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USDA - What Farmers Need to Know About Wetlands

What Farmers Need to Know About Wetlands - Swampbuster Regulations/Wetland Conservation

If you drain, clear trees, fill, or otherwise manipulate a wetland so that it can be cropped, you will lose eligibility for USDA programs. Before you do any alteration to a wet area, including clearing trees or maintenance of existing drainage, contact FSA for a wetland determination. Don’t risk your eligibility for USDA programs.

To maintain eligibility, anyone participating in USDA farm programs, must certify that they have not produced crops on wetlands converted after December 23, 1985, and did not convert a wetland after November 28, 1990, to make agricultural production possible.  If Swampbuster is violated, USDA farm program benefits may be lost. If participants convert a wetland, they may lose benefits for the current year, and for the years that follow until the wetland's functions and values are restored.

Swampbuster has reduced the loss of wetlands due to agricultural activities to the lowest levels on record. Swampbuster helps preserve the environmental functions and values of wetlands, including flood control, sediment control, groundwater recharge, water quality, wildlife habitat, recreation, and esthetics.

The following publication Wetlands and Conservation Compliance, What every Wisconsin Farmer Needs to Know is now available and is intended to cover USDA NRCS Wetland determinations only. It is not intended to cover all possible situations, but can be used as a quick reference to familiarize you with USDA wetland compliance provisions.

It is the landowner’s or program participant’s responsibility to contact USDA if he or she plans to do any type of work in wet areas. The best way is to go to the local USDA Service Center to review any existing wetland determinations and fill out an AD-1026 form at the Farm Service Agency (FSA) office if a new determination is needed.  Please submit wetland determination requests well in advance of wanting to complete any drainage

 

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