Ag News

USDA publishes new conservation eligibility rule

The rule requiring producers to obtain Data Universal Number System (DUNS) and System for Award Management (SAM) numbers to participate in USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs was eliminated as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus spending bill signed by President Donald Trump on March 23. The USDA published the rule implementing the change on May 18.

Previously DUNS and SAM numbers were required for any federal contract application. This became an onerous regulation for small farms, when it was intended for large government contractors. DUNS and SAM registration is still required for partnership agreements entered through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP),  agreements with eligible entities under the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP), Agreements under the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) component of ACEP, Partnership agreements under the Wetland Reserve, Enhancement Program (WREP) component of ACEP-Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE), Watershed operations agreements with project sponsors, Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) agreements with project sponsors, including Recovery and Floodplain Easements, and all cooperative, contribution, interagency, or partnership agreements of federal contracts used by NRCS to procure goods or services

To read the Federal Register entry for the new rule, visit

To learn more about NRCS financial and technical assistance, go to