Farmers who produce major crops on highly erodible land without a conservation plan, or convert wetlands to agricultural use, lose federal benefits under a wide range of USDA programs.
The Conservation Reserve Program allows farmers to retire fragile lands from cultivation for 10-15 years and implement conservation practices, leading to environmental benefits such as reduced erosion, carbon sequestration and wildlife enhancement.
The Conservation Stewardship Program provides financial and technical assistance to farms, ranches and forest land to reward existing environmental stewardship and simultaneously to require progress toward additional, and different, stewardship achievements.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program assists producers in improving conservation stewardship on land that is being used for production of crops, forest or livestock.
The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program works with landowners to limit non-agricultural uses on farm or grasslands and to protect, restore or enhance wetlands.
Through technical assistance and other U.S. conservation programs, conservationists in every part of the United States help bring environmentally beneficial improvements to farms, ranches and forests.