Habitat Help Desk and Precision Ag Workshop available to farmers and ranchers
Minneapolis, Minn. – Feb. 12, 2020 – Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are inviting landowners, farmers and ranchers to review their enrollment options for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general signup during the upcoming National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic on February 14-16 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. In addition, staff will be available to discuss other voluntary conservation opportunities through the Farm Bill including but not limited to; EQIP, CSP, ACEP and CREP. Landowners are encouraged to bring a legal description (township, range and section) of their property to the event’s Habitat Help Desk where professional biologists will provide a free and comprehensive review/analysis of opportunities along with information for contacting their local USDA service center for enrollment.
“We’re gearing up for a busy Habitat Help Desk with our partners at USDA,” stated Tanner Bruse, Ag & Conservation Programs Manager for Pheasants Forever. “What a great opportunity for landowners to address marginal crop acres for increased profitability, wildlife needs and water quality before the application period closes on February 28th. We remain thankful to the farmers and ranchers who take the time to implement high-quality conservation practices through Farm Bill programs, including CRP, and we hope to help them achieve their future land use goals during this historic signup period.”
Wildlife populations, soil health, water quality, and rural communities have been supported by the Conservation Reserve Program since the mid-1980’s when President Ronald Reagan signed CRP into law on December 23, 1985. The program reached peak enrollment in 2007 with 36.8 million acres, corresponding with modern-day highs for upland bird populations in many Midwestern states before decreasing to 24 million acres. With the CRP cap now raised to 27 million acres in the 2018 Farm Bill and millions of acres set to expire, there is a significant opportunity for enrollment of more than 8 million acres over the next year.
“The partnership between NRCS and Pheasants Forever provides farmers and ranchers increased technical assistance through our shared field staff. These field specialists work with our producers to help them turn red acres green,” shared Troy Daniell, State Conservationist for USDA-NRCS in Minnesota. “We’ve seen a noticeable increase in Minnesota’s farmers adopting precision agriculture systems as well as increases in soil health practices and wildlife habitat management efforts. Producers receive help from field specialists in navigating opportunities for financial assistance under programs such as CSP, CRP and EQIP to accomplish conservation goals and improve their bottom line.”
“We’re very committed to helping landowners learn about CRP options,” explained Jared Wiklund, the organization’s public relations manager. “To illustrate that commitment, we invite landowners interested in voluntary conservation programs to follow the ensuing steps to download up to six free tickets to National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.”
1. Please go to Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic Ticketing
2. Select up to six (6) tickets for “Single Day General Admission”
3. Scroll down and click “Get Tickets”
4. Click on “Check Out” on the next screen
5. Enter code: CRP20 and click “Apply Code”
6. Fill out required information and click “Get Tickets”
Another opportunity for farmers and ranchers is the Precision Ag Workshop, presented by John Deere and sponsored by USDA-NRCS, at the Minneapolis Convention Center from 10am – 4:30pm on Friday, February 14th. Join workshop host Chip Flory from AgriTalk, for an educational and inspirational workshop designed to showcase how precision data can boost bottom line profits and provide wildlife habitat on private lands. The agenda includes expert panel discussions, farmer-led success stories and interactive breakouts focused on how to get actionable insights and pursue working lands solutions to turn red acres green. Tickets for this workshop do need to be purchased separate from admission tickets. They are available at https://pfqf.myeventscenter.com/event/Pheasantfest-35118.
Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever, along with USDA-NRCS and other state wildlife partners, currently employ partnership biologist positions throughout the country to assist landowners with general CRP signup enrollments. If you can’t make the trip to National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic, landowners are encouraged to contact their nearest USDA Service Center or local Farm Bill biologist today for application to the CRP general signup ahead of the February 28th deadline.
About Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 138,000 members and 760 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent over $900 million on 550,000 habitat projects benefiting 19 million acres nationwide.