Big Bluestem – A Tall, Thick Bunchgrass That’s Great for CRP

With its distinct spikelet tips that split from its stem like little turkey feet, Andropogon gerardi is the most prominent plant of America’s tallgrass plains. Of course, most people know it as big bluestem. Not to be confused with little bluestem, which we discussed last week, big bluestem is an entirely separate type of warm season bunchgrass.  As you might …

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Common Mistakes Made When Establishing CRP

Even for the seasoned farmer, establishing CRP for the first time can prove to be tricky. The types of seed and equipment used in CRP are different from traditional crop seed and farming equipment. The end goal is different as well. Rather than planting farm crops that you’ll be harvesting in a few months, you’re establishing native perennial (and biennial) vegetation that will remain in place for at least …

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Preparing Land for CRP

As with traditional farming, the first step to planting CRP is land preparation. With CRP, however, you’re not planting row crops that will be harvested in a few months. You’re establishing native vegetation that will stay in place for at least 10-15 years. Land prep is critical to long term success.  The key to preparing land for …

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Adding Little Bluestem to Your CRP Seed Mix

Looking for a durable native warm season grass to plant in your CRP establishment? Schizachyrium scoparium, better known as little bluestem, is definitely worth consideration. This perennial bunchgrass can be found in almost every state and is especially prominent across the prairies of the Midwest.  In fact, it’s the official state grass of Nebraska and Kansas.   Little bluestem grows best in the full …

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Dormant Seeding vs Spring Seeding in CRP

The best time to plant your CRP seed can vary depending on a number of factors including your location, the Conservation Practice you’re enrolled in, the seed you’re establishing, and more. It’s important to plant your seed at the correct time, or it may fail to properly germinate and grow.  Different seeds have different requirements for germination. …

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The State of Monarch Butterflies and Why it Matters

The monarch butterfly is undoubtedly the most famous of its species in the US. This iconic pollinator can be found in any given state through the spring and summer. Or at least, it could.  Over the past 25 years, the population of the monarch butterfly has decreased by 80%. At this rate, the species could be extinct two decades from now. Though it …

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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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