The first agriculture Wetland Mitigation Bank (WMB) credits have been released under the South Dakota Ag Wetland Exchange.

South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) announces the availability of 11.5 credits in the Minnesota River Geographic Service Area (GSA), which were developed through SDFB’s administration of a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The first ag wetland mitigation bank site under the program is located in Deuel County South Dakota, which is in the Minnesota River GSA.

The credits are available to purchase by producers with land in the Minnesota River GSA. These credits can be used to offset wetlands converted within the Minnesota River watershed. This will allow producers to remain in compliance, or be restored into compliance, with USDA Food Security Act “Swampbuster” regulations.

The WMG was created by the 2014 Farm Bill and helps states, local governments or qualified individuals develop wetland mitigation banks that restore, create, or enhance wetland ecosystems, generating credits in one place to compensate for what is often a highly disturbed wetland within cropland.

“South Dakota Farm Bureau is very excited to announce the release of the first ag wetland mitigation bank credits. Wetland mitigation banking gives producers the opportunity to utilize their land to its highest value and at the same time achieve high-quality wetlands,” said Krystil Smit, SDFB executive director.

The platform through which credits will be traded is the website, www.sdagwetlandexchange.com. Potential buyers are able to make purchase offers on available credits through the website. The site provides a map of GSAs in South Dakota and other important resources including where credits are currently available. If credits are not available in a specific area, visitors to the site can enter their contact information and will be notified when credits do become available.

“The website is an excellent central resource where landowners can go to learn more about the program and find out if credits are currently available,” said Smit. “We encourage anyone interested in ag wetland mitigation banking credits to visit the site and learn more.”

SDFB continues to seek landowner host sites for ag wetland mitigation in other GSAs as well. Landowners who are interested and may have a land parcel that would be a good potential for mitigation are encouraged to contact the SDFB office at 605-353-8050.

More information about South Dakota Farm Bureau can be found at www.sdfbf.org.

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