WASHINGTON — New self-service features on farmers.gov will help farmers and ranchers manage their conservation activities online and request assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
“These conservation features join a number of others already available through farmers.gov, including the ability to view farm loan information,” said Bill Northey, USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “As more content and capabilities are added, farmers.gov is quickly becoming the online hub for producers to find resources, submit applications and assistance requests and make connections. Now, amid this pandemic, we recognize the importance of online options for producers to manage their USDA business.”
Producers can access these conservation features by desktop computer, tablet or phone. They can now:
· View, download and e-sign documents;
· Request conservation assistance;
· Reference technical terms and submit questions;
· Access information on current and past conservation practices; and
· View detailed information on all previous and ongoing contracts, including the amount of planned and received cost-share assistance.
The new conservation features enhance the request process with a customer-friendly unified mapping tool that allows farmers to locate areas of interest in minutes, with high-resolution aerial imagery and multi-layered display functionality.
The new features include the most popular functionalities from NRCS’s Conservation Client Gateway (CCG) while providing enhanced functionality and an improved user experience. CCG is the NRCS portal for producers, but now these functionalities are being moved to farmers.gov to give producers one place to do business with NRCS, Farm Service Agency and other USDA agencies.
Managing Conservation Online
To access their information, producers will need a USDA eAuth account to login into farmers.gov. After obtaining an eAuth account, producers should visit farmers.gov and sign into the site’s authenticated portal via the “Sign In / Sign Up” link at the top right of the website. Current CCG users can use their existing login and password to access the conservation features on farmers.gov. CCG will continue to be actively maintained and supported until all core components have been migrated to farmers.gov later this year.
Currently, only producers doing business as individuals can view information. Entities, such as an LLC or Trust, or producers doing business on behalf of another customer cannot access the portal at this time, but access is being planned.
Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge are the recommended browsers to access the feature.
USDA is building farmers.gov for farmers, by farmers. Future self-service features available through the farmers.gov portal include: authority for FSA and NRCS customers to work in the portal and act on behalf of their active power-of-attorney entitlements and their current authorities for business entities, updated e-sign capabilities to enhance the single and multi-signer functionalities and a robust document management system that enables customers to download, upload and interact with their important conservation practice and contract documents.