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Questions About Conservation ComplianceQuestions About Conservation Compliance

All participants in USDA programs are required to have a conservation plan in place on all highly erodible land they operate.

June 1, 2010

2 Min Read

FAQ: Do I need to have a soil conservation compliance plan approved by NRCS in order to remain eligible to participate in FSA programs? Do I need it on all farms or just those classified as highly erodible?

Answer: Provided by Vickie Friedow, state conservation and compliance program specialist for USDA's Farm Service Agency office in Des Moines.

All participants in USDA programs are required to be actively applying an approved conservation plan or maintaining a fully-applied conservation system on all highly erodible land (HEL) they operate.

Several situations where problems may arise in complying with a particular conservation plan or system are: renting new cropland, purchasing new land, breaking out of additional cropland and changing or removing existing conservation practices.

It is important you contact the FSA office before doing any of the above. If you rent a new farm, buy land or intend to plow a pasture to put it into row crop, you need to contact your local FSA office.

Also, it is very important that you contact the FSA office before improving or modifying any wetland or drainage ditch. That includes tiling, draining, dredging, filling or leveling. Failure to obtain advance approval for any of these situations may result in loss of all USDA payments and eligibility.

If you have specific questions or need details regarding USDA farm programs, contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency office. You can also get news and information about DCP, ACRE and other USDA programs at www.fsa.usda.gov.

Two Iowa State University Extension Web sites have farm program information and analysis. They are ISU's Ag Decision Maker site at www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm and ISU Extension Specialist Steve Johnson's site at www.extension.iastate.edu/polk/farmmanagement.htm.

And be sure to read the regular column "Frequently Asked Questions about the Farm Program" that appears in each issue of Wallaces Farmer magazine and at www.WallacesFarmer.com

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