The California Waterfowl Association (CWA) is now soliciting application for their program, which incentivizes the delayed harvest of winter planted cereal grains like wheat and triticale for the benefit of nesting waterfowl. The application deadline is Friday, February 26, 2021.
In the Sacramento Valley, cultivated ricelands act much like brood-rearing wetlands. Similarly, cereal grains provide vegetative cover for nesting ducks in lieu of natural upland habitat. But cereal grains can act as a source – or a sink – for waterfowl production, depending on timing of harvest. In most years, the wildlife-agriculture conflict occurs in May and June, when the harvest of small grains takes place simultaneously with peak waterfowl hatch, resulting in complete destruction of active nests and/or mortality of hens struck by farm implements while on the nest. To mitigate this, CWA offers farmers two alternatives – the Egg Salvage Program to facilitate the removal and transport of duck nests from ag fields to federally permitted hatcheries to avoid destruction by normal farming activities. And the Delayed Wheat Program, which provides incentive payments of $30-$40/acre for growers to delay grain harvest until July 1-15, allowing nests to hatch safely.
To find out more about the program or to apply please visit their website at https://www.calwaterfowl.org/wheat/. If you have any questions please reach out to Caroline Brady, CWA’s Waterfowl Program Supervisor, by phone (916-648-1406 ext. 103) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.