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Published on: Feb. 2, 2008

Last revision: Dec. 7, 2010

up to 50 percent of eligible practice installation costs.

Lands Eligible for SAFE

With limited exceptions, land must be owned or leased for at least one year prior to enrollment to be eligible for SAFE. The acres offered must be physically and legally capable of being cropped in a normal manner.

Land must also meet cropping history and other eligibility requirements. SAFE enrollment is on a continuous basis, permitting farmers to join the program at any time, rather than waiting for a specific sign-up period.

More information about FSA’s conservation programs is available at local FSA offices and online at www.fsa.usda.gov. Click on “Conservation Programs.”

For the landowner, SAFE can be more than just a way to address specific wildlife habitat needs; it also can provide a viable supplement to farm income. CRP rental rates were increased an average of 16 percent in Missouri during 2007.

In addition, producers will be eligible for a one-time signup incentive payment of $100 per acre. Producers may also receive a practice incentive payment equal to 40 percent of the eligible establishment costs of the practice. The two incentive payments will not be offered during regular CRP signups.

SAFE in Missouri targets three specific wildlife habitats and customizes the practice to optimize wildlife benefits.

Sand Prairie Restoration

The goal of this SAFE is to restore sandy cropland in southeast Missouri with grassland projects that will provide unique vegetation restoration opportunities. The practice will benefit bobwhite quail and species unique to sand prairies, such as the eastern spadefoot toad and the Illinois chorus frog.

Sand prairies are one of the most endangered habitats in the state. More than 99 percent of sand prairie habitat has been destroyed by urbanization and conversion to pasture, sod farms and row-crop agriculture. Remaining sand prairies are being further degraded by activities such as sand mining and application of sewage sludge. The shallow groundwater aquifer is very susceptible to contamination from these and other land uses.

Sandy cropland is marginally productive due to the droughty conditions of the soil during the summer. These sandy cropland areas will be replanted to a mixture of short-growing native grasses and wildflowers. Shrubby covey-headquarters plantings also are required. Wet areas can be further restored and enhanced to provide habitat for amphibians.

Not only will this project restore habitat for quail and other declining species of wildlife, it will protect shallow aquifers from contamination by urban runoff, agricultural fertilizers and pesticides.

SAFE increases hunting and nature viewing opportunities

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