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Using Butterfly Weed in Pollinator Habitat Establishment

Asclepias tuberosa, better known as butterfly weed, is a type of milkweed originating from eastern North America. Despite the name, butterfly weed is a very helpful plant, especially for pollinators. As a type of milkweed, it can play a vital role in the lifecycle of monarch butterflies.  Butterfly weed usually grows between 1 ½ feet to 3 feet tall, producing clusters of vibrant, orange flowers. These radiant flowers are known to draw in butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, bees, and more.  Butterfly weed …

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Herbicide Control for Canada Thistle in CRP

As we mentioned in a recent post, one of the first steps in weed control for CRP is to identify the weeds you are dealing with. Like any plant, weeds have different life cycles and seeding methods. They are resilient to some chemicals and weak to others. Once you’ve identified the weeds appearing on your CRP land, you can create an herbicide program …

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Scarification, Stratification, and Breaking Dormancy in CRP Seed

Last month, we broke down the different elements of CRP seed tags. One piece of information listed on seed tags is “dormant seed”. This refers to the percentage of seed that is alive and capable of growth but won’t germinate under normal soil conditions.   Often, this is because of a hard exterior shell that prevents water from reaching the tissue inside. Other times, the dormancy is caused by the internal seed …

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What Illinois Bundleflower Brings to CRP Seed Mixes

Need a good food source for wildlife to implement into your CRP seed mix? Illinois bundleflower is a great choice for contract holders across the Midwest and south-central states. Also known as prickleweed and prairie mimosa, this warm season perennial legume has good drought tolerance and can grow in most soils.  When fully grown, Illinois bundleflower can stand anywhere from 1-4 feet tall. Leaves grow in …

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Deciphering CRP Seed Tags and Understanding the Importance of PLS

CRP seed tags are important. Not only are they required for you to receive your reimbursement from FSA, but they let you know what you’re actually planting on your land.  The first time you look at a seed tag, however, you might not understand what it all means. In addition to the seed name, variety, and origin, you’ll …

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The Life Cycle of CRP Seeds

All plants are categorized under one of three life cycles: annual, biennial, and perennial. This not only determines how long they live but when they grow, blossom, and seed.  Most traditional farm crops are annual meaning they live out their entire life cycle in a year. Once planted, they begin to germinate and grow quickly. Within a few months, they reach full–height, bloom, seed, …

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Black-Eyed Susan – A Great Addition to Pollinator Seed Mixes

Black-eyed Susan is a popular North American flower known for its bright yellow pedals and a dark, dome-shaped center from which its name is derived. The official name for black-eyed Susan is Rudbeckia hirta (though other flowers in the rudbeckia family are sometimes colloquially referred to as black-eyed Susan)      In addition to being the state flower of Maryland, black-eyed Susan served as …

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