Saint Paul, Minn., April 28, 2020 - The Prairie Pothole Water Quality and Wildlife Program available through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program. When enrolled, producers are eligible for payment on cropped wetlands, two acres or less in size, as identified on the National Wetland Inventory, and with intact hydrology. The payment rate differs by area.
Under normal cropland production, the native vegetation is restricted on wetter portions of fields through mechanical and/or chemical control. These sites have the potential to produce a significant amount of moist soil plants which are valuable sources of forage and cover for many waterfowl, shorebird, and wading bird species. Three practice option levels are available:
Practice Option Level 1 - This option implements conservation cover and permanent vegetation on wetlands that are wholly or partially in cropland.
Practice Option Level 2 – In this option, a producer agrees to the cession of cropping plus maintenance of hydrology to provide adequate forage and cover in areas where normal cropland production restricts the growth of cover and forage sources.
Practice option Level 3 – In option level 3 crops and annual vegetation will not be harvested during the primary nesting season, as identified by the habitat evaluation guide.
“The Prairie Pothole Water Quality and Wildlife Program is a unique opportunity to enhance wildlife habitat and maintain wetland function” says Troy Daniell, NRCS State Conservationist in Minnesota.
All eligible applications received by May 29, 2020, will be evaluated, prioritized, and ranked for funding in 2020.