Franklin County Conservation District
"Conserving our Natural Resources for the Future"
Trading your end rows for quail buffers is not only beneficial for quail and other wildlife but can also provide you with financial incentives. Besides quail buffers there are other practices that benefit wildlife such as filter strips, riparian buffers and marginal pastureland wildlife habitat buffers.
Quail buffers can make field edges profitable again. If your field edge yield is down just 30%, the habitat buffer practice could be a profitable option. Buffers can be anywhere from 30 feet to 120 feet in width. Quail buffers offer several benefits other than just increasing your crop yields: they also serve in providing food and cover for quail and upland birds in cropland areas. The secondary benefits include reducing soil erosion from wind and water, increasing soil and water quality, and protecting and enhancing the on-farm ecosystem.
Under Continuous Conservation Reserve Program, there is no competition and no ranking procedure; simply sign up today at your local Farm Service Agency Office. So if you are truly interested in creating more crop yield and you have a love for wildlife such as quail, then the quail buffer is for you and your land.
On July 1, 2004 the Franklin County Conservation District began participating in the Kansas Water Quality Buffer Initiative. The Buffer Initiative offers landowners in selected areas of Franklin County additional payments to install filter strips and buffers.
The Buffer Initiative works in conjunction with the federal continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) which is administered through Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Under the continuous CRP program landowners may enroll buffers, which are an area of land that is installed along a stream and maintained in permanent vegetation to help enhance water quality by reducing potential pollution problems; as well as achieving other conservation objectives. Buffers vary in size from 30 to 120 feet wide and are planted to native grass and receive an annual rental payment for a period of 10 to 15 years. The Buffer Initiative will offer landowners in the designated high priority Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) areas of the county which is designated on map below as the area in teal, with an additional 30% annual rental payment.
Average annual rental rates for Franklin County range from $60 to $90 per acre. Add the additional 30% you are looking at an average annual payment of $78 to $117. Maximum total payment per acre can not exceed $150. But wait there’s more! Landowners who enroll in the program are also eligible to receive a tax break on the ground that is in the continuous CRP program. Landowners may contact the county appraiser’s office and if the ground is classified as cropland it will be changed to tame grassland, native grassland, or wasteland which will in turn reduce the taxes on those acres enrolled in the buffer program.
State Acres For wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) is the newest conservation practice under the continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The goal of the Kansas SAFE project is to improve populations of quail, pheasant, greater prairie chicken, and other grassland associated wildlife by creating nesting/brood-rearing habitat on portions of crop fields. Through SAFE, producers create habitat that is beneficial to priority wildlife species. This may include planting trees, grasses, forbs, or other species that help restore or improve wildlife habitat Acres enrolled in the SAFE project will also provide water quality and reduce soil erosion. To be eligible land must meet the basic CRP eligibility requirements. One-time up front signing incentive payments are available. FSA will also pay cost-share payments up to 50 percent of the eligible cost of establishing a permanent cover. Contracts are for not less than 10, nor more than 15 years. USDA’s Farm Service Agency will conduct sign-up for SAFE on a continuous basis. Interested producers should contact Sharon at the Ottawa FSA Office 785-242-3260 ex 1227 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/ks for a fact sheet on safe.
Ground must meet cropping history and other requirements to be eligible for the continuous CRP program. Landowners in all areas of Franklin County may enroll in the continuous CRP program and receive the federal annual rental payment, but only land within the boundaries of the high priority TMDL areas are eligible for the additional 30% payment. If you would like more information on the continuous CRP program or the Kansas Buffer Initiative stop by the USDA Service Center at 343 West 23rd in Ottawa or contact Sharon Shields. CRP Program Tech at the Farm Service Agency.
About UsCalendar of Events Conservation Buffers Conservation News Contact Us
Contractor's List Cost Share Programs Education Programs Grass Seed Sales
Frequently Asked Questions History of the District Franklin County History Livestock WRAPS Grant