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grab the net

CRP Loss

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sparcebag

Pistol; I agree if sportspeople want more CRP they are going to have to pay current costs or lose it to the farmer who would be happy to break even,NOT lose money!Maybe in the new bill,but that always seems to cater to big money!

Cuttin the trees has happened all around my area! I dont like it but the DNR says its for ducks.I guess DU has big influence and $$$.There does'nt seem to be much habitat control for other wildlife other than ducks..WPAs are designed for ducks why do they now do the same on WMAs??

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Surface Tension

Pete, I agree completely. One hard winter and there goes the pheasants. That roosting cover isn't in CRP land. Come evening a pheasant won't be caught dead spending the night in a field, They'll be heading for the cattail sloughs or thick cover. Now if your CRP land is adjacent to that dense cover thats great. Without it its not much different then an ocean of corn. I hunt both WPA and WMAs, theres little difference in that theres usually a good sized slough

surrounded by a mix grasses, weeds, brush, trees, windrows, and everything else a pheasant needs year round. They are nothing like CRP land but, like I said if that CRP is adjacent to that mix they compliment each other.

Pockets, thats what we have is pockets of pheasants because we have pockets of pheasant habitat. Come winter those pockets become smaller when pheasants all dump into whats left of heavy cover and sloughs.

As far as cutting trees it depends on what the DNR is managing for. I've seen trees cut and trees planted. The planted trees from what I can tell were planted as a wind/snow break to protect a small slough that was on the WMA. Cut trees were just random Junipers in a field. They weren't cut at ground level and the tops were left.

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Andrewsdad

This is why hunters need to unite and get thier message delivered to those that control the purse strings - your federal and state representatives. If you are not voting and making your voice heard, you are not doing any good. Also, get on the phone and send e-mails to your senators and representatives and let them know that you fully support the farm bill - fully funded. Also, we all need to be members of DU, PF or MDHA - or all of these. These groups may not be perfect but they are doing a lot of work to protect habitat and keep areas open to hunting. If you are a member you should try to recruit a new member or two. It takes all of us to make a difference.

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brittman

PistolPete: The CRP contract rates need to be updated to be competitive! At the same time the competitive rate cannot be set artificially high because of ethanol subsidies.

I believe companies such as ADM, Cargill John Deere, spend huge amounts of money lobbying against CRP because they profit greatly for every new acre refarmed.

Surface Tension: Pheasants Forever knows full well that the CRP portion of the Farm Bill does more than they could ever do via acquisition. They spend $$ lobbying for CRP and urge members to write Congress.

agree that CRP is mainly nesting and resting habitat. When a tough winter sets in - large marshes such as those found in WPAs and WMAs become critical.

Wild pheasant populations will cycle and will eventually take a hit do to either a tough MN winter or poor hatch, but CRP provides the best chance for the rebound time to shorten to a year or two instead of many.

DU also understands CRP generates more ducks than any other their projects combined. The real benefit of DU supported water habitat is during drought years.

I like to think of WMAs and WPAs as the safety net which helps stabilize populations and keep them from going to zero.

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ReelTimes

There are multiple factors that impact the pheasant population from year to year but I don't think there is any question that the CRP program has increased pheasant numbers. Likewise, over time I expect to see the numbers decline in 2-3 years. Just watch the harvest numbers. I do agree that the CRP program is not a long term solution as market forces will dictate how the land is used. We are seeing market forces at work right now and will continue to do so. Programs like pheasants forever are great (I support them) but they do not have the capacity or ability to do what the CRP program can do. It would be nice to have more lands permanently converted to WMA or GPAs but the CRP is 100s of thousands of acres and the economics are not going to allow that kind of capacity to be converted.

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dogs

Quote:

Pete, I agree completely. One hard winter and there goes the pheasants. That roosting cover isn't in CRP land. Come evening a pheasant won't be caught dead spending the night in a field, They'll be heading for the cattail sloughs or thick cover. Now if your CRP land is adjacent to that dense cover thats great. Without it its not much different then an ocean of corn. I hunt both WPA and WMAs, theres little difference in that theres usually a good sized slough

surrounded by a mix grasses, weeds, brush, trees, windrows, and everything else a pheasant needs year round. They are nothing like CRP land but, like I said if that CRP is adjacent to that mix they compliment each other.

