On The Ground
Up for review, GRP sustains grasslands, ranches
Ranching partners George Gates and Norman Kanak of Worth County like the Grassland Reserve Program. They enrolled 610 acres of native grassland when it began in 2003. Since then, their GRP contract has provided excellent habitat for many species of grassland wildlife, while helping them keep their operation in the black. “I am elated that the government created a program that rewards grassland farmers and ranchers for keeping highly erodible land in a vegetative state,” George said. “This program fits our operation’s goal of producing good quality beef on native grasslands.” In the last four years, GRP has protected more than 47,000 acres of Missouri grasslands (including 7,000 acres of native prairie) on 400 farms. Congress is reviewing the farm bill, including GRP, this summer. Anyone who cares about Missouri’s grassland ecosystems and ranchers has a stake in the outcome. You can track farm bill testimony online.
Bradford Farm Field Day
Aug. 25th tours focus on quail management.
Mark your calendar for the University of Missouri’s Bradford Research and Extension Center Field Day, Aug. 25 in Columbia. The day’s focus will be “Integrating Bobwhite Quail Management With Agriculture,” and tour stops will cover topics from quail habitat needs to edge feathering. The program runs from 8 a.m. to noon and is free and open to the public. For directions to Bradford Farm, see the links listed below. For more information, call Tim Reinbott at (573) 884-7945 or Bob Pierce at (573) 882-4337.
Habitat Helpers for Hire
Find a trained conservation contractor.
Once you and your private land conservationist have developed a long-range management plan, the work gets a little harder—and potentially much more expensive. If not done correctly, your timber stand improvements, invasive plant control and native prairie plantings can fail, costing you more to re-apply treatments. An excellent way to make sure your efforts succeed the first time is to hire a conservation contractor. These trained “habitat helpers” have the skills, experience and equipment to take professional resource management plans and install individual practices to your satisfaction. Many conservation contractors attend Department of Conservation workshops to learn new techniques and improve their service to landowners. To locate a trained conservation contractor near you, see the links listed below.