Photo © Dean Pearson

Habitat Approaches

Expand existing saline soil program. 

Build upon the existing saline and sodic soil program currently implemented by Pheasants Forever and SD Corn to further market the program and enroll additional landowners.  Five-year agreements include a one-time incentive payment per acre basis and free seed to plant the conservation cover. The program allows flexible management alternatives by allowing grazing and haying after the primary nesting season until March 1. Moving forward, the state will work with these conservation partners to expand program availability across a broader geographic area within the state. Under this approach, each additional $1 million could enroll approximately 5,000 acres of marginal saline and sodic soils and provide habitat for upland nesting birds and other wildlife.

State Working Lands Initiative

The state will develop a working lands incentive program to give producers another alternative to enroll marginal and non-productive acres. The concept will be similar in structure to the saline soil and SHIPP programs; however this effort will make more lands eligible and will expand the geographic distribution to include producers from across the state. Such acres may include, but not limited to, saline soils, wet areas, sandy hills, and other non-productive acres that could be more beneficial to the producer in a working lands perennial grass cover. Available acres and final program details for the SHIPP program are unknown at this time, but with an anticipated high level of interest and desire from producers of such a program, it is important to have a simple, working lands program available at the statewide level.

Every Acre Counts.

This research effort at SDSU will improve the pro?tability, diversity, and ecosystem bene?ts of agriculture by using precision technologies to empower producers to make sound management decisions for every acre of their operation.  By determining the return on investment of alternative practices on marginal lands and developing the decision support tools needed to enable producers to successfully transition to these management strategies, this project will directly bene?t the economic stability of farming while applying conservation measures on the ground with the supplementary bene?t of more wildlife habitat.