CRP Seed Mixes

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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Why CRP Seed Tags Matter

When you’re purchasing CRP seed mixes, it’s important that you select quality regionally adapted seed that’s applicable to the particular conservation practice that you’re enrolled in. But it’s not enough to simply know you purchased the right seed. You need proof.   This is where seed tags come into play.  Seed tags are pieces of documentation that should …

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Switchgrass – A Great Addition for Your CRP Seed Mix

Once upon a time, the Midwest was covered in a variety of thick, native grasses. These grasses protected and enriched soil while providing habitat for local wildlife. Today, those native grasses are used for the same purposes through programs such as CRP.   One of the most prevalent types of native grass then and now is panicum …

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Palmer Amaranth in CRP Seed

Weed control is an important part of CRP establishment. Left unchecked, weeds will steal away valuable space and resources from your CRP seed. This doesn’t just hurt germination, it might also cause your establishment to fail altogether.  While many weeds can be dealt with through herbicide application and regular mowing, some prove more resistant. One of the most infamous weeds among …

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Understanding the Importance of Local Ecotype Native Seed

Selecting the right seed mix for CRP can be daunting. After all, you can’t plant just any seed. Only mixes approved by the NRCS can be used in the program. The mixes available to a particular contract holder vary depending on the conservation practice (CP) that they’re enrolled in.  Even within the same CP, however, there are a variety of seed …

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