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Advisor

Cropland conversion

Have been looking at a new report from seven midwest state Farm Bureau groups, which shows some surprising results on land use--at least according to their analysis. 

 

In Iowa, for example, the study indicated that over the past five years "farmers in 40 counties developed new wildlife habitat with more land being converted to grassy habitat from from cropland than grassy habitat conversions to corn and soybeans." 

 

Some 1.84 million acres of grassland were converted to corn and soybeans during 2007-2011, according to Iowa Farm Bureau. But, in a "two-way movement," 600,000 acres of cropland were turned into grassy habitats, IFB said. 

 

I guess my question is this: Have you seen many examples of cropland conversion to wildlife habitat? If so, in what forms would this be occuring?

 

Or is your neighborhood going more the other way? 

 

Thanks for any thoughts, observations....

 

John 

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4 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Cropland conversion

I haven`t seen cropland going to wildlife habitat around here, unless it`s a small CRP wetlands signup.  Contractors have really been busy burying old building sites to go  into crops.  Those 5 acre sites had been a wildlife haven. 

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Senior Advisor

Re: Cropland conversion

Around the Kansas area we have lots of ground that has gone into the CRP program. For the most part, it is ground that probably should have never been broken out in the first place, but there are some parcels of productive acres that were successfully bid into the program as well. Over the last 2 or 3 years seems like I've seen more wildlife waterers (also known as guzzlers) being installed on a lot of these acres. Not necessarily a cropland conversion, but it is considered a wildlife enhancement.
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Advisor

Re: Cropland conversion

I seeded a little 2 acre corner to clover for wildlife this spring. My Aunt re-uped her quarter in crp and re-seeded it.
Other than this, most I saw this spring is row crops fence row to fence row and some CRP coming out to row crops. Know of an 80 that was sold, CRP contract bought back and planted to corn.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Cropland conversion

John,

 

In my area small field corners that large machinery cannot easily farm and conservation strips along waterways have been planted to wildlife habitat during the past few years. There was never a lot of CRP ground in this area, so very little of that type of habitat has been lost. 

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