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Is updating your conservation plans worth the time and effort? Update your conservation plans and receive a free plat book!


Thu, Jan 17th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

Ryan Thesing, Conservation Planning Specialist

Some producers/landowners think updating their conservation plan is a difficult process that is not worth the time. I talked to a few of the producers around the county to get their thoughts on the process of updating a conservation plan and summarized some of the responses to the questions. As an added incentive, the Fillmore SWCD is now offering you a free plat book for updating your conservation plans.

1. Why do you think updating your plan is a good idea?

Some felt it was a good idea to update the plan because a lot of plans are old and don’t reflect the current crop rotation and modern farming practices. Also some felt it was better to have an updated plan to make sure that they were in compliance with the federal farm programs.

2. What benefits do you see in having updated conservation plans?

Many benefits brought up by producers are the updated maps and soils maps of the farm, having a plan to follow, avoiding compliance issues, and knowledge of the current conservation programs to help with conservation practices. The process also helped identify many conservation practice needs such as possible waterways, ponds, basins, and terraces.

3. Overall how hard was the process of updating your conservation plan?

The answer to this question is not hard at all. The only thing you need is about a half hour of time, and what you plan to run for crop rotation and tillage practices on the farm.

4. Would you recommend people update their conservation plan if the plan has not been updated in many years?

Everyone said that they would recommend that producers get their conservation plan updated. They also suggested that anyone who is renting land should get a copy of the existing plan to make sure their operation follows the existing plan. If it doesn’t, then a new plan should be done on that farm. They mentioned that it is a good opportunity to a use the technical and financial resources that are offered at the NRCS & SWCD office. In addition, by updating your conservation plan you are taking a look at the soil loss over the entire farm and identifying possible areas where potential conservation practices are needed.

5. Was there anything that surprised you about updating your plan?

The one common answer was that many producers couldn’t believe how old their conservation plans were. Many of the conservation plans on farms today were done in 1988-1990, which makes them 20-25 years old, and farming has changed tremendously in 25 years!

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