The North Dakota Conservation Forage Program works with North Dakota's producers to establish grasslands on marginal cropland to improve forage availability and quality. By providing support through financial and technical assistance to landowners, CFP aims to accelerate grassland restoration and improve overall soil health across the state. 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
Conservation Ranching Initiative
The vast majority of America’s grassland birds breed on private lands, working with ranchers and private landowners is our best hope for conserving them.
Prairie Management Toolbox
We partner with private landowners to invest in sustainable land management, providing financial and technical support for grazing infrastructure for private landowners.
How you can help, right now
Support Rowe Sanctuary
Help us continue our important work for Sandhill Cranes and other birds that rely on the Platte River ecosystem!
Support Spring Creek Prairie
We are able to provide and protect this amazing landscape only with the help of private donations. Help us keep the trails open and the prairie thriving!
Support Audubon in the Dakotas
Support our work with local landowners, urban woods and prairies, and education programs in North and South Dakota!