Landowner Assistance

On the Ground: Burn Cool-Season Grass for Better Quail Habitat

Ron Lehman has made his and a neighbor’s farms in Cooper and Moniteau counties a haven for quail. His practices include strip disking, which creates bare ground for chicks and brings out weeds to provide overhead cover. He also conducts prescribed burns throughout the year and sprays herbicides to control cool-season grasses. “We burn in February, then we go back in and spray after it greens up,” Ron said. In addition, Ron has completed several acres of edge feathering, added downed tree structures to the middle of the open fields, and has established several grain food plots. The farms have seen a dramatic response in quail numbers, rising from a low of two coveys to approximately 12 coveys on about 230 acres in 2006. To learn more about burning cool-season grasses to improve quail habitat, call your local private land conservationist.

Learn to Control Feral Hogs

Conference aims to “bar the gate” on further spread.

Feral hogs—domestic hogs that have escaped or been released deliberately into the wild—destroy cropland as well as sensitive habitats on public lands. Whether you manage private or public land, you’ll want to attend the 2008 National Conference on Feral Hogs April 13–15 in St. Louis. The conference location reflects the spread of feral hogs northward. The gathering gives those coping with new invasions the chance to learn from southern managers’ and researchers’ eradication experiences. 

Native Plants

Beautiful and beneficial for both homes and farms.

Add beauty and life to your home landscape and farm with native plants. These hard-working products of Missouri’s soils and climate will take weather extremes in stride, and they’ll provide natural food and cover for wildlife. The addition of native warm-season pastures to your grazing system will also help your livestock maintain weight gains during drought years. The trick to using native plants successfully is choosing the right plants for your specific location and landscaping goals. If you plan to convert conventional pastures to native warm-season grasses and wildflowers, you’ll need to kill existing cover before spreading or drilling Missouri-grown seeds. You can learn more about putting the right native plants on your place online or call your private land conservationist.