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Ag conservation pilot program application window opening

JAMESTOWN – A national pilot program that will compensate farmers and ranchers for implementing high-value conservation practices on their land is accepting applications. If accepted into the Alliance to Advance Climate-Smart Agriculture program, they will earn $100 an acre or animal unit to adopt or maintain practices that curb greenhouse gas emissions.

North Dakota is one of just four states participating in the pilot project, funded through a three-year $57-million USDA grant. Participation is limited to seven soil conservation districts in the state with an objective of enrolling 450 producers who are either farming or ranching in Billings, Cass, Foster, McKenzie, Mercer, Rolette, Stark or Ward counties.

The project is limited to 160 acres or animal units per producer for a maximum payout of $16,000 annually.

Nationally, the program is led by Virginia Tech. North Dakota Farmers Union is serving as the state lead, with the North Dakota Conservation District Employees Association and soil conservation districts providing technical assistance for growers. The North Dakota Grain Growers Association is also partnering with North Dakota Farmers Union on producer outreach.

To enroll or learn more about the program, contact your local soil conservation district. The deadline to apply is March 21.

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