Pockets, thats what we have is pockets of pheasants because we have pockets of pheasant habitat. Come winter those pockets become smaller when pheasants all dump into whats left of heavy cover and sloughs.


From my perspective the best friend a pheasant or a pheasant hunter ever had is the duck hunters and their organizations.

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Pistol Pete

I will agree that now cash rents are inflated some. But even before the ethanol push land was renting in the 125-130 range and not to far away 140. $40 less per acre is hard to swallow. And the rate is set for the life of the crp contract, 10 or 15 years. Not many landlords that don't ask for a increase in a ten year period. I'm not asking to get rich off a crp contract, just a fair price. And the rates for this year have gone up, just not quite enough. I'm actually looking to put more acreage into the program but am going to wait till next year to deciede smile.gif how much, maybe rates will take another bump up. Then it will be easier to put more land in. smile.gif

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Surface Tension

dogs, I agree. WPAs are tremendously beneficial to pheasants.

Since CRP we haven't seen that sharp increase in pheasant numbers that we were hopping for. Whats missing? After 20 some odd years of CRP is this it? Right now were so dependent on easy winters and good nesting weather to get a "good year". What we need is more wetland restoration, brushy shelter belts, and woody-cover plantings and undisturbed cover with No more emergency haying in WMAs & WPAs. Increase the amount of WPA & WMAs and you'll get all that plus they benefit all wildlife. I think its time we stop wasting time and money accelerate acquisition of lands, turning it back to what it once was.

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Rost

I'm not sure if this makes a big difference here in SD, but one thing we have is a lot of massive tree belts that you don't see over in MN. Most are atleast 30 yards wide and 1/2 mile long. Makes great habitat for birds and deer.

Also, (with out slamming SD), I noticed that SD seems to be a tad more sloppy! Not sure why, but when a farm becomes abandoned, no body swoops in and cuts the grove down. Drive around SD and you'll see a lot more old groves with a ton of brush standing around.

I think another factor might be the fact that a lot of the SD soil is suitabe for "no till" farming. Very few farmers need to plow up their ground in the SD pheasant belt (Redfield, Huron, Woonsocket, Aberdeen areas). The majority of SW MN ground where I grew up is so rich that it needs to be tilled due to heavy compaction.

Not sure if this stuff makes a difference, it is just few things I notice.

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kobear

Why didn't CRP result in Million Bird harvests like soil bank?? We converted too many wetlands, pasture, and odd areas to row crops in the years between.

For every acre of CRP enrolled 3 acres of other "odd" land was converted to row crop agriculture. It's amazing the populations could even stay stable much less increase 34% over the 1968-1985 average with the Loss of 3.6 million productive pheasant acres from 1987 to 1997.

From the Long Range Pheasant Plan at http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/outdoor_activities/hunting/pheasant/pheasantplan_final2005.pdf

During the peak of CRP enrollment in Minnesota (1987-97), about 1.2 million acres of cropland in the pheasant range was retired, 95% of which was planted to grass.

Applying the models, we expected an extra 1.1 million birds in the population (1.2 million acres x 95% grass x 1 bird/grass acre) and 275,000 roosters in the harvest (1.1

million birds x 1 rooster harvested/4 pheasants in population). In reality, average harvest increased by only 62,200 compared to the period before CRP (1974-86), which

suggests that CRP added only about 1 bird per 4 acres of habitat. However, CRP was frequently disturbed ("emergency" haying was common). Furthermore, for every acre of

CRP established during 1987-97, about 3 acres of hay, small grains, and pasture were lost. These alternate habitats produce only about 1/4 the chicks as CRP. If the negative effects of losing these alternate habitats are subtracted, it appears that CRP added about 1 bird/acre.

