With the ACPF you can leverage the power of geo-spatial data to make strategic field-scale conservation decisions

The Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) is a free ArcGIS toolbox that leverages high-resolution geo-spatial data to help local farming communities better address their soil and water conservation needs.



The National Hub for the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework is focused on serving NRCS offices and supporting partners across the US to implement the use of ACPF in conservation planning processes on multiple scales. The National Hub is composed of several partners including: The Conservation Professional Training Program, Iowa Water Center, Iowa State University, Minnesota Water Resources Center, North Central Region Water Network, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension.


The ACPF National Hub is pleased to announce the release of the updated ACPF and Version 5 of the ACPF toolbox!

Updates include compatibility with ArcGIS Pro Versions 3.0 and above, updated ACPF core data to reflect 2022 land use and soils data, and a number of new watersheds – bringing us to a total of 12,211 watersheds. The new version – Version 5 – of the ACPF Toolboxes includes:

  • A new two-stage ditch tool included in the Riparian Assessment Toolbox
  • A suite of Soil Vulnerability Index tools to identify the most vulnerable areas of the landscape to surface and subsurface losses
  • A new query (drainage class) for the Tile-Drainage Classification tool, and a new Drainage Index field
  • Bug fixes and ArcGIS Pro Version 3.0 compatibility
  • A new user’s manual accompanying the ACPF toolbox as a training and reference resource
  • Updated Utilities Suite for creating your own core data including a ‘Get US Roads’ tool
  • Change several tools to insure consistent use of acres as the areal reporting units

Learn more


The ACPF is being used in hundreds of watersheds in states across the Corn Belt to inform and engage local producers in agricultural conservation.

ACPF input data is available for much of the Midwest and the database is constantly growing. Currently, ACPF data is available for Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and parts of Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Plus, with ACPF Version 3, users are able to build soils and land use databases where not available! Find out if ACPF input data is available for your watershed.

Curious for more examples of where ACPF is being used? Explore the ACPF use map displaying watersheds that have reported using ACPF.


Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS


Facilitates targeted conservation

The ACPF identifies and addresses high-risk areas enabling conservation efficiency and effectiveness.

Supports watershed planning

The ACPF identifies high-risk areas and determines solutions that can serve as the foundation for watershed plans. The output maps generated through ACPF show the watershed as a whole, simplifying area-wide planning.

Saves time and resources

The ACPF takes the guesswork out of talking to producers and installing conservation practices and streamlines conservation planning.

Enables local-level flexibility

The ACPF is non-prescriptive, allowing landowners and local stakeholders to choose the option that is right for their land, their community, and their watershed.

Promotes stakeholder engagement

The ACPF facilitates conversation between diverse stakeholders with different perspectives, issues and priorities. The ACPF output maps can be used in conversations with producers, drainage authorities, county supervisors, and program managers, to name a few.

Provides scientific validity to conservation funding opportunities

The ACPF output maps help conservation professionals scientifically justify recommendations and proposals to producers and funders. With ACPF, grant applicants can prioritize and develop potential projects for funding based on outputs.