Conservation Planning

What is a Conservation Plan? 

A conservation plan is a written record of you management decisions and the conservation practices you plan to use and maintain on your farm. Carrying out your plan will achieve two goals: controlling soil erosion and maintaining local surface and groundwater quality.

What is in a Conservation Plan? 

A conservation plan includes:
  • An aerial photo or diagram of your fields
  • A list of your management decisions
  • A schedule for applying new conservation practices

 The plan may also include:

  • A soil map and descriptions
  • Information sheets explaining how to carry out your specific management decisions
  • A record for operation and maintenance of certain practices, if needed

Benefits of a Conservation Plan

  • You will be in compliance with state law and new state performance standards if your cropland soil loss is down to “T” (Tolerable Soil Loss).
  • You will protect your soil and your farm’s productivity
  • You will help protect the quality of the water in your area
  • You may maintain your eligibility for federal farm programs and incentives
  • You will improve you soil’s fertility and manage soil moisture
  • You may be eligible for tax credits through the State Farmland Preservation Program
  • You will protect the productive value of you land for future generations


What you will need to do?

Before making an appointment or discussing your plan with a Conservation Planner, you will need to know your crop sequence (rotation) - what crops you have grown and what crops you plan to grow.  You’ll also need to provide information on how your land is farmed, what kind on tillage equipment you use, whether you use spring or fall tillage, how much residue is left on the field at the time of spring planting, and what types of conservation practices you have.


How is the plan developed? 

With a Conservation Planner, you will analyze you farm field by field.  You will learn the soil types on your farm, the slope, and the slope lengths of each field.  In some areas, wind erosion is a serious problem.  Soil loss from wind erosion is figured by considering soil erodibility, ridge roughness, climate, unsheltered distance, and vegetative cover.


SnapPlus is a Nutrient Management Planning software program designed for the preparation of nutrient management plans in accordance with Wisconsin's Nutrient Management Standard Code 590. SnapPlus is used to develop a Nutrient Management Plan for your farm.

In addition to controlling soil erosion, you can also get assistance on other resource problems, such as pasture, managing animal waste, and streambank protection.