SAFE CRP acres

Discussion in 'Government Programs' started by KDdid, Jan 11, 2017.

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  1. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
    Northeast Indiana
    Hardiness Zone:
    Zone 6
    I'm meeting with the in NRCS biologist on Friday to discuss some options on our newly acquired bare agland property. He informed me that there will be some acres available in several SAFE programs, including one for treeplanting and another for a variety of tallgrass prairie. I'm thinking about doing a block of each, putting the trees on the downwind side of this rectangular block and the grasses adjoining my sisters land which will be in ag rotation. My sister wants to do some innovative things, including cover cropping, which could be helpful in providing some food during the fall/winter months.


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  2. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
    Northeast Indiana
    Hardiness Zone:
    Zone 6
    [​IMG]
    Here's a snapshot of the farm from space. The portion I am ending up with will be to the right side of this photo adjacent to my house and buildings. My initial thoughts are tree plantings along the east side, tall grass/sedge habitat to the left, and reserving some acreage close to my buildings to put in some tall grass, shrubs and trees, including some soft mast in the areas to the right of the buildings. The prevailing winds are from the southwest west and northwest.


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  3. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
    Northeast Indiana
    Hardiness Zone:
    Zone 6
    My share of the property will be 30 acres, and is a combination of high, sloping, and low ground. Some of it will qualify for filter strips (creek banks). I plan to maximize the area that I can put in filter strips because that program pays so well. Beyond the initial 20 foot buffer, I'm allowed to go another 100 feet from the creek bank and put in any kind of tall cover that I would like. I'm thinking about planting those in strips of pure switch and possibly adding some trees at a later date. Any tree plantings I do on the far outside edge of the buffer strips will have to be approved by the county, because they do maintain an easement for ditch maintenance. That's kind of a joke however, because the ditch hasn't been cleaned out for about 40 years! Of course the county still charges the ditch assessment every year, but I'm sure they're busy working on other parts of the county....


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  4. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Decatur county, IN Zone 6a
    Most of those programs have limitations so just keep those in mind. My stream buffer was limited to 120 feet from the actual bank. My other program was limited to 120' from any crop field edge. What I did is I looked at what edges made sense to add cover to at the maximum distance and then I had some small areas that simply didn't make much sense to screw with farming so I simply bit the bullet and took them out of farming on my own dime. Also make sure you understand the payments and management you will have to do. Some programs will cost share the install, but you get no payments, while others are a contract that may or may not be renewed and you then have to figure out what to do after that.
     
  5. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
    Northeast Indiana
    Hardiness Zone:
    Zone 6
    I'm open to any and all suggestions on setting up this land for hunting. I'm not married to the idea of CRP programs for the income, but it sure would help fund this madness. In Indiana there is also the opportunity for a tax break for wildlife habitat acres that I'm definitely going to pursue. I'm a little unsure how happy I'll be with program restrictions, and regardless of what I end up doing, I'm going to reserve some of the acreage to do whatever I can concoct.


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  6. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
    Northeast Indiana
    Hardiness Zone:
    Zone 6
    J-bird: I think you and I were typing simultaneously! Since I'm not looking at anything I'm doing here strictly for income, I have some latitude that many folks don't have. In regards to the filter strips, when you say creek banks do you mean the actual waters edge?


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  7. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

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    The 120ft buffer is called a CP33 here in kansas.I did this and just renewed 18 acres.I did take some out because I wanted to maintain with baling instead of fire.Also watch that if you do the riparian along creek they don't want you to burn that also.Thats what they tried to have me do and it took alot of explaining that you can't burn NWSG that has shrubs and trees mixed in
     
  8. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Decatur county, IN Zone 6a
    it is easier to show you - I just stole this pic off the interwebs. The program I am in the 120 feet starts at the green line and not the red one. I think mine is officially a CP-22 program. this program is aimed at improving water quality - but it pays better as well. It's to reduce erosion issues and to reduce stream sediment and chemical run-off and the like. Mine is planting in orchardgrass, timothy and clovers.
    creek bank.jpg

    My field edge buffer is a CP-33 program - it is along the same lines as above but it starts at the fields edge and goes inward. I originally just let mine go to weeds (which is allowed), but later came back and planted tall NWSG(my dime) - as it provides much better cover.

