Training and Support


The ACPF has a User’s Manual describing how to apply ACPF planning tools with written instructions on inputting data, data maintenance, file management, digital-terrain-model processing, stream delineations, and runoff risk assessment, and guidance on how to execute the Python programming scripts that are used to propose conservation-practice placements.

Users can also explore the ACPF Resource Library for recent ACPF publications, examples of ACPF in use, and a newly developed guide for making landscape-specific adaptations to the ACPF!


The ACPF team is excited to debut a new ACPF online training. This training is designed for individuals who have an intermediate knowledge of GIS as it assumes viewers are comfortable navigating toolboxes, using tool dialogs, manipulating map characteristics, and moving and joining tables. In order to take this training you must have access to:

The training is hosted through the University of Wisconsin-Madison and based heavily on the training videos created by the team at the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment of the USDA ARS in Ames, Iowa. It can be take at your own pace and is divided into seven online modules:

  • Overview
  • DEM Preparation
  • Develop Stream Network and Catchment
  • Field Characterization
  • Precision Conservation Practice Siting
  • Impoundment Siting
  • Riparian Assessment

We highly recommend individuals enroll in the online training prior to getting started with the ACPF Toolbox.  The training incorporates the ACPF training video lessons. After signing up below you will receive an email within two business days with instructions on how to enroll in the online course hosted through the University of Wisconsin-Madison canvas platform.

Please note, individuals not affiliated with the UW-Madison will need to go through the process of setting up a UW-Madison Net ID in order to access the course. You will recieve an email with instrustions for setting up your Net ID within 48 business hours of signing up below.  We appreciate your patience.

Sign up for the online technical ACPF training:


The ACPF team has hosted several state-level training on using the outputs of the ACPF in a watershed management context. The trainings are designed for NRCS staff,  watershed practitioners, county conservation staff, watershed planners, and private consultants who are interested in learning more about using the ACPF to improve their small watershed-based planning and implementation projects. No GIS or prior ACPF experience is needed. 

The trainings are designed to help participants learn:

  • How to use the ACPF outputs in a watershed planning context 
  • How a watershed perspective impacts agricultural conservation work
  • What the ACPF is and how it compares to and interacts with other state-specific  tools, applications, and models
  • How the ACPF improves the effectiveness of conservation work by allowing desktop work that informs field visits
  • How a field specialist works with a GIS specialist to generate meaningful and useful ACPF outputs
  • How to explain the assumptions behind each of the ACPF tools to farmers and other stakeholders
  • How to use ACPF output maps to engage stakeholders in conservation activities

To date, training have been held in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin and additional trainings are currently being planned throughout the region. 


To date, over 11,000 watersheds with ACPF soil and land use databases currently exist, however that leaves over 68,000 watersheds in the lower 48 where data has not been compiled. Now, you can build your own ACPF geodatabase no matter where you are and start using ACPF today.

Using the ACPF Utilities Suite you can create your own ACPF database complete with watershed boundaries, field boundaries, elevation, soils and land use data and run the ACPF tools anywhere in the conterminous United States.

To create your own geodatabase, watch Lecture 29 in the ACPF training videos or check out our newly developed Story Map.  Both resources take you step by step through using the ACPF Utilities Suite within ACPF Version 3 to create your own ACPF geodatabase.


If you are using ACPF in your watershed, we want to know! Submit your watershed to our ACPF in Action map using this form.

Looking for ACPF support? Join the APCF forum. The ACPF Forum is a Google Group of ACPF users from around the region where you can share results, ask questions, and report issues. Discussions have addressed user topics such as tips for fixing technical errors, how to identify false depressions, how to display flow direction, and more. The forum is also a great way to find out about ACPF updates. You can also find out about ACPF updates through the ACPF mailing list where we email out the latest ACPF news and events. Subscribe to our mailing list.