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Kansas Bird Hunting Areas to Be Used for Emergency Grazing, Hay Cutting

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August 05, 2011

Kansas Bird Hunting Areas to Be Used for Emergency Grazing, Hay Cutting

By Chad Love

While the ongoing drought in many parts of the country has been getting a lot of coverage lately, the one aspect that is of key concern to bird hunters is the drought's effect on Conservation Reserve Program lands. In short, it's not good. In many areas of the country CRP tracts provide crucial - and sometimes the only - nesting and brood cover for upland gamebirds.

Unfortunately, in a drought like the one we're currently enduring, those same CRP fields are often the only areas where farmers and ranchers have any grass left for livestock. So the USDA can issue emergency rules allowing landowners to graze or hay CRP fields. And that's exactly what's happening now in one of the nation's premier bird-hunting states.

From this story in the Topeka Capital-Journal:
Federal officials added Kansas counties to the roster allowed to engage in emergency grazing and haying in response to the drought, the state's U.S. senators said Thursday. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, both Republicans, said half of the state's counties were now included in U.S. Department of Agriculture declarations allowing conservation reserve program acreage to be opened to hay cutting or grazing by livestock. "I am grateful USDA has taken additional steps to expand relief to those producers suffering from this severe drought and higher feed costs," Roberts said. CRP emergency grazing was approved for 16 counties. They are Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Cowley, Elk, Greeley, Greenwood, Labette, Lyon, Montgomery, Morris, Neosho, Sedgwick, Sumner and Wilson counties. The six counties now open to cutting of CRP land for hay are Elk, Ellsworth, Greenwood, Scott, Sumner and Wilson. Farmers and ranchers who choose to participate in the feeding programs must contact a county office of the USDA's Farm Services Agency.
 
It's a tough position to be in, for birds and landowners. Here's hoping things look a little better (and wetter) by this fall. How's the CRP situation in your area?

 

Comments (5)

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from slothman wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Sad... But understandable.

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from kansasjeff wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

My grandparents lived in Cherokee and that's where I grew up hunting. I know this is going to hurt birdhunting but families live on raising cattle in those areas. they are in need of the area right now lets hope it is onlt tempary

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from Nic Meador wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

It's hard times for man and beast, I live in Tulsa and drive up to hunt around Hays and Logan, may not make a trip this year. Makes me wish I bought land up there.

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from FSU70 wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Well my trip to Kansas got canceled this year. Had planned to fly up from South Carolina and meet my brother in St.Louis then drive over and hunt the CRP tracts in Kansas. Last year my brother and a good friend had a great three day trip hunting the CRP tracts. Certainly understand the farmers and cattleman needing the land. Resources need to be shared and families have priority. Maybe next year.

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from Del in KS wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Gotta help the farmers out. There's always the shooting preserves.

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from slothman wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Sad... But understandable.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kansasjeff wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

My grandparents lived in Cherokee and that's where I grew up hunting. I know this is going to hurt birdhunting but families live on raising cattle in those areas. they are in need of the area right now lets hope it is onlt tempary

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nic Meador wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

It's hard times for man and beast, I live in Tulsa and drive up to hunt around Hays and Logan, may not make a trip this year. Makes me wish I bought land up there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FSU70 wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Well my trip to Kansas got canceled this year. Had planned to fly up from South Carolina and meet my brother in St.Louis then drive over and hunt the CRP tracts in Kansas. Last year my brother and a good friend had a great three day trip hunting the CRP tracts. Certainly understand the farmers and cattleman needing the land. Resources need to be shared and families have priority. Maybe next year.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Gotta help the farmers out. There's always the shooting preserves.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment