Audubon Dakota’s Conservation Forage Program Offsets the Cost of Restoring Croplands Back to Native Grasslands

Staff Report

North Dakota– Through the Conservation Forage Program (CFP), Audubon Dakota is proud to provide an opportunity for landowners and producers to offset the costs of restoring marginal croplands back to native grasslands. The first enrollment period opened June 7th and closes August 6th, 2021. Supported by a $6.9 million North Dakota Industrial Commission Outdoor Heritage Fund grant, the largest awarded by the Commission, the CFP aims to accelerate grassland restoration across the state. 

Cattle in shortgrass prairie on Rockin’ 7 Ranch, an Audubon-certified conservation ranch in Converse County, Wyoming, on June 4, 2019.

CFP will improve wildlife habitat, forage availability/quality, and soil health by restoring and integrating grazing and/or haying land management techniques across private lands over a five-year project period. Additionally, enrolled landowners are expected to maintain the restored grasslands for a 10-year term.

Resources Available

3-year establishment payments (based on NASS County Cropland Rental Rates)

60% forage seed mix cost share

50% grazing infrastructure cost share

Fencing

Water Infrastructure

The North Dakota Conservation Forage Program will lead the restoration of grassland habitat across North Dakota, not only for our grassland bird species, but also for native wildlife, like white-tailed deer and monarch butterflies.

Producers are encouraged to collaborate with a technical assistance provider to fill out and submit the online application by August 6th, 2021.

For additional information and application details, please visit dakota.audubon.org

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