Doug Smith: Decline in pheasant habitat poses long-term problems

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  • Updated: October 9, 2012 - 8:16 PM

Record crop prices have prompted farmers to plant land previously enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, decreasing potential pheasant habitat.

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recker2312Oct. 9, 12 9:11 PM

All you have to do is look at a state like Iowa to see what losing CRP does. They have no other cover and now the pheasants in the state are in horrible shape. Also, it will be very hard to get a farm bill with CRP when you cannot even get cuts on welfare and other entitlements. I think CRP is way down the list and the country is bankrupt.

duckboat38Oct. 10, 12 5:07 AM

Another article on habitat without mentioning the driving force behind its destruction - corn ethanol.

jlangsethOct. 10, 12 9:55 AM

both the first two posters make good points. and ethanol in my opinion is just classic big buisness and millionares telling people its good for us, when in reality many people smarter than me consider it a waste of money/time/resources. another thing i will mention is the fact land prices have skyrocketed. Persons/families who have crp land have mostly enrolled in the program for their own benifit, now they need to weigh the options; if re-plowing and putting more money in their pocket is more important to them than continue with crp, a dying program. -- good luck this weekend--

thecynic5712Oct. 14, 12 7:29 AM

I had 43 acres in CRP - it has been in CRP since 1988. It expired this year, and I re-enrolled it. It will be converted from grass to native prairie. Here is what re-enrollment means to me financially: I will spend about $250 to $300 per acre to establish my native praire. I will receive reimbursement of about $105 to $110 per acre. So a net cost to me of lets say $150 per acre - $6,450 out of my pocket - up front. Before I re-enrolled, I was offered cash rent of $70 per acre per year MORE than the annual program payments will be. Net lost opportunity cost of over $2,800 per year for 10 years, or $28,000 for 10 years. This is a decision I made based on these facts, but it is pretty easy to see why the smart farmers are not re-enrolling.

thecynic5712Oct. 14, 12 7:39 AM

One more comment on this. Before you blame ethanol, please read Dennis Anderson's article about the impact of the oil drilling on North Dakota ducks. Perhaps the larger problem here is our constant demand for more and more energy in general. So without ethanol and without drilling for more domestic oil, I guess we could keep buying it from the folks in the Middle East who hate us and take our money, or we could start to conserve a little more and drive a little less.

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