NRCS Practice Standard: Pasture and Hay Planting (512)

Home / Catalog Entries / NRCS Practice Standard: Pasture and Hay Planting (512)

NRCS Practice Standard: Pasture and Hay Planting (512)

About the Company:

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s primary private lands conservation agency. The NRCS helps producers protect and conserve natural resources on private lands through voluntary conservation programs. Through Practice Standards and technical guides, the NRCS provides information about the conservation, energy resources, and provides personalized advice to individual producers.

The NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to producers as they implement NRCS Conservation Practice Standards.

Technical guides used in each field office are localized so that they apply specifically to the geographic area for which they are prepared. Thus, while national guidelines have been provided as a framework for each standard, each state has adopted and modified the conservation practice standards to suit their individual landscape.

To find a local NRCS Service center click here.

To find the specific guideline for each state click here.

About the Solution:

Pasture and Hay Planting (512)

Pasture and hay planting is establishing adapted and compatible species, varieties, or cultivars of perennial herbaceous plants suitable for pasture or hay production.

Practice Information

This practice applies to all lands suitable for establishment of perennial species for pasture and hay production. This practice does not apply to establishment of annually planted and harvested food, fiber, or oilseed crops.

Pasture and hay planting can help improve or maintain livestock nutrition and/or health, provide or increase forage supply during periods of low forage production, reduce soil erosion, and improve water and air quality.

Considerations for plant species selection can include climatic conditions such as annual precipitation and its distribution, growing season length, temperature extremes, and the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone.

Soil condition and landscape position attributes, such as pH, available water holding capacity, aspect, slope, drainage class, fertility level, salinity, depth, flooding and ponding, and levels of phytotoxic elements may be important considerations. Resistance to disease and insects common to the site or location may also be important.

Planting rates, methods, and dates may be recommended from the NRCS Plant Materials Program, other NRCS technical documents, land grant and research institutions, and extension agencies. Land grant university field trials of various forages can be helpful in selecting forage species for planting, as well.

Refer to the local NRCS Field Office Technical Guide for information on cultural specifications for establishing and managing the species for the intended use.

Common Associated Practices

NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Pasture and Hay Planting (Code 512) is commonly applied with other conservation practices such as:

  • Forage Harvest Management (Code 511)
  • Herbaceous Weed Treatment (Code 315)
  • Nutrient Management (Code 590)
  • Prescribed Grazing (Code 528)
  • Upland Wildlife Habitat Management (Code 645)

    To view the national NRCS standard for Pasture and Hay Planting please click here.

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, DC United States 1-833-ONE-USDA Visit Company Website

    Solution Type

    • General Support and Other


    • Others


    • Other


    • Nitrogen
    • Phosphorous

    To view additional information about this vendor, click below.

    Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators

    NOTE: There are multiple technologies that are used as part of integrated manure management systems and yet are not manure management types on their own. The impact of these technologies on their own would be minimal or very difficult to quantify.

    General Support & Other:

    • Can be an integral part of many manure management systems
    • Most projects have at least some equipment that supports operations of the main technology
    • This technology is not evaluated on its own, the NEAT Matrix for this technology is neutral unless utilized with other technologies.

    Newtrient Comments/Opinions:

    Newtrient is using the USDA-NRCS conservation practice standards as tools to assist dairy producers in understanding the standards and how they can be used to address resources concerns.

    To establish a Practice Standard a system or practice must be thoroughly vetted, approved, and standardized by the USDA at the federal and state level. These conservation practices have been developed to address various environmental resource concerns. Newtrient has developed a 9-point scoring process for ranking additives, practices, services, and technologies for the dairy industry. Recognizing the rigorous approval procedure used during the development of the NRCS Practice Standards, many of them score very highly and are worthy of consideration on any dairy where they apply.

    The information provided here is a summary of the selected conservation practices. For up to date and detailed information related to the full Practice Standards, please see the USDA NRCS website, linked above.

    Newtrient 9-Point Scoring Rating

    View the Scoring Page

    Disclaimer: Newtrient has collected the information and photographs on this page from public sources including the vendor’s website and promotional material in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance for "fair use". All vendor product and company names are trademarks™, registered trademarks® and/or trade names of the respective vendors or their licensors. Unless otherwise noted, Newtrient is not associated, connected or affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, any vendor or licensor of such trademarks and trade names. See Terms of Use for details.