Small-scale Producers

USDA is committed to equity in the delivery of programs and resources and creates opportunities for small-scale producers to access products that helps meet their unique management needs. No matter the size of your operation or the crop being produced, our programs can help you start, grow, and protect your operation. Start by learning how programs can serve you, reading about how other producers have used USDA programs for their operations, and getting connected to local USDA staff who can support you.

Programs and Services

Every agricultural operation is different – farm or ranch, rural or urban, small or big, and everywhere in between. That’s why USDA offers a wide variety of programs and services, such as loans, conservation assistance, disaster assistance, and safety net programs. has a wealth of information on all of our programs.

This includes microloans, which are designed to meet the needs of small and beginning farmers, or for non-traditional and specialty operations by easing some of the requirements and offering less paperwork. It also includes our conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) that offers 100-plus practices, even those that are good fits for small-scale operations. For example, practices like cover crops and fencing work well on small-scale operations.

Conservation for Small-scale Producers

Are you looking to manage your farm or ranch to maximize production in a changing market? Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers conservation practices that can help meet the unique management needs of your operation.

No matter the size of your farm or ranch, NRCS offers assistance with conservation planning and installing practices that are specific to your natural resource needs and business goals. From simple management systems, such as planting cover crops, to complex structural practices, such as animal waste management systems or innovative irrigation devices, NRCS has a conservation solution for you.

Conservation Stewardship Program Update

To better address challenges faced by small-scale, underserved, and urban producers, USDA increased the minimum annual payment for producers participating in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) from $1,500 to $4,000 in fiscal year 2024. 

CSP is designed to compensate producers who agree to increase their level of conservation by implementing new conservation practices and enhancing their existing conservation efforts. Learn more about CSP.

Fact Sheets

These small farm solutions fact sheets offer a general understanding of NRCS technical services and implementation of conservation practices or management concepts. The factsheets are introductory in nature and should not be used to implement conservation practices or management concepts without technical support. Farmers, ranchers and forest landowners are encouraged to seek NRCS technical assistance to develop a conservation plan that fits the management needs of their operations.

Crop Insurance

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. Options include:

  • Micro Farm crop insurance option is designed for small farms with simplified record keeping and coverage for post-production costs like washing and value-added products.
  • Controlled Environment program is specifically for plants grown in fully enclosed controlled environments and provides coverage against plant diseases and contamination subject to destruction orders.
  • Whole-Farm Revenue Protection provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on the farm under one insurance policy and is available in all counties nationwide for any farm with up to $17 million in insured revenue. 

A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the Risk Management Agency's (RMA) Agent Locator. If you have difficulty finding an agent, contact your RMA Regional Office.

Heirs' Property

Heirs’ property is family owned land that is jointly owned by descendants of a deceased person whose estate did not clear probate. If you inherited land without a clear title or documented legal ownership, learn more about how USDA can help heirs' property landowners establish a farm number to gain access to a variety of programs and services.

To learn more or to apply for a program, contact your local USDA Service Center, and your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) or NRCS team member can assist. 

Working With Us

Service Centers

Your first step should be to contact your USDA Service Center and make an appointment. Be sure to ask what documents you’ll need such as the Customer Data Worksheet (AD-2047) and Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource and Beginning Farmer or Rancher Certification Form (CCC-860) to update your contact and demographic information and status as a limited resource, military veteran, and/or beginning farmer. Also consider: what is your vision for your land and farm? What are your challenges?

Prior to your visit you can also use USDA’s self-determination tool to see if you're qualify for limited resource special provisions.


In addition to USDA team members at local Service Centers and crop insurance agents, USDA has outreach specialists well versed in programs and services administered by FSA, NRCS, and RMA.

Additionally, USDA has beginning farmer and rancher coordinators available to producers new to farming, and RMA has specialty crop liaisons for specialty crop growers with insurance questions

Self-Service Options

Learn how to sign up for a account. You can view loan information and manage conservation business online here.

We also have a number of tools to help you: find the right loan; learn about recovery options after natural disasters; or discover conservation options.

Get Involved

USDA encourages farmers to participate in leadership opportunities including County Office Committees and Soil and Water Conservation Districts, which help with delivery of Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service programs, research and promotion programs, and federal advisory committees.

Get involved with your agricultural communities.

Find Your Local Service Center

Ver en:

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit

Learn more about our Urban Service Centers.

Visit the Risk Management Agency website to find a regional or compliance office or to find an insurance agent near you.