultural Resources Training Series, Part 1 (NRCS-NEDC-000141) (est. 4 hours)

Complete the following environmental compliance training modules on the Science and Technology Training Library:

4. Environmental Evaluation Webinar Series No 1-11 (est. 14 hours):

      • No. 1: Primer on NRCS Environmental compliance (0:50 hours)

      • No. 2: Documenting the Environmental Evaluation on the NRCS-CPA-52, “Environmental Evaluation Worksheet” (1:45 hours)

      • No. 3: Planning for Floodplain and Riparian Area Special Environmental Concerns (1:00 hours)

      • No. 4: Planning for Wetlands and Clean Water Act Special Environmental Concerns (1:05 hours)

      • No. 5: Planning for Prime and Unique Farmland and Invasive Species Special Environmental Concern (0:50 hours)

      • No. 6: Planning for Endangered Species/Migratory Birds/Bald and Golden Eagles Special Environmental Concern (1:42 hours)

      • No. 7: Planning for Natural Areas, Scenic Beauty, and Wild and Scenic Rivers Special Environmental Concern (1:13 hours)

      • No. 8: Planning for Clean Air and Environmental Justice Special Environmental Concern (1:18 hours)

      • No. 9: Planning for Essential Fish Habitat, Coastal Zones, and Coral Reef Special Environmental Concerns (1:13 hours)

      • No. 10: Planning for Cultural Resources Special Environmental Concerns and Making NEPA Finding (1:30 hours)

      • No. 11: Appropriate Use of Categorical Exclusions (0:50 hours)

Complete via -on-the-job training:

5. Familiarization with the assessment tools specific to the employee’s location (eFOTG Section III)

6. Training on using planning criteria to identify resource concerns (e.g., “Planning Criteria to Identify Resource Concerns” course (State, national, AgLearn, or OJT))

7. “Using Basic Soil Survey Information in Conservation Planning” (State, national, AgLearn, or OJT)

Directions for viewing webinars and receiving credit:

To receive a training certificate for viewing the archived webinars, you must successfully complete the following steps:

    • Complete the registration form with your current information and check the box indicating that you want to receive continuing education credit or a training certificate;

    • View the archived webinar.If you do not view the entire webinar including questions and answers,you will not be able to complete the quiz and receive a training certificate. Employees should schedule adequate time to view the webinar in its entirety. Take and pass the short quiz at the end of the webinar;

    • Complete the continuing education form and certify that you have participated or viewed the webinar in its entirety.

Nutrient Management Considerations in Conservation Planning (NMP)

(Nutrient Management Track, Part 2)

Course Description: Nutrient and pest management is becoming increasingly important in Conservation Planning. To adequately address nutrient management considerations, planners must become more familiar with the basic scientific processes important to nutrient management, as well as important ecological interactions and site conditions as they relate to offsite environmental concerns. With this increased awareness, planners will be more able to incorporate important environmental considerations into nutrient management planning, especially in environmentally sensitive areas. In addition, this session will review the appropriate NRCS standards and documentation requirements as well as RMS planning considerations.

This training provides the participant with a basic understanding of the science of nutrient management, as well as environmental concerns associated with the use of nutrients management measures, including environmental risk, and the processes that affect the movement of nutrients. In addition, this session will review the appropriate NRCS standards and documentation requirements. You might know this course as "Nutrient Management Planner (NMP)".

Upon completion of this training participants will be able to:

    • Properly utilize the NRCS Nutrient Management Practice Standard (590) including understanding what is the appropriate documentation to complete the 590 practice

    • Select and use the appropriate NRCS evaluation tools

    • Understand agronomic rates and how to properly select and utilize Land Grant University (LGU) fertilizer recommendations and guides

    • Identify water quality resource concerns and plan mitigation strategies related to land application of all nutrient sources (i.e., fertilizers and manures)

    • Attend CNMP training

Required Prerequisites:

    • NRCS Conservation Planning Course, Part 1 (Modules 1-5, AgLearn)

    • NRCS Conservation Planning Course, Part 2 (Modules 6-8, Classroom & Plan)

    • Nutrient Management Track, Part 1 (AgLearn, NEDC #00008)

    • Intro to Water Quality (AgLearn, NEDC #000033)

    • Air Quality, Climate Change and Energy (AgLearn, NEDC #000253)

Additional prerequisite criteria considerations:

    • Read and review of the nutrient transport risk assessment tools including, Water Quality Indicator Tools (WQ Tech Note 1), Nitrogen Leaching Potential (WQ Tech Note 3), and Phosphorus Index (WQ Tech Note 2) (eFOTG, Section 1)

    • Proficient in and/or attend a review webinar (May or June) for Wind and Water Erosion Technologies Training (RUSLE2/WEPS)

Links and Webinars from 2017 NMP Training:

NMP Pre-Course webinar recording HERE

Notes from webinar HERE

Guidelines for NMP Plan Writing Activity HERE

Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) Development

Course Description: This course contains all of the necessary information, contents and steps required to develop a CNMP for a livestock or poultry operation. The course will also cover state specific roles, rules and permits associated with animal feeding operations. Course participants will learn how to prepare CNMPs that meet current NRCS policy and CAP 102 guidelines.


    • NRCS Conservation Planning Course, Part 1 (Modules 1-5, AgLearn)

    • NRCS Conservation Planning Course, Part 2 (Modules 6-8, Classroom & Plan)

    • Nutrient Management, Modules 1-6 (AgLearn)

    • Nutrient Management, Modules 6-8 (Classroom & Plan)

    • Introduction to the Field Office Technical Guide (AgLearn)

    • Proficient in the use of Current wind and water erosion technologies training (RUSLE2 / WEPS, or IET)

    • NRCS Agricultural Waste Management Systems, a Primer (AgLearn)

    • NRCS Agricultural Waste Management Systems, Level 2 (AgLearn)

    • Air Quality, Climate Change, and Energy (AgLearn)

    • Air Quality Resource Concerns (AgLearn)

    • National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) webinar (Science and Technology Center) and practice with the tool

Additional AgLearn Modules Recommended:

    • Overview of Water Quality Resource Assessment (AgLearn, NHQ-000038)

    • Nitrogen Management and Concerns (AgLearn, NHQ-000039)

    • Phosphorous Management and Concerns (AgLearn, NHQ-000040)

Additional Recommended Webinars (Science and Technology Center):

    • Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans and the Planning Process (Link HERE)

    • Using Manure Management Planner in Nutrient Management Planning and Develop CNMPs (Link HERE)

    • Biosecurity Basics for NRCS Farm Visits (Link HERE)