White Prairie Clover

Dalea candida is a flowering legume best known as white prairie clover. Found throughout the middle of the US, as well as select other states, white prairie clover can thrive in a variety of environments including prairies, opening in forests, and more.  White prairie clover most prominent feature is the cone-like spikes at the tops of its stems. From these, pure white flower petals …

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Hiring Contractors for CRP

The Conservation Reserve Program can be complicated, especially for those new to it. The enrollment process alone can raise a lot of questions. Once you’ve successfully enrolled, the real work begins. You will need to prepare the land, create an herbicide plan, select and purchase CRP-approved seed, plant it, submit documentation for cost-share reimbursement, and more.  This might sound relatively straight forward, but CRP comes with …

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2021 Enrollment for General CRP Starts Soon

If you’re planning to join general CRP in 2021, it’s time to get your bid ready. FSA has officially announced that 2021 enrollment for general CRP will open on January 4th. During this time, interested parties can submit bids for enrolling in a specific Conservation Practice under the program. Enrollment will run until February 12.  …

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Purple Prairie Clover – A Vibrant, Pollinator-Friendly Addition for CRP

Dalea pupurea is a flowering legume better known as purple prairie clover. Its name comes from its vivid purple flower petals. Purple prairie clover can be found naturally across much of the United States, and it is especially common across the Great Plains and surrounding prairie lands. Thanks to its stunning purple petals and distinct cone-like flower head, it’s also regularly used in manmade locales such as parks, recreation areas, gardens, …

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The History of Humans and the Honeybee

The honeybee has always played an important role in the US economy, producing honey and wax, which in turn are used in countless other products. Today, however, the honeybee’s primary responsibility is pollination. Honeybees are responsible for 80% of crop pollination in the US, contributing $15 billion annually to the US farming industry.   Currently, there are …

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Deciding Where to Buy CRP Seed

Enrolling in the Conservation Reserve Program is a great way to restore health to marginal land while protecting local wildlife and water supply. However, it comes with a fair amount of upfront work. Establishing CRP is a multistep process that includes land prep, herbicide application, mowing, mid-contract management, and more.   But it starts with buying quality CRP seed.  …

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Prairie Junegrass in CRP

Koeleria macrantha, commonly referred to as prairie junegrass in the US, is a cool season bunchgrass that’s native to many regions in North America and Eurasia. This perennial grass is resilient and versatile, growing naturally in plains, rangelands, forests, mountain foothills, and more.   It’s also a popular choice for lawns and turf grass due to its low maintenance and the fact that it turns green very …

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Creating a Conservation Plan for CRP

Joining the Conservation Reserve Program is a multistep process that even experienced farmers can find overwhelming. However, that shouldn’t stop you from joining. Since launching, CRP has helped countless farmers and landowners restore health to their soil while protecting local water supplies and providing habitat for wildlife.   Your local USDA office can help you get started, answering questions and walking you through the …

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Reducing Nitrogen Fertilizers in Farming

Nitrogen is a vital element for plants. Unfortunately, farmland is often in short supply of it. Though 80% of our air is made of nitrogen, atmospheric nitrogen isn’t usable for plants. Instead, they need nitrates, which they take from soil.  Nitrates occur naturally from decomposing plants and animals, animal waste, rainfall, and even lightning. However, farming techniques such as tillage and planting the same crops year after …

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Adding Rosinweed to Your CRP Seed Mix

Silphium integrifolium, known as rosinweed, shares some similarities to last month’s featured seed, prairie dock. In fact, prairie dock is often referred to as prairie rosinweed. Both of these perennial plants feature bright, yellow flowers. When cut or broken, their stems produce a resinous sap.   However, you shouldn’t expect traditional rosinweed, also known as whole-leaf rosinweed, to grow as tall as prairie dock. Typically, rosinweed stands 2-3 …

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