    My contracts where available in 10 and 15 year terms. As much as I wanted to plant trees the idea of the contract not being renewed and then having to revert back to tillable was too great for me. I have to manage the balance and income from my tillable......So I had to pick and choose my battles. I was able to renew this time, but obviously 10 years down the road I could be screwed. This is why it's important to understand what you are signing up for. Last thing I wanted to do was plant and grow trees for ten years, then loose the contract and then have to tear them out to revert back to tillable.
     
  9. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
    Northeast Indiana
    Hardiness Zone:
    Zone 6
    CP-22 is the one I'm planning to use. Since I'm at a stage in my life where I doubt I'll ever have to worry about reverting back to farming, I may still plant some trees. I'm being told that only the first 20' has to be in cool season grasses, and I can choose NWSG or other cover for the balance.


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  10. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
    Northeast Indiana
    Hardiness Zone:
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  11. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    That's cool. Your NRCS person should know the in's and out's of the various programs. I think for CP-22 it is only allowed for areas near a perennial stream. The other edges you have you may have to enroll in a different program if you so choose - again the NRCS person will know for sure. Good luck.
     
  12. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

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    I also did the area along a creek,it had rows of trees,shrub plots in corners and a strip of NWSG along the outside riparian.jpg riparian.jpg
     
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  13. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
    Northeast Indiana
    Hardiness Zone:
    Zone 6
    My mistake, the filter strip program is CP-21, not 22. The meeting with the biologist went well, he brought the local soil conservationist with him to discuss cover cropping options with my siblings who own the other 2/3 of the farm. I'm glad he did, as it looks like we will be doing filter strips on the majority of the creek banks, which is @3/4 of a mile throughout the farm. It also looks like we might end up doing windbreak tree rows around much of the perimeter of the property. I'm leaning towards the 3 row planting scheme for my edges- one row conifers, one row hardwoods, and one row shrubs. A lot of the shrub species should be beneficial, things like chokeberries, hazelnuts, dogwood, etc..
     
  14. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

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    One of my favorite shrubs is fragrant sumac if they can grow there
     
  15. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
    Northeast Indiana
    Hardiness Zone:
    Zone 6
    They should do well here, they have a huge range-essentially Canada to Florida. I'll probably source my plants from the Indiana state nursery, and fragrant sumac isn't on the list.


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  16. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Glad to hear your visit went well. I am not sure on the conditions of needing the trees to come from the state nursery are, but if you can find some seed - you can add some other diversity as well. I couldn't even tell you what sort of sumac I have! In most cases the programs can be tailored to what you want, just make sure you don't back yourself into a corner. Also make sure you have a plan in mind. This will direct some of what you plant and where as well. Those wind breaks could be great ways to access your property while staying hidden from the deer.....as such you won't want to encourage bedding or feeding along those areas. On the flip side where you want to see bedding or feeding you may change your planting to better suit those needs. Good luck and make sure to take lots of before pics as well as in process and after and share with us!
     
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  17. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
    Northeast Indiana
    Hardiness Zone:
    Zone 6
    As far as I know, the source isn't as important as the species- I think the NRCS lists only species that are readily available through our state nursery for landowner convenience. I have the start of "the plan" in mind, and am planning to keep the majority of the block out of any program just for flexibility. My main objective is to get some cover started, and screen the east side, as that will be the only contact with neighbors who hunt. It's fun to apply the whole "eating a whale " mindset to things, once the first few years pass I can see having targeted projects to daydream about, as well as maintaining what has already been started.


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