Dennis Anderson: Farm economy puts pheasants in a fix

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 1, 2012 - 1:39 PM

Habitat loss is happening quickly on South Dakota's prairies, sped by farmers and a "perfect storm" in the ag economy. Caught in the maelstrom: pheasants.

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ranger78Dec. 31, 11 5:28 PM

Just another example of the idiocy of ethanol. It has driven the cost for corn sky high, driving farmers to till marginal or preserved land. The foolishness of using food for fuel is not making us any more independent and it is having a sad influence on water use, land use and wildlife. We have politicians to thank for sticking the gov't's nose into the market where it doesn't belong.

millarscorDec. 31, 11 5:52 PM

It is worse in North Dakota. They already lost almost 1/3 of the CRP (almost a million acres) and it is most likely two thirds of the CRP in North Dakota will be plowed up by 2013. Sorry to see it go and having learned hunting in the soil bank days and ending now with the end of CRP, I did get to see some great hunting. This year was the worst when my dog just howled when we stopped where they were breaking up some grassland we had hunted for over 20 years. It will be interesting to see what the landscape looks like and what happens to the farmers when the droughts return. Just this fall, there were already dust storms reducing visibility to less than 1/4 mile in areas where the CRP had been eliminated. Too bad for the small towns. No more fall bonus with visiting hunters.

TimothyBlumDec. 31, 11 7:39 PM

End all farming subsidies period. That includes crop insurance.

brainerdguyDec. 31, 1110:08 PM

Explain to me again just WHY we are still subsidizing farmers.Or, for that matter, WHY we are still subsidizing NFL owners!.

pdf123Jan. 1, 12 7:28 AM

It's in the public interest that we subsidize agriculture, it's just what we subsidize. We can subsidize less intensive practices, conservation, organic agriculture, etc., and stop subsidizing overproduction. The overproduction of corn, as well as soybeans, is what led to this situation - from ethanol being produced by food instead of biowaste, as well as the worst foods being the cheapest - cheap pop and candy and fatty meat. With my wife laid off, we are noticing us buying less pure organic food, cuz it costs more. Luckily, I shot two deer this fall, that helps with the bills, and is a really healthy meat !

sjfellegyJan. 1, 12 7:38 AM

What a class act John Cooper has been and still is! He has been 2nd to none on game and fish issues no matter what part of the country one looks at.

earneditJan. 1, 12 8:13 AM

just back from eastern SD. 75 year old farmer told us he's never seen it so black, from plowing, bulldozing and burning anything that used to be wet. its sad.

wma4mnJan. 1, 1210:02 AM

Nice coverage on all fronts Dennis. Can "We the Citizens" ever have enough Public Land to hunt on? And that is Public Land that remains so forever. And I mean forever.

gutshotJan. 1, 1211:50 AM


shushyn78Jan. 1, 12 7:29 PM

It is extremely alarming what is happening to the CRP acreage. Loss of habitat, income for rural communities and the unintended consequences of turning marginal land to corn. If we have a dry 2012 like the last half of 2011, wind erosion will be catastrophic. Corn after corn after corn leaves the crops susceptible to insect and root worm problems that NoTill exacerbates. The banks are making loans of $6,000 to 8,000 per acre land based on perpetual $6/bushel corn and $4/gallon diesel fuel. None of that is sustainable. Think twice before you pull this trigger.


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