The North Dakota Conservation Forage Program assists producers to establish grasslands on marginal cropland, enhancing soil health and forage availability. Eligible producers receive financial and technical assistance to restore grasslands and boost soil health. These grassland acres benefit the landowner and livestock, as well as grassland birds and native wildlife while protecting North Dakota's air and water quality for future generations.
Why This Matters
Grassland bird species are among the most imperiled group of birds in the United States. Since 1966, the population has declined by more than 40 percent. Historical grasslands once stretched from Alberta to Mexico. However, fewer than 40 percent of these grasslands remain. In North Dakota, over a dozen species of birds depend on North Dakota grasslands for food, shelter, and breeding habitat, including, North Dakota’s state bird, the Western Meadowlark which has lost an estimated 60 million from its population in the last 50 years.
The North Dakota Conservation Forage Program aims to improve wildlife habitat, forage availability/quality, and soil health by establishing grassland and integrating grazing and/or haying land management techniques on more than 18,000 acres of private lands. Enrolled landowners are expected to maintain the restored grasslands for a 10-year term.
3-year establishment payments
60% forage seed mix cost share
$20/acre for seeding labor*
- 50% grazing infrastructure cost share
- Perimeter and Cross Fencing
- Water Infrastructure
*Thanks to a generous grant from Corteva
The North Dakota Conservation Forage Program (CFP) launched in the spring of 2021 supported by a $6.9 million North Dakota Industrial Commission Outdoor Heritage Fund grant, the largest awarded by the Commission.
For More Information
- CFP Information Sheet: Helpful information for those interested in applying for CFP.
- CFP Vs. CRP: Comparison document highlighting differences in term agreement, eligibility, payments, and more.
- Conservation Forage Program Enrollment Guide: Applicants are encouraged to seek assistance from a technical service provider when filling out the CFP application. We have conservation partners ready to assist you across the state!
- North Dakota Conservation Forage Producer Application