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brittman

Interesting that in ND pre-CRP pheasant rooster harvest was well under 100,000 birds (mid 70s to mid 80s). CRP coupled with a string of mild winters the number has increased to 750,000 birds in 2006.

Do not forget the tough winters of 96 & 97. Pheasant populations were knocked back to nearly zero through what is now prime Minnesota hunting areas.

Rooster harvest in MN is also limited by access. With larger farms, walk-in hunting areas, etc... MN rooster harvest could have increased 50%. I have hunted private land in December. Many, many roosters never see a hunter in MN.

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Dotch

Thanks for posting that kobear. It took an interesting overview at the changes in agriculture that my Dad saw and what those of my generation have witnessed as well.

Just curious, something that was not addressed however was the impact of urban sprawl, land that has been covered over with concrete, asphalt, big box stores and cookie-cutter houses. And it's not just the Twin Cities, it's the Rochester's, Mankato's and Owatonna's and lots of even smaller burgs as well. How many acres of habitat has this involved?

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Hammer Handle

My father tried to re-sign for CRP for another 10 years...and they said "No" at first and "encouraged" him to plant corn for ethanol.

But, he did get in at the last second for 5 more years. mainly due to the fact that much of his land is on the lake.

Many other people did not get in again....

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grab the net

The tree cutting on WPA's and on some WMA's are to limit the perching area for owls, hawks and other raptors that use them to watch for ducklings and pheasant chicks.

I wonder what all those pheasants are doing around sunset when they fly back into the large CRP tracts from the corn fields. I do believe they spend the night and return to the feeding grounds the next day.

By the way, is anybody seeing any CRP being taken out. smile.gif

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Dotch

Nope, but I talked to a customer today who is putting another 100+ acres of WRP in after next cropping season to complement the land he did the same thing with next door to it a couple years ago. Also got some 1031 exhange land to check out from another customer. Wonder what will become of his former property?

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kobear

I've seen some acres coming out in Douglas County. Three 160's with the pivots half way up now by my house, checking USDA's figures it looks like at least 4046 acres will be coming out in Douglas as these owners never paid the review fee to start the reenrollment process. Atleast 3000 acres coming out in Grant County. These are just the 2007 figures some contracts expire in 08,09,10. With the sprawl factor there are 3 new trailers and 5 new houses within a mile of my deer stand, of course the closest one is mine. And as far as reenrolling CRP we are probably taking one piece out when the extension my dad took expires in 2011 and put a pivot on it leaving a little less than a quarter for habitat and the corners 100 acres under water 60 not.

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Augusta

I've read all the posts concerning this topic and I have heard many good comments, so I guess I need to add mine. I do believe that the CRP program has enhanced the pheasant population considerably, and I also believe the WMA's have helped alot as well. My hat is off to the DNR for doing such a great job, the WMA's have some of the best habitat I've ever seen. As for supporting the CRP program, I have mixed feelings about it. Yes, I do want to support it for the sake of helping the pheasant population, but then again, when I drive around and see all the "NO Hunting/Trespassing" signs on the CRP land, I am hesitant to support it. I am also disheartned when I ask for permission to hunt the CRP, I am denied due to "only my family hunts there", or "I have it leased to someone", or " I don't let people hunt my land". As a taxpayer who is paying the farmer "rent" on this land in the form of a CRP payment, I get a little "rankled" by the fact that as a taxpayer, I've been paying this farmer to have his own private "hunting" preserve. Now many of you may disagree with that statment, but put in in perpective, we the taxpayers are "renting" this land through a lease type program, but we have no rights to the land even though we have it rented. We as sportsman need to contact our senators and congressmen in regards to this CRP progarm, take a look at ND and the PLOTS program, why can't we in MN use the CRP as our PLOTS program? How about an incentive program to the farmers to put their CRP in this type of program? Like I've stated ealier in this post, at the moment, I am having a tough time supporting the CRP program as it is....just my 2 cents....

