Conservation Buffer Facts
What is it?
Conservation Buffers are small areas or strips of land in vegetation,
designed to slow water runoff, provide shelter and stabilize riparian
areas. Strategically placed in the agricultural landscape, buffers can
effectively mitigate the movement of sediment, nutrients, and
pesticides within farm fields. Buffers include: contour buffer strips,
field borders, filter strips, windbreaks, and wetlands. A small amount
of land in buffers can assist producers in meeting both economic and
- Located in environmentally sensitive
areas, buffers provide another line of defense to filter water
both surface and shallow ground water before it enters streams and
- Can reduce up to 80% of sediment.
- Reduces 40% (on average) of
- Removes a significant amount of
nitrate; stores it in plant material.
- Up to 60% of pathogens removed from
- Provides a source of food, nesting
cover and shelter for wildlife.
- Improves fish habitat.
- Reduces wind erosion.
- Slows water runoff.
- Reduces downstream flooding.
- Stabilizes streambanks.
- Establishment of natural vegetation.
- Adds visual aesthetics to the
- Improves air quality
- Often provides income from local,
state and federal programs.
- Provides tax incentives.
- Reduces crop losses from flooding.
- Protects soil in vulnerable areas.