Adding Compass Plant to Your CRP Mix

Silphium lacinatum is known by a number of names: pilotweed, gum weed, turpentine plant, and more. Its most popular name, however, is compass plant. Compass plant is a flowering plant native to eastern and central US and can often be found alongside big bluestem.   Like most plants in the Silphium genus, compass plant flowers have vibrant yellow petals that spread out from its center like sunrays. …

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The Dangers of Unmarked Seeds

Earlier this week, the US department of Agriculture started receiving reports of people receiving unmarked packages of seeds. In almost all cases, they were postmarked from China. Within days, reports had been confirmed in all 50 states.  While the situation is still being investigated, this is believed to be part of a brushing scam. A brushing scam involves people …

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Tips for CRP Reporting

The Conservation Reserve Program is a great way to make a profit on marginal farmland while also restoring it back to health. However, it comes with a number of regulations and requirements that need to be followed. Some of these are fairly straight forward, while others can be a little confusing, especially when you’re initially joining the program.  Many …

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Cup Plant – A Vibrant Addition for Pollinator Habitat

Needing a little yellow in your CRP seed mix? Then cup plant is a great choice. Officially known as Silphium perfoliatum, cup plant comes from the same family as daisies. While daisies are known for their white petals and yellow center, cup plant’s entire flowerhead is a vibrant yellow. Cup plant also grows much taller than daisies, reaching …

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Cool Season Grass vs. Warm Season Grass for CRP

Establishing native grasses through CRP provides many benefits for both landowners and the environment. Native grasses protect soil from wind and rain while allowing it to regenerate precious nutrients. They also keep local water clean by reducing runoff. Meanwhile, local wildlife such as deer and pheasants depend on native grasses for shelter and food.   Once …

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Celebrate Pollinator Week by Creating Pollinator Habitat

The 14th annual National Pollinator Week is taking place from June 22-28, 2020. This is a chance to show appreciation and raise awareness for the pollinating species in the US. Without the presence of pollinators like bees, butterflies, birds, and even moths, farmlands would suffer from smaller yields and lower quality crops.   Inadequate pollination can affect the size and also the flavor of food crops.  And so, it’s important …

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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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