The USDA conservation effort relies mainly on voluntary incentive programs to address natural resource issues. Land-retirement programs remove environmentally sensitive land from production. Working-land programs provide technical and financial assistance to farmers who install or maintain conservation practices on land in production. Common practices include nutrient management, conservation tillage, field-edge filter strips, and fences to exclude livestock from streams. Agricultural land preservation programs purchase development rights from farmland owners to maintain land in agricultural uses.
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