Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

closeup of green grains in a field

Land Use - North Dakota

It is the NRCS role to provide national leadership and technical assistance for the conservation of our natural resources to ensure the continued production of food and fiber.


Cropland, forestland, pastureland, and rangeland comprise the major land uses in the United States and the land uses receiving the majority of the conservation treatment that address our soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources.

Major land use natural resource concerns include: (1) erosion by wind and water, (2) maintaining and enhancing soil quality, (3) water quality and quantity, (4) plant condition and health, and (5) wildlife habitat.

North Dakota NRCS Land Use Topics

Cropland includes areas used for the production of adapted crops for harvest. Two subcategories of cropland are recognized: cultivated and non-cultivated. Cultivated cropland comprises land in row crops or close-grown crops and also other cultivated cropland, for example, hay land or pastureland that is in a rotation with row or close-grown crops. Non-cultivated cropland includes permanent hay land and horticultural cropland.

Range and Pasture
The Natural Resources Conservation Service promotes prescribed grazing and improved forage management by providing technical assistance to private landowners.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service promotes forestry by providing technical assistance to private landowners with assistance from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry to manage existing forest lands, plant trees and shrubs, establish riparian forest buffers and windbreaks to help conserve energy.

Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA)

The LESA system helps state and local officials make sound decisions about land use. Combined with Forest measures and Rangeland parameters, LESA can provide a technical framework to numerically rank land parcels based on local resource evaluation and site considerations. Read more.


Farmland Protection Policy Act (FPPA)

The FPPA is intended to minimize the impact Federal programs have on the unnecessary and irreversible conversion of farmland to nonagricultural uses. It assures that to the extent possible federal programs are administered to be compatible with state, local units of government, and private programs and policies to protect farmland. Read more.

News and Other Features

NRCS released the revised national conservation practice standard on nutrient management to help producers better manage the application of nutrients on agricultural land. Proper application of nitrogen and phosphorus offers tremendous benefits to producers and the public, including cost savings to the producer and the protection or improvement of ground and surface water, air quality, soil quality and agricultural sustainability. Read more.