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sparcebag

I've hunted from Willmar area to Marshall area,Corn,CRP,I have NEVER been refused when asking permission to hunt private land.I have been told not to hunt a area of the land but always got a legit excuse,(pickin corn there,other hunters there etc.Sometimes it makes me wonder when others state they cant get permission?? confused.gif

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BLACKJACK

Quote:

Call your Senator and say:

#1 pass the farm bill and get the $$ back in the system.

#2 Re-think ethanol subsidization.

The loss of CRP is the direct effect of a boom in corn production. This boom is the result of market speculation linked to the tax-fund-fueled expansion of ethanol capacity and the possibility of future consumption.

In other words, farmers are getting a premium for their corn, because futures markets are projecting profits from ethanol. The fire is fueled by the removal risk from the marketplace for farmers by federal subsidies for corn and for ethanol producers and speculators by federal and state subsidies for ethanol production and plant construction.

Why would farmers not grow corn? Federal subsidies assure that growing it will pay no matter what and if the ethanol gravy train comes in corn production might pay a ton.

This is all exacerbated by the need for a new farm bill, i.e fresh conservation money to keep acres in CRP. The house bill is mediocre and Senator Harkin is having a heck of a time getting a proper conservation title in the Senate version without passing 'round the pork to his southern colleagues.

As an aside, I am personally pro-ethanol, but until we figure out how to (1) produce it efficiently, (2) with cellulose [prairie-grasses, scrub brush and left over farm matter] and (3) limit water use in the process, we are robbing Peter to pay Paul.


Good post Frank!!! The high corn prices are exactly why the CRP is going out. You can't blame the farmers, they have to make a living, if its more profitable to grow corn instead of CRP, thats what they'll do.

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BLACKJACK

Quote:

I'm not sure if this makes a big difference here in SD, but one thing we have is a lot of massive tree belts that you don't see over in MN. Most are atleast 30 yards wide and 1/2 mile long. Makes great habitat for birds and deer.


I think you hit it on the head Rost, SD had all the big shelterbelts AND feed lots where birds can get something to eat.

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BLACKJACK

Quote:

The tree cutting on WPA's and on some WMA's are to limit the perching area for owls, hawks and other raptors that use them to watch for ducklings and pheasant chicks.


When was the last time you saw a hawk grab a pheasant? Its a crying shame what they're doing to some of those WPA's. Yes its good to run a fire thru them now and then to beat the brush back but they're cutting down a lot of good deer and pheasant habitat - at the very time when deer and pheasant hunters are crying for places to hunt. After they get done with some of them they're just grassy wastelands!!! Compare them to some of the wildlife areas where they've actually plant tree rows and corn food plots!! Guess where you'll see the hunters at!!!

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sparcebag

I can see them cuttin the waterfowl production areas thats what they are designated for.But when they do the same to the Wildlife Management areas It irks me!The woods I hunt gets burnt,cut trees and seems to shrink every year.Its only a few acres but one of few around with woods and the perimiter loses a few trees every burn or management attempt!Their managing for ducks not for there stated reason WILDLIFE!

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Augusta

I sometimes wonder why some people complain about the WMA's when they have ALL that private land to hunt.... shocked.gif

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Pistol Pete

One comment on ethanol and the high price of corn. What started it?? Not ethanol, it was the high price of GAS that created the demand for ethanol. And if you take away the tax incentives for ethanol make darn sure you do the same for big oil. If you do that I won't bark one bit about it, but untill then...check into how many tax breaks oil companies get. You will be unpleasantly po'd.

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sparcebag

Unlike alot of people I can shoot out my back door.But the woods for archery is across the road and happens to be a WMA Ya see I dont drive too far to hunt with gas prices,and the farmers around home will give permission but for deer in a corn stubble field--Well I'm good but not that good.

