Conservation farm option is a federal initiative that was developed through the 1996 farm bill. The following are some of the purposes of the program:
1.Conserving soil, water, and related resources;
2. Protecting and improving water quality ;
3.Restorating, protecting and creating wetland;
4. Developing and protecting wildlife habitat.
The program requires producers to prepare a conservation farm plan. Producers have to forgo payments under the Conservation Reserve Program, Wetlands Reserve Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. It also provides an incentive for coordinated, long-term natural resource planning. Conservation farm option allows farmers and ranchers to operate in economically efficient and innovative ways. It also helps in maximizing environmental benefits by maintaining agricultural outputs.
According to 7 CFR 1468.31, participants carrying out conservation practices are responsible for obtaining authorities, rights, easements, permits, or other approvals necessary for the implementation, operation, and maintenance of conservation practices in keeping with applicable laws and regulations. Participants are also responsible for compliance with all laws and for all effects or actions resulting from a participant's performance under the contract.