The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently taking applications for conservation practices to create habitat for both shorebirds and waterfowl. The deadline to start the application process is this Friday, May 28. Any interested growers should contact their local NRCS office (listed in the table below) to start the process by that date.
The shorebird practices rely on fall and winter flooding; whereas, the waterfowl nesting practice relies on idle acres with cover crops on them.
Planting cover crops on acres that will not be flooded this winter could provide a hedge against drought and here is how it works:
- A grower can coordinate with NRCS to plant cover crops on rice acres that are not winter flooded and there is a $50-$65/acre payment.
- Once planted, the cover crop will grow through the winter and spring.
- In March, once the planting decision has been made, the grower can either terminate the cover crop to plant rice or leave it in place for waterfowl nesting habitat. High quality nesting habitat on idle rice acres would qualify for a payment, which is expected to be around $25/acre.
This program can work for both organic and conventional rice producers alike and does not impact your ability to plant next year’s crop. Producers that terminate the cover crop and plant rice will gain some soil health benefits. Producers that idle acres and leave the cover crops standing will provide excellent duck nesting habitat and get an additional payment.
For more details call Luke Matthews, CRC wildlife program manager, at 916-607-8988 or contact your local NRCS office. You can also find more information on a previous announcement here.
Key NRCS Office Locations and Contact Information
|Butte||150 Chuck Yeager Way, Suite A., Oroville||Dan Taverner – District Conservationistemail@example.com|
|Colusa||100 Sunrise Blvd., Suite B. Colusa||Wendy Krehbiel – District Conservationist||530-458-5131 x114||Wendy.Krehbiel@usda.gov|
|Glenn||132 N. Enright Ave, Suite B., Willows||Rob Vlach – District Conservationistfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Placer||11661 Blocker Dr., Suite 115|
|Chris Robbins – District Conservationist||(530) 217-6258||Chris.email@example.com|
|Sacramento||9701 Dino Dr.Suite 190|
|Toney Tillman-District Conservationist||(916) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sutter/Yuba||1511 Butte House Rd., Suite B, Yuba City||Pa Yang – District Conservationistemail@example.com|
|Yolo||221 W. Court St., Suite 1., Woodland||Phil Hogan – District Conservationistfirstname.lastname@example.org|