Texas Landowners And Sustainable Agriculture

Texas Landowners And Sustainable Agriculture
Partners Conduct Workshops to Increase Participation in Riceland Conservation.

RICHLAND, Tx.–-(AmmoLand.com)- Texas landowners had the opportunity last week to hear from a variety of experts on sustainable agriculture. Staff representing Syngenta, Texas Prairie Wetlands Project (TPWP), and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conducted workshops to increase awareness of and participation in sustainable agricultural programs and practices.

Almost 100 private landowners and rice producers attended the workshops, held successively in Winnie, El Campo and Eagle Lake October 6th, 7th, and 8th, respectively. The objective of these workshops was to present area landowners with information regarding conservation opportunities as well as the latest in crop protection products from Syngenta.

“Landowner workshops are a great way to provide a diverse group of stakeholders with information on available products and services,” Matt Kaminski, TPWP Coordinator said. “These workshops stimulate questions and give us the opportunity to address a variety of concerns landowners may have.”

Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the USDA NRCS partnered to create the Texas Prairie Wetlands Project in 1991.

The TPWP provides cost-share assistance to private landowners for habitat enhancement, levee construction, and the installation of water control structures. It also provides biological and engineering assistance and a detailed management plan to private landowners.

The primary goal of TPWP is to restore, enhance, and protect shallow, seasonal wetland habitat on private lands within a 28-county focus area along the Texas Gulf Coast. Each year, these projects provide critical staging and wintering habitat for thousands of waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds and other wetland dependent species.

The TPWP works closely with rice producers to improve fields and infrastructure for water conservation, production, and habitat management. Recently, piggy-backing TPWP with USDA Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) has provided great incentives to producers to bring retired fields back into production. Adding Syngenta to that partnership was a logical step to increase effort and success.

Syngenta provided funding for the workshops, and new TPWP participants will be eligible for a rebate on Syngenta crop protection products Quadris and Quilt.

“This partnership creates a win-win situation for everyone,” Kaminski said. “An increase in rice production will increase waterfowl habitat on the Texas Gulf Coast.”