Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon

Conservation Forage Program

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. 

Our Objective

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.

Resources Available

  • 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.  





How you can help, right now