Pheasants Forever opens enrollment for conservation program

Pheasants Forever is taking applications for a conservation program in the Prairie Pothole Region.

Grassland and wetland terrain in the Missouri Coteau, part of the Prairie Pothole Region in North Dakota. Photo special to Forum News Service

ST. PAUL — Pheasants Forever has announced a 60-day application period for farmers and ranchers to enroll in the organization’s Soil Health and Habitat Program, funded by Purina.

The new program, designed to enhance soil health, protect water quality and increase wildlife habitat, invites producers in the Prairie Pothole Region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota to apply for precision ag business planning and associated habitat incentives on a first-come, first-served basis. The application period will close on June 30, 2020.

Utilizing precision agriculture technology, Pheasants Forever will work with producers and growers to analyze data using Truterra™ Insights Engine from 30,000 acres of private lands in the Prairie Pothole Region to help enhance soil health, protect water quality and implement conservation planning for 7,200 acres. Results from the analysis will help guide enrollment of low-production acres into the program, providing those landowners a one-time incentive payment for grassland and cover crop mixtures.

The program involves five-year contracts, during which time haying and grazing are allowed outside of the primary nesting season, which is defined as April 15-July 1. Financial incentives include $150/acre payments for producers in North Dakota and South Dakota and $250/acre payments for producers in Iowa and Minnesota. Other incentives include $150/acre for seed and establishment cost share, based off actual receipts, and $20/acre for cover crop cost share. Participating farmers will also receive Truterra Insights Engine Stewardship Report Card that includes a sustainability score and profits insights. Farmers will agree to provide agronomic practice information to establish baseline metrics

For more information about enrollment opportunities for Pheasants Forever’s Soil Health and Habitat Program, contact Pheasants Forever Director of Agriculture Ryan Heiniger at or at 319-768-8348.

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