From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
September 2008 Issue

Landowner Assistance

On the Ground

Manage Fescue for Good Quail Habitat and Fat Cows

man and horse

Who says cows and quail don’t mix? Cole County cattleman, Jeremia Markway, reports four quail coveys on his 180-acres of fescue. What’s his secret? He uses 1- to 3-acre paddocks and frequent rotation to keep his cattle bunched up and moving across the grass. “I try to manage my cattle not only to make a profit, but to improve the habitat and ecosystem sustainability as a whole,” Jeremia says. With rapid rotation (he moves his cows to a new paddock almost every day), he produces the range of short-to-high vegetation quail chicks need. A combination of portable and semi-permanent electric fencing creates an ever-changing number of paddocks, and each paddock generally gets 60 to 90 days of rest before cows reenter it. That’s adequate time for quail and songbirds to nest successfully. For more on managing fescue for fat cows and good habitat, visit the links listed below.

Evaluate Your Quail Success

New Web page shows you how to do fall covey counts.

Want to know if quail are responding to your habitat management? Set up listening stations, and count calling coveys the last three weeks in October. The Private Land Services Division’s new Web page explains how to conduct a successful count. Including audio files of quail calls and a handy datasheet, the page details the process of establishing permanent listening stations on your land, so you can collect and track data year after year. Find the Web site listed below.

Sign Up for CRP-SAFE

Program pays to enhance high-value habitat.

If you have eligible cropland, State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE ) of the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) can help you enhance it for quail, prairie chickens and other declining wildlife. Eligible producers may enter into new CRP-SAFE contracts with their local Farm Service Agency. For their efforts, participants will receive an annual rental payment equivalent to the county’s soil rental rates, plus an annual maintenance payment. Also, participating producers are eligible for cost-share assistance of up to 50 percent of eligible practice installation costs. Incentives of $100 per acre and additional cost-share are also offered. To find out if your land qualifies for CRP-SAFE , call your local USDA Farm Service Agency.

Also in this issue

Feral Hogs: Bad for Missouri

Feral hogs, now established in more than 20 counties, are a growing concern for Missourians.

State of Grace

A photographic essay on the beautiful and diverse landscapes of Missouri.

The Experimental Antler Point Restriction

Based on the biological results from the APR experiment and public support, the APR will be expanded to include 65 counties in 2008.

This Issue's Staff:

Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Ruby
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler