|Bobwhite Quail. Photograph by Jim Rathert, On the Edge: A Guide to Managing Land for Bobwhite Quail, Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri, ©2003|
Quail-friendly farming pays
North America's bobwhite quail population declined from 59 million birds in 1980 to about 20 million in 1999. In August, President Geroge W. Bush announced a new initiative to reverse this trend by creating 250,000 acres of bobwhite habitat.
This new initiative is called Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds (HBUB). It encourages landowners to create buffers of native warm-season grasses, legumes, wildflowers, forbs and shrubs along agricultural field borders.
Thirty-five states are included in the plan. Missouri is one of only five states eligible to recieve funding for the maximum of 20,000 acres.
Under HBUB, landowners can create buffers around entire crop fields with a minimum width of 20 feet and a maximum width of 120 feet.
Landowner incentives include:
- A sign up payment of up to $100 per acre
- Practice payments of up to 20 percent of the eligible establishment cost
- Annal rental payments for the length of the contract
- Maintenance incentive payments
- Cost-share assistance of up to 50 percent of the eligible reimbursable practice costs.
Program sign-up started Oct. 1 and will continue until 20,000 acres are enrolled. To learn if your land qualifies, contact a Farm Service Agency office and ask about CP33.
Source: Jim Low, "News & Almanac." The Missouri Conservationist Vol. 65, Issue 12 (December 2004), p. 30.