Posts Tagged ‘farm bill biologist’
Monday, June 9th, 2014
Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that today, Monday, June 9th, the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) would re-open to landowners. CRP had been closed since October 2013. The new Farm Bill signed in February set the stage for the continuation of the program and today’s re-opening.
From the USDA’s Press Release:
CRP consists of a “continuous” and “general” sign-up period. Continuous sign up for the voluntary program starts June 9. Under continuous sign-up authority, eligible land can be enrolled in CRP at any time with contracts of up to 10 to 15 years in duration. In lieu of a general sign-up this year, USDA will allow producers with general CRP contracts expiring this September to have the option of a one-year contract extension.
This is big news for hunters. For nearly three decades, CRP has been the gold-standard of habitat across pheasant country. During the “good ole days” of 2007 and 2008, 32 million CRP acres were responsible for producing pheasant populations not seen since the 1960’s in many core pheasant states. We all know what’s happened in the handful of years since. Commodity prices skyrocketed and land values followed. In turn, CRP acres crashed and pheasant number tumbled.
Today, there are signs the pendulum is swinging back toward a less volatile market with commodity prices leveling off and conservation programs offering a viable alternative for many farmers and ranchers. Indeed, every farm in America could be more profitable and financially secure with a mix of conservation practices – buffers, wetlands, field borders, etc. – in harmony with row crop production. As the saying goes, “farm the best, conserve the rest.” Additionally, USDA has updated soil rental rates for Continuous CRP practices, which should help make these programs increasingly more competitive with alternative land use options.
The key to finding a successful conservation recipe for success on your land is receiving expert advice from a trusted professional. Pheasants Forever, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s NRCS and FSA, along with state natural resource agencies across the pheasant range, is proud to employ more than 100 Farm Bill Biologists. These trained experts are skilled at figuring out the variety of conservation practices your land qualifies for, while also being aware of the myriad of ways to find cost-share options to make enrolling an attractive financial and ethical opportunity. In fact, Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologists have helped landowners enroll more than 4 million acres into conservation programs since 2003.
Find the Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist in your area by following this link. If there doesn’t happen to be a PF Farm Bill Biologist near you, the folks at your local USDA Service Center should also be able to help answer your questions about CRP.
The D.C. Minute is written by Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Vice President of Government Relations
Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
The lesser prairie chicken is an iconic grassland grouse species native to parts of the southern plains – Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologists are working to conserve habitat for the species in Kansas, New Mexico and Texas. Through a multi-state collaborative effort, the first statistically-valid, range-wide population estimate for the lesser prairie chicken has been produced, according to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ (WAFWA) Grassland Initiative. The range- wide lesser prairie chicken population is estimated at 37,170 individuals.
While the lesser prairie chicken population estimate may appear low, biologists are encouraged by what they found. The surveys this spring detected several previously unknown leks, despite severe drought conditions across the region last year. They also discovered leks in Kansas beyond what was thought to be the northern limit of the historic range of the species. Lesser prairie chicken numbers have been largely increasing in Kansas for the last 15 years, while populations have declined in parts of the southern portion of the range. Biologists believe this expansion may represent a northward shift in the population of the species caused by climatic conditions associated with changing precipitation patterns.
“Historically, we saw habitat conditions like we are observing now in the 1930s, and we thought the species went extinct,” said Bill Van Pelt, WAFWA Grassland Coordinator. “However, with habitat conservation programs being implemented through various Farm Bill programs and Candidate Conservation Agreements under the Endangered Species Act, we are seeing lesser prairie chickens maintaining themselves and even expanding into new areas in some parts of their range. This definitely boosts our confidence in coming up with a plan to maintain this species,” concludes Van Pelt.
Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Today’s blog post comes courtesy of John Wallace. Wallace is a Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist in Greenville, Ohio. He’s a big Cincinnati Reds fan, a proud two-time papa, and also a fan of wild game cooking. Here’s his new “Sweet Savory Spicy Sugar-Glazed Dove Poppers” recipe.
Marinade (Ideal for 20-30 pieces):
1 tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 tbsp. Teriyaki Sauce
4 tbsp. Honey
1 tbsp. Lime Juice
½ tbsp. Ginger Powder
1 tbsp. Garlic (Minced)
1 tbsp. Green onion (Finely Chopped)
1 tbsp. Light Brown Sugar
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Jalapeño (Diced) (Seeded for Mild…not for HOT!)
Dash of Salt & Pepper
*Stir well to incorporate honey and sugar (10 seconds in Microwave may be helpful)
**Place dove and marinade into Ziploc bag and place into refrigerator for at least 1 hour
(2-4 hours is recommended).
Preheat oven to 375°. Open package of bacon and slice pieces in half. Drain marinade in colander. It is recommended to pick jalapeño seeds off of the dove breast before wrapping half piece of bacon around each breast. Feel free to stuff a piece(s) of jalapeño into each wrap. Thread a toothpick through the top of the bacon so that it goes down to the breast and then bring it back up through the top of the bacon to secure the bacon around each breast. Place “poppers” on cookie sheet w/ aluminum foil with toothpick side down. Place in oven for 10-12 minutes checking often for crispness of bacon, additional minutes may be necessary. Once bacon is at desired crispness on top, pull cookie sheet out of the oven and drain off all juices. Flip over “poppers” so that the toothpick side is now up. Align all “poppers” in a straight line (rows) so that they are touching one another. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the “poppers”. Use as little or as much as you would like (“a pinch a popper” is recommended). ***Place oven on Broil and put cookie sheet back into oven until brown sugar is melted thoroughly and bacon is crisp. Pull out cookie sheet and place your “poppers” on a serving tray with a paper towel. Allow a few minutes to cool down (if you can wait that long!). Remove toothpick and enjoy!! Remember to share…
***This step should be watched carefully, as each oven may broil differently and chances of burning the “poppers” are high.