Conservation Planning 101

The planning process begins with a certified conservation planner visit with the farmer to discuss goals, operations, and issues related to production or natural resources. The planner will work with the landowner or operator to plan for real-life, practical solutions to help preserve the soil resource, protect water quality, and maintain farm viability. A complete resource inventory and evaluation is part of the planning process. Based on those results, conservation practices may be recommended to improve the productivity and long-term sustainability of the land.

During the planning process, the conservation planner will work closely with the farmer or rancher to:

  • Discuss farming/ranching objectives
  • Examine natural resource concerns
  • Point out areas for possible protection and improvement
  • Discuss economic goals for the farm, current farming operations and future plans
  • Review conservation practice options
  • Weigh alternatives

The conservation planner, with input, review, and consent of the cooperator, will develop specialized plans when needed to address specific resource concerns such as excessive nutrients, pest management, wildlife habitat decline or poor pastureland.

Once the alternatives have been developed, the cooperator determines the practices that best meet his/her land-management goals and an implementation schedule is developed. The conservation planner continues to assist the farmer or rancher as they implement or update their plan over time. The planner evaluates effectiveness of the plan in solving resource concerns and works with the farmer or rancher to make any necessary adjustments.

Why is it Important?

Who Needs a Plan?

Benefits of Having a Conservation Plan