Conservation Loans


To provide access to credit for farmers who need and want to implement conservation measures on their land but do not have the up front funds available to implement these practices. Unlike FSAs traditional farm ownership and operating loan programs that are targeted toward smaller and less financially established farmers, eligibility requirements for the CL program are expanded to permit FSA to provide assistance to some applicants who may be large and financially strong.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Farm Service Agency, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
F - Guaranteed/Insured Loans
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
The Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, Title XIV, Part A, Section 304, 7 U.S.C. 1924
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
General Eligibility for Direct Conservation Loans The following requirements must be met to qualify for an FSA Conservation Loans, unless otherwise stated in the eligibility requirements for the loan: I. Be a family farmer; II. Have a satisfactory credit history; III. Be a citizen of the United States, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Marshall Islands; a U.S. non- citizen national or a qualified alien under federal immigration law; IV. Be unable to obtain credit elsewhere at reasonable rates and terms to meet actual needs; V. Have the legal capacity to incur the obligations of the loan; VI. Not have outstanding unpaid judgments obtained by the U.S. in any court, excluding judgments filed in U.S. Tax Courts; VII. Not be delinquent on a federal debt; VIII. Must not have provided FSA with false or misleading documents or statements in the past; IX. Not have been convicted under federal or state laws of planting, cultivating, growing, producing, harvesting, or storing a controlled substance within the last 5 crop years; X. Not have received debt forgiveness from FSA (certain exceptions apply); and XI. Be within the time restrictions as to the number of years they can receive FSA assistance. General Eligibility for Guaranteed Loan Applicants: An applicant, including members of an entity applicant, must meet the following eligibility criteria to obtain a guaranteed loan: I. Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien which includes Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and certain former Pacific Trust Territories II. Have an acceptable credit history as determined by the lender III. Demonstrate ability to repay the loan IV. Provide sufficient security for the loan V. Have the legal capacity to incur the obligations of the loan VI. Be unable to obtain a loan without a guarantee VII. Have not received FSA debt forgiveness on more than three occasions on or prior to April 4, 1996; or any occasion after April 4, 1996 VIII. Be the owner or tenant operator of a family farm after the loan is closed. For Operating Loans, the applicant must be the operator of a family farm after the loan is closed. IX. Not be delinquent on any federal debt X. Not have outstanding unpaid judgments obtained by the U.S. in any court excluding judgments filed in U.S. Tax Courts; XI. Not have provided FSA with false or misleading documents or statements in the past; XIII. Not have been convicted under federal or state laws of planting, cultivating, growing, producing, harvesting, or storing a controlled substance within the last 5 crop years. Applications may also be made by entities. Entities are corporations, cooperatives, joint operations, partnerships, trusts, and limited liability companies. Their members/stockholders must meet these same eligibility requirements. The entity must also be authorized to operate a farm or ranch in the state where the land is located. For socially disadvantaged members, they must hold a majority interest in the entity applicant to receive targeted funding.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Individual/Entity, SDA(Socially Disadvantaged (SDA)/Non-SDA; SDA applicant or farmer is an individual or entity who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group. SDA group is a group whose members have been subject to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. These groups consist of: American Indians or Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks or African Americans, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and women.
Not applicable.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The applicant must have an NRCS-approved conversation plan, contact the local NRCS staff to develop one for the farm or ranch. Conservation plans must be approved by NRCS before FSA can provide financing.
Award Procedure
If a Conservation loan is approved, FSA will notify the applicant in writing of: o the approved use of loan funds o the interest rate o the term of the loan o the collateral that will be required to pledge to secure the loan o when the money is expected to be available o any pre-loan closing requirements o Responsibilities as an FSA direct loan borrower. The applicant will need to sign and return the letter accepting the loan conditions. Loan closing will be scheduled as soon as possible after loan approval. Normally, loan funds are provided within 15 days of approval. If the application for a guarantee is approved, FSA will provide written notification to the lender. FSA receives funding for loans and guarantees on a fiscal year basis, and the demand for some loan types may exceed the level of funding received. When this occurs, a loan can be approved subject to the availability of funding, but it cannot be closed until additional funding is received.
No loan will be made until all Federal and state statutory and regulatory environmental requirements have been complied with.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Within 60 calendar days after receiving a complete loan application, the Agency will complete the processing of the Direct loan request and notify the applicant of the decision reached, and the reason for any disapproval. For guaranteed loans, an EZ, CLP, or PLP loan is approved or rejected within 14 calendar days. A SEL loan is approved or rejected within 30 calendar days. Each application is reviewed within 5 calendar days of being received.
FLP applicants and borrowers have the right to request reconsideration, file appeals, and enter alternate dispute resolutions about adverse decisions. If a loan is not approved, FSA will provide written notification of opportunities to request: Reconsideration Applicants are provided with the opportunity to meet with the FSA loan officer to present additional information and explain why you believe FSA's decision may be in error; Mediation A process for resolution of a disagreement. A trained neutral mediator assists two or more parties who disagree by looking at the issues, considering all available options, and attempting to agree on an acceptable solution; Appeal to the Department of Agriculture National Appeal Division (NAD) An independent organization within USDA, where you may present evidence which demonstrates why you believe that FSA's decision may be wrong.
Applicants may reapply for an FSA loan at any time. Applicants who were given a denial of a loan request will be advised of potential actions or alternatives that might resolve or help resolve the issues that resulted in the denial of the loan request. Applicants previously given a loan denial must establish that substantial change has occurred, since the denial decision.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
FSA Conservation Loans are for implementing conservation practices approved by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), such as: I. Reducing soil erosion; II. Improving water quality; and III. Promoting sustainable and organic agricultural practices. Specific conservation practices include: I. Installing conservation structures; II. Establishing forest cover; III. Installing water conservation measures; IV. Establishing or improving permanent pastures; V. Transitioning to organic production; VI. Managing manure, including manure digestion systems; and VII. Adapting other emerging or existing conservation practices, techniques or technologies.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Applicants must maintain accurate financial and production records during the period of the loan.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Terms vary based on the life of the security offered, but not to exceed 30 years.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Consult the appropriate FSA State office where the property is located. For a list of FSA State offices with telephone numbers and addresses, visit FSA website at to locate nearest office.
Headquarters Office
James Jackson
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20250 USA
Phone: 202-692-4940
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Guaranteed/Insured Loans) FY 22$150,000,000.00; FY 23 est $150,000,000.00; FY 24 est $150,000,000.00; FY 21$150,000,000.00; FY 20$150,000,000.00; FY 19$0.00; FY 18$150,000,000.00; FY 17$0.00; FY 15$1,355,000.00; FY 16 est $150,000,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Conservations loans up to $1,776,000 (Amount adjusted annually for inflation).
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Parts 762 and 764. FSA Handbooks 1-FLP, 2-FLP, 3-FLP and 1-APP; FSA Fact Sheets. Program Aid "FSA Producer's Guide to Loan Programs", FSA Brochure FSA-BK-01 Your Guide to FSA Farm Loans; All information is available on FSA website at:
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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