Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon

Conservation Forage Program

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.  

CFP will work 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 will 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. 

Grassland bird species are among the most imperiled group of birds in the United States. Since 1966, populations have declined 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 transition payments
  • 60% forage seed mix cost share
  • 50% grazing infrastructure cost share
     - Perimeter and Cross Fencing
     - Water Infrastructure 

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. 
Frequently Asked Questions

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!
Learn about CFP on Prairie Public! Have a listen!

How you can help, right now