Wheat and Milo Stubble To Benefit Nebraska Wildlife

Wildlife could benefit from a new conservation program being offered in southern and western Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust has awarded $1.5 million to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to enroll farmers into the Crop Stubble Management, Wildlife and Water Conservation Program for next three years.

Farmers are being encouraged to leave tall wheat or milo in the field for for wildlife and water conservation. Tall, undisturbed stubble has been shown to provide multiple benefits to pheasants, quail and other wildlife from the end of summer through winter. Nebraska Game and Parks District Supervisor Matt Steffl says pheasants, especially benefit from the tall wheat stubble.

The program will be offered in the natural resource districts (NRDs) in southern and western Nebraska including Upper Niobrara-White, North Platte, South Platte NRDs.

A similar program was offered about five to 10 years ago. Steffel says this program has different requirements and more financial incentives to farmers. Producers within the project area may receive $10 per acre to leave wheat and/or milo stubble 14 inches or taller undisturbed until April 1 of the following year. Eligible producers may enroll up to 320 acres per year for two years.

Informational meeting will be offered this week throughout the panhandle.

On Wednesday, April 24, Alliance: Noon-2 p.m., Alliance Public Library - for Box Butte, Morrill and Garden Counties (Upper Niobrara-White NRD)

Wedneday night at Rushville: 6-8 p.m., Rushville American Legionfor Sheridan, Dawes and Garden County,

Then on Thursday, April 25, Scottsbluff: Noon-2 p.m., North Platte NRD, for Scotts Bluff and Banner Counties

Then Thursday night at Sidney: 6-8 p.m.: at the South Platte NRD, for Kimball, Cheyenne and Deuel counties

If you are interested in the program, but can't make any of the meetings this week, producers can in get more information through the local USDA office.

The application deadline is June first for the wheat that is in the ground right now.

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