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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
there was a time not long ago that i thought switch grass was the answer for pheasant habitat. i still think it has its place, but stuff like this gets me more excited these days.



this is a small 3 acre field that i frost seeded to a native prairie mix in march of 2010. my dad and brother's equipment just outgrew the field and made it difficult to farm. there are 2 more fields just like it (though the cover is not yet as good) the sensible thing to have done would be bulldoze the fencerows and create one big field. a lot of neighbors have, more and more every year.

i like the diversity. weeds (i like weeds), flowers, grass, alfalfa, forbes. it's beautiful nesting and chick rearing habitat. watched a big cock bird patrolling the perimeter tonight.

the focus seems to be switching from winter cover to nesting habitat. i think that's a good thing. but i have much to learn. i do know that provided your neighbors provide something in terms of habitat - anything, you can make a big impact with minimal investment. provided you are/know a land owner. that's the rub. that and the fact that those who do have land, want it in production. bleak for the pheasant.
 

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March 13, 2012 burning switch grass
 

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Good looking ground. Unfortunately there is always a limiting factor when it comes to nesting, brooding, loafing, feeding, escape cover, etc. Not to mention surrounding cover for predators, be it nest raiders or bird snatchers. Looks like good nesting cover, the more milk weed the better!!

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What is going on with this new Farm Bill? Thought I read a blurb about stopping payments but just caught the headline. So what's up?
 

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Good looking field sir!
 

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What is going on with this new Farm Bill? Thought I read a blurb about stopping payments but just caught the headline. So what's up?
Our goverment wants to stop the direct cash payment and replace them with subsidies or credits for crop insurance policies to the farmers. Also reduce the payouts for conservation programs such as the crp for starters.
 

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Our goverment wants to stop the direct cash payment and replace them with subsidies or credits for crop insurance policies to the farmers. Also reduce the payouts for conservation programs such as the crp for starters.
Is there a link to this info, couldn't find anything with Google...

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
actually, i think scott hit the nail on the head, "what's going on with the farm bill?"

i will be the first to admit that i haven't followed the farm bill as closely as i should. i do know that it is hugely misunderstood. some look at the farm bill as a subsidy to wealthy land owners. some look at the farm bill as the most significant piece of conservation legislation that the senate has ever passed. i suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

the fact of the matter is that wildlife wasn't the impetus of the farm bill. natural things were just the benefactor. dust from the prairie starts showing up on some pos politician's desk in dc, and he's all of a sudden interested...

once again, the prairie is being broken apart in the name of agriculture... energy, money... whatever you want to call it. even nebraska's sandhills are under attack. drawing tremendous criticism for standing in front of the keystone pipeline. seriously? why the hell would you have any reservations about running a pipeline over the largest piece of natural prairie in NA, the largest sand dune in the western hemisphere, an underground aquifer that supplies drinking water to seven states... that's not even to address what exactly it is that they want to pump from canada to the gulf. it aint exactly texas tea.

back to the farm bill, as i understand it, the incentive will come in the form of insurance, or the lack there of. rather than paying ranchers directly to take marginal land out of production, they simply won't insure it. as such, risking planting corn where it shouldn't be, should become less attractive.

also in the bill is the divorce from corn. biomass energy still has a future, but it isn't going to be from corn. everybody's running from that pork. the '12 farm bill's subsidy of the corn based ethanol wet dream will evaporate. thank god. corn commodities in '13 will plummet. the pendulum will swing.

i digress... the point of my picture was to illustrate the importance of nesting habitat. i'm confident in saying that nesting habitat is severely neglected. if you could do one thing for pheasants, improve your nesting habitat. not nearly as fun as shooting coyotes and coons. but a lot easier than getting a manicured looking piece of switch grass so thick that a human can hardly walk through it.
 

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from reason.com, an interview with joe salatin:

Reason: What do you think about what looks to be a move in the next Farm Bill away from crop subsidies and toward crop insurance? Is this real change?

Salatin: No, because it masks the true cost of tillage, annuals, and cropping. Insurance is not offered to apple growers or cattle producers; only a narrow range of grains. As a result, it artificially stimulates the profits for those crops to the prejudice of competitors and other products. It continues to push American agriculture toward a simplistic, non-diversified handful of genetics and products, rather than the cornucopia nature enjoys.


of course, joe is concerned with diversification of food products, not pheasants. a controversial guy, but an interesting read nonetheless, with some very valid points and concerns from a guy who is practicing what he preaches.
 

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biomass energy still has a future

i digress... the point of my picture was to illustrate the importance of nesting habitat. i'm confident in saying that nesting habitat is severely neglected. if you could do one thing for pheasants, improve your nesting habitat. not nearly as fun as shooting coyotes and coons. but a lot easier than getting a manicured looking piece of switch grass so thick that a human can hardly walk through it.
2 of the best looking candidates for biomass energy are switchgrass and aspen, which could be a plus for habitat.

I agree with the importance of nesting cover, especially here in MI...it all starts with good brood production...as for the predators, I have never had "fun" killing anything be it game or vermin, the fun stops when I pull the trigger...spent hours reading legislative speak and cannot find anything about suspension of payments or crop insurance changes for marginal land, not saying its not there, just can't find anything...did find that landowners no longer have to pay a 15.4% self employment tax, legislators plan on taking about 8 million acres off the tally, lowering eligible acres from 33 million to 25 million over the next two enrollments...average payment per acre is around $55, bottom line is that if crp pays half to a quarter of what rent goes for it is a losing proposition until the price pendulum swings...



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The New farm bill is being discussed and worked on now, so nothing is set in stone, the southern farmers want the cash while a lot of midwest farmers are going along with the idea of getting crop insurance subsidies instead of cash payments, with $6 dollar corn and $13 dollar soybeans who could blame them?Also food for thought 80% of the farm bill budget goes to food stamp payouts that cost billions of dollars along with school lunch programs.
 

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also in the bill is the divorce from corn. biomass energy still has a future, but it isn't going to be from corn. everybody's running from that pork. the '12 farm bill's subsidy of the corn based ethanol wet dream will evaporate. thank god. corn commodities in '13 will plummet. the pendulum will swing.
If this shakes out, I'll be doing cart wheels down my sidewalk.
Corn biomass is one of the stupidest things ever.
 

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If this shakes out, I'll be doing cart wheels down my sidewalk.
Corn biomass is one of the stupidest things ever.
X2 - the cart wheels haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
farm bill is on the floor today and probably will be for the next couple weeks. 26 billion in cuts proposed, 5 billion from food stamps alone. it will be interesting to see what this looks like when all is said and done. give em hell debbie!
 
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