LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Environmental Trust has awarded $1.5 million to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to enroll tall wheat and milo stubble into the Crop Stubble Management, Wildlife and Water Conservation Program for three years.
The program will be offered in the Upper Niobrara-White, North Platte, South Platte, Twin Platte, Upper Republican, Middle Republican, Tri-Basin and Lower Republican natural resource districts (NRD) in southern and western Nebraska.
Producers within the project area may receive $10 per acre to leave wheat and/or milo stubble 14 inches or taller undisturbed until April 1 of the following year. Eligible producers may enroll up to 320 acres per year per crop type for two years. Post-harvest chemical applications are allowed but other means of disturbance – such as disking, grazing or haying – are not allowed before the April 1 deadline. Public hunting access is not required to enroll. An additional incentive of $3 per acre is available to producers willing to allow walk-in hunting access on their stubble fields.
Tall, undisturbed stubble has been shown to provide multiple wildlife benefits to pheasants, quail and other wildlife from the end of summer through winter. Tall stubble provides additional agricultural and economic benefits by collecting and conserving soil moisture through catching snow, shading the ground and reducing erosion. There also is potential for higher yields of subsequent crops in a crop rotation.
Interested producers are urged to register with the listed contact to attend one of the following upcoming informational meetings:
Arapahoe – April 16, 5-7 p.m., Ella Missing Community Center, 411 6th St., John Laux, 308-928-2541 or Justin Haahr, 308-865-5308
Holdrege – April 17, 5-7 p.m., Tri-Basin Natural Resources District (NRD), 1723 N. Burlington St., John Laux, 308-928-2541 or Justin Haahr, 308-865-5308
Guide Rock – April 18, 5-7 p.m., Guide Rock Community Center, 120 W. Douglas St., John Laux, 308-928-2541 or Justin Haahr, 308-865-5308
Imperial – April 22, noon-2:30 p.m., Upper Republican NRD, 511 E. 5th St., Adam Kester, 308-535-8025
McCook – April 22, 5-7:30 p.m., Red Willow County Fairgrounds Community Building, Adam Kester, 308-535-8025
Grant – April 23, noon-2:30 p.m., Legion Hall, 245 Washington Ave., Adam Kester, 308-535-8025
Ogallala – April 23, 5-7:30 p.m., Lake McConaughy Visitors Center, 1475 Neb. Hwy. 61 North, Adam Kester, 308-535-8025
Alliance – April 24, noon-2 p.m., Alliance Public Library, 1750 Sweetwater Ave., Shelley Steffl, 308-432-6183
Rushville – April 24, 6-8 p.m., American Legion, 206 Sprague St., Shelley Steffl, 308-432-6183
Scottsbluff – April 25, noon-2 p.m., North Platte NRD, 100547 Airport Road, Matt Steffl, 308-763-2940
Sidney – April 25, 6-8 p.m., South Platte NRD, 551 Parkland Drive, Matt Steffl, 308-763-2940
Producers must fill out an application by June 1 to be considered for the program. Applications will be available at the informational meetings or at Game and Parks, NRD or Natural Resources Conservation Service offices.
The grant award is for $500,000 the first year, with the intent of $500,000 each for the second and third years. Funding for the Trust grants comes from revenue from the Nebraska Lottery.