A good example of SAFE — food plot (corn on left), mid-level coverage and ideal winter habitat. The food plot will remain through the winter for additional coverage [photo by Robin Handy]. Below ideal density for winter habitat at 22-23” deep coverage.
Habitat loss and recent weather patterns are responsible for the decline of pheasants in Iowa. Between 1996 and 2012 Iowa lost 1.1 million acres of grassland pheasant habitat an area equal to the size of three counties. The pheasant harvest in Iowa in 1996 was 1.3 million birds in 2012 the harvest had dropped to 158,000. The only reasonable way to help recover numbers is to restore quality pheasant habitat.
The Iowa Pheasant Recovery or CP 38 is a continuous CRP program that offers all the habitat types that pheasants need to survive. Landowners can offer a minimum of 20 acres or a maximum of 160 acres.
Winter cover of switchgrass and USDA Offers Landowners CRP Options For Pheasants Starting June 9 or shrubs must consist of 25% of the acres offered. An annual grain food plot is also required. The remaining acres are to be seeded to diverse mix of grasses and forbes for nesting habitat.
Read the full article in the June 11 edition of the News-Review.