For my fellow Nebraska landowners, it’s time to think S.A.F.E.! That acronym stands for the State Acres For (Wildlife) Enhancement. An additional 25,000 acres have been allocated for this program to conserve wildlife habitat in Nebraska. This means that those of you who have expired or expiring USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) tracts or who have acres not accepted in the last CRP sign-up period, might qualify for SAFE. In case you don’t know, the CRP is a voluntary program that offers rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term resource-conserving cover on eligible lands. Here are a couple pics of the CRP acres on our family farm in southeast Nebraska.
Landowners enrolled will receive annual rental payments, cost shares for the installation of habitat enhancement practices, and possibly additional signing and practice incentives through the Focus on Pheasants or Open Fields and Waters programs.
Of the acres allocated for Nebraska, 10,000 are for tall grass prairie for greater prairie chicken in the following counties: Knox, Cedar, Dixon, Wayne, Pierce, Antelope, Boone, Nance, Madison and Stanton in the northeast and Nuckolls, Thayer, Jefferson, Gage, Pawnee, Richardson, Nemaha, Johnson, Saline, Fillmore, Lancaster and Otoe in the southeast. There are 15,000 acres for statewide upland game birds, including pheasant and quail.
If you’re an interested landowner contact your local Farm Service Agency office to see if your land qualifies for SAFE. Enrollment will be on a continuous basis until the allocated acres are gone. So, don’t wait around to check into this program! Click this link to the Farm Service Agency website for Nebraska: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/stateoffapp?mystate=ne&area=home&subject=landing&topic=landing