Shorebird Habitat Program Opportunity in Fallowed Fields

Shorebird Habitat Program Opportunity in Fallowed Fields

In our previous June 9 update on conservation programs we informed CRC members about current opportunities to enroll into waterbird conservation programs.

Because many acres were idled this year there has been heightened interest in a practice that is very difficult to do on acres planted to rice. It is called Early Fall Flooding with Gradual Drawdown and requires applying two to four inches of water on the fields for 14 days starting anytime between July 15 and September 15.

Apparently, there have been questions about the ability to participate in this practice and not interfere with Prevented Planting Determinations made earlier this year. In response, CRC worked closely with USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) to get this issue clarified. RMA referred to Section 17 its Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions to explain why the two program are compatible with each other. They point out that Section 17, of the Basic Provisions states:

(F) …prevented planted acreage will not be provided for any acreage:

(3) Used for conservation purposes, intended to be left unplanted under any program administered by the USDA or other government agency…

If you have idled acres and wish to consider this highly beneficial waterbird practice, we strongly encourage you to visit your local Natural Resources Conservation Service offices by June 23 to start the application process.

We appreciate RMA working quickly to help interpret their program for us relative to this valuable waterbird conservation practice.

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