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First Ice-Mike

Quote:

Yes, I do want to support it for the sake of helping the pheasant population, but then again, when I drive around and see all the "NO Hunting/Trespassing" signs on the CRP land, I am hesitant to support it. I am also disheartned when I ask for permission to hunt the CRP, I am denied due to "only my family hunts there", or "I have it leased to someone", or " I don't let people hunt my land". As a taxpayer who is paying the farmer "rent" on this land in the form of a CRP payment, I get a little "rankled" by the fact that as a taxpayer, I've been paying this farmer to have his own private "hunting" preserve. Now many of you may disagree with that statment, but put in in perpective, we the taxpayers are "renting" this land through a lease type program, but we have no rights to the land even though we have it rented.


You are using the term "rent" rather loosly. Why don't you just buy some CRP land and pay the taxes on it? - then you can hunt it all you want. Oh yeah - make sure to keep on top of all the weeds also - nothing "rankles" a farmer more than having a bunch of weed inoculant floating into their crop fields in the fall. CRP is just not that attractive for the farmer anymore - plus its meant to improve habitat, not for public hunting. You should be happy the guy is willing to take the financial hit to improve habitat, but you want to have your cake and eat it too. If you let any Tom, Dick, or Harry come onto private land CRP will be even less attractive. Sounds like a lot of hassle for a hunting preserve.

FI

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Pistol Pete

I wonder what the price of gas would be if we did not add ethanol to our gas. In Minnesota it is added at 10%. How many gallons of extra gas would we be burning in this country without ethanol?? I don't know the numbers and it would be interesting to find out. Without ethanol in our gas how much would you be paying at the pump now?? More?? Less?? I would think without ethanol in our gas the demand for gas has to go up and so would the price. Maybe those tax incentives are there for a reason. Also look at all the revenue and jobs it makes in this country. If you are going to blame CRP loss on ethanol take another look. Put the blame where it belongs. GAS PRICES. That's just my take on it.

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RoosterRedneck

I see both of your points. The farmer could be losing money by putting land into CRP and yes the people are paying taxes so should they have some right to hunt it? I think CRP hunting rights should be left to the owner of the land, but if it's not posted it should be open to the public. If the person owning the land doesn't want people out there then they can post the land or better yet put up signs that say no hunting without permission and then put their phone number on the sign so I can call them. I do that and most times if I'm not hunting or going to be hunting in the very near future I have no problem with someone hunting my CRP.

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Augusta

I think there needs to be some clarification on the CRP progam. The CRP program is an "optional" conservation program for farmers,it was not intended for "habitat". If the CRP payment aka rental payment from the taxpayer was not sufficient, farmers would not be putting the land in the CRP program. Farmers are excellent at determining cash flows. Believe me, if the land did not "cash flow" with the CRP payment, and that cash flow includes, grass seeding, spraying for weeds, and yes taxes, you would not see the land enrolled in the CRP program. Farmers are not taking a "financial hit" on this land, if they were, they would sell the land. The land you see in the program, is considered "marginal" land, that is, land that is subject to wind/water erosion. This type of land "typically" produces a "marginal" crop on an average basis, hence, ten or fifteen years ago the land "cash flowed" better in the CRP program than actually farming the land. Now today, with today's cash prices and improved corn/soybean varieties, in some instances, not all mind you, the CRP payment does not "cash flow" as well as farming the land does. How do I know? I'm in the business of determining "cash flows" in agriculture. So go blow your smoke somewhere else. grin.gif

Down2Earth:

You make a very good point. I am pushing very hard for some type of incentive program that would allow public hunting on the CRP. I know the nominated Secretary of Agriculture, Ed Schafer. I intend to put a "bug" in his ear. It can't hurt, but I NEED other sportsman to help me, I can't do it alone. I want to help the farmers as much as I want to help the sportsman.

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RoosterRedneck

Augusta,

I would be more then willing to help with that bug. I would also like to make an exception to your rule. My Dad baught 40 acres of good farm land. He built a house on 5 acres of it and rented out the other 35 acres for one year. This year it is in CRP. He is getting paid less an acre then he was renting the land. Plus now he has to do the weed control, etc. But he loves to hunt so the trade-off is all worth it for him. But the remarks you posted are probably 90% of CRP.

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