Wildlife Habitat Practices for Your Farm

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  • Can’t plant loblolly or do a pre-commercial thinning under WHIP, but you can burn thinned pines
  • Have a good evening!
  • Wildlife Habitat Practices for Your Farm

    1. 1. WILDLIFE HABITAT PRACTICES FOR YOUR FARMPresented by: Tiffany Beachy Private Lands Wildlife Biologist Smithfield, VA
    2. 2. Picture your farm…
    3. 3. Who else lives there?
    4. 4. Add Intrinsic value to your property • Manage areas for wildlife • Create a legacy that will last for generations • Act now to help the wildlife that share the land with you!
    5. 5. What can I do??
    6. 6. Priority Habitats • Emphasis on habitats of national, regional, or state significance • 5 priority habitat types in Virginia: 1. Upland grassland habitat 2. Riparian corridor habitat 3. Woodland and seasonal habitat for migrating wildlife 4. Fish passage/stream improvement 5. Other decreasing habitats
    7. 7. Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program • A voluntary program through NRCS for those who want to improve wildlife habitat on private lands • Receive technical and financial assistance for establishment of specific wildlife habitat practices
    8. 8. Habitat practices -Field Borders -Cut Back Field Borders -Conservation Cover -NWSGs, Legumes, and Shrubs -Hardwood Tree Establishment -Shrub Establishment -Hardwood Stand Improvement -Disking -Prescribed Burning -Hedgerows -Wetland Creation/Enhancement -Pasture Conversion to NWSGs -Herbicide Application
    9. 9. Pollinator Habitat • Plant native wildflowers near crop borders to improve habitat for native pollinators and to improve crop yields • Mix wildflowers with NWSG for quality early successional habitat
    10. 10. Field Borders • Reduced yields along edges • Competition for light, nutrients and water • Might be better off as conservation cover
    11. 11. Field Borders • A great way to create wildlife habitat - Native Warm Season Grasses + Forbs - Plant or allow to grow back naturally • Benefits quail, rabbits, songbirds, etc.
    12. 12. Cut-Back Field Borders • Where: Crop fields bordered by non-desirable trees and/or invasive species -Tree-of-Heaven, sweet gum, maple • Use a High-speed forestry mulcher, chainsaws • Herbicide treatment is important! • Benefit: More productive crops along field edge plus improved wildlife habitat
    13. 13. FESCUE CONVERSION • Fescue is not wildlife friendly -Carpet/Sod Forming -Barrier for quail • NWSGs grow in clumps and provide overhead cover and nesting structure • NWSGs are drought tolerant - 2010 was extremely dry - Tough on pasture land - Many switched to hay early - Diversify pastures and have some NWSGs NWSGs CSGs Photo taken 7/13/2010
    14. 14. NWSGs – Root Systems
    15. 15. PINE MANAGEMENT • Prescribed burns and firebreaks • Expanded and seeded log decks and forestry roads
    16. 16. HARDWOOD MANAGEMENT • Forest Stand Improvement – Herbicide treatment of low quality trees (sweetgum, maple, etc) – Mechanical thinning to open up the canopy • Allow sunlight to reach forest floor • 50% of the ground should receive sunlight at noon – Prescribed burning to promote herbaceous understory
    17. 17. HARDWOOD MANAGEMENT • Hardwood tree planting • Filter strips for riparian areas
    18. 18. Prescribed Burning • Sets back succession • Controls hardwood regeneration • Removes pine “duff” that suppresses new plant growth • A Certified Burn Manager must oversee the burn
    19. 19. What does this do for me? • Establish a legacy of natural resource conservation for future generations • Relaxation • Entertainment • Healthy, ecologically responsible food source for your family
    20. 20. What about additional income? • Hunting / Fishing / Trapping leases • Horse trails • Hiking / nature trails • Bird-watching
    21. 21. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE • I am available to visit your property – Look around – Search for opportunities – Prepare a habitat management plan • Take advantage of this resource • Contact me: 757-357-7004 ext. 126 tiffany.beachy@va.usda.gov
    22. 22. Questions??

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