North Dakota Farmable Wetlands Program Helps Pheasants, Diversifies Farming Income

North Dakota Farmable Wetlands Program Helps Pheasants, Diversifies Farming Income
North Dakota Farmable Wetlands Program Helps Pheasants, Diversifies Farming Income
Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever

Bismark, N.D. -(Ammoland.com)- There are 47,057 acres available for enrollment as part of the Farmable Wetlands Program (FWP) to North Dakota landowners interested in conserving critical upland habitat for pheasants and other wildlife.

One of the many practices under the umbrella of the continuous Conservation Reserve Program, FWP can also be considered a great option for landowners who have expiring general CRP contracts in 2015.

The Farmable Wetlands Program gives producers more competitive rental rates than general CRP, additional incentive payments, and allows them to enroll less productive areas and continue to farm the best. Created as a continuous program, FWP acres are available for enrollment until acreage allocations are reached. The goal of North Dakota FWP is to enroll a total of 150,000 acres in CRP to provide wetland complexes that will serve as critical wildlife habitat for pheasants, waterfowl, and other wildlife throughout the state’s Prairie Pothole region. There are currently 102,943 acres enrolled in the practice (as of February 2015, the most recent USDA statistics available).

“The Farmable Wetlands Program is considered a winning proposition for both landowners and wildlife in the state of North Dakota,” said Rachel Bush, Pheasants Forever’s senior Farm Bill wildlife biologist in North Dakota. “FWP enrollments are some of the first areas to green up in the spring to serve as nesting areas for both pheasants and waterfowl, and they also provide tremendous thermal cover to overwinter ring-neck populations in our state. This practice is a great choice for North Dakota landowners in 2015 for areas of marginal crop production.”

Pheasants Forever employs five Farm Bill wildlife biologists in North Dakota who are ready to assist landowners with enrollment into the Farmable Wetlands Program and other continuous practices. Located in USDA service centers throughout the state, Pheasants Forever biologists offer “one-stop-shopping” for those interested in voluntary conservation programs. Farm Bill wildlife biologists can guide landowners from start to finish on CRP contracts while designing plans to benefit wildlife on unproductive crop acres.

For these programs, landowners will receive a CRP rental rate payment, a soil rental rate incentive of 20 percent, 50 percent cost-share for establishment of wildlife cover, a signing incentive payment of $100/per acre, and a practice incentive payment of 40 percent for eligible FWP practices (bringing total cost-share reimbursement to 90 percent).

For more information, contact a Pheasants Forever Farm Bill wildlife biologist in North Dakota or visit your local USDA Service Center.