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New CRP Practice Added to Landowners’ Toolbox

HURON, S.D.--The USDA’s Farm Service Agency recently announced a new Conservation Reserve Program practice available to landowners, known as CP-37 or the Duck Nesting Habitat Practice.

Using scientific data compiled by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this practice will be available to a large portion of eastern South Dakota and other states found within the Prairie Pothole Region where the landscape can support greater than or equal to 25 breeding duck pairs per square mile.

Available to landowners beginning Oct. 2, South Dakota will receive an initial allocation of 40,000 acres, enabling producers to enroll marginal cropland acres containing high densities of pothole wetlands that are located outside the 100-year floodplain.

In return for voluntarily enrolling marginal cropland, landowners will receive annual rental payments for 10 or 15 years, cost share for seeding of wetlands and upland buffers and a one-time incentive payment equal to 25 percent of the cost of restoring wetland hydrology. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department and other conservation partners may provide additional cost share for hydrology restorations.

With a minimum upland to wetland ratio of 4 to 1 and a maximum of 10 upland acres for every one acre of wetland, CP-37 should be an attractive practice for those producers unsuccessful in recent general CRP sign-ups or for those with CRP contracts expiring in the near future. For those tracts of cropland that do not meet the wetland density threshold, landowners are reminded of the Farmable Wetlands Program and CP-23A practice, both available on a continuous CRP sign-up basis.

“By targeting landscapes containing high densities of temporary and seasonal wetlands, CP-37 not only provides reliable income for South Dakota producers, but at the same time offers habitat desired by numerous wildlife species and the ecological benefits of wetland/grassland complexes in the backbone of the continental waterfowl production,” said Chad Switzer, a habitat biologist for GFP stationed in Huron.

To learn more about CP-37 or other conservation programs available to landowners, please visit a USDA Service Center Office, the USDA Farm Service Agency conservation link at or visit the GFP Web site at

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