Southeast Arkansas agriculture and wildlife workshop planned

Landowners and agricultural producers interested in cost-share
programs are invited to attend the Southeast Arkansas Agriculture
and Wildlife Workshop in Lake Village. The workshop will deal with
wildlife habitat, cover crops, water management and conservation
practices that retain agricultural productivity.

Natural resource professionals with the Arkansas Game and Fish
Commission, Ducks Unlimited, Natural Resource Conservation Service
and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will discuss wetland
management, quail management, agricultural programs unique to the
area, and other conservation programs offering financial
incentives.

Michael Budd with the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program says
the workshop is being held in hopes of creating more wildlife
habitat, better management of existing habitat, create new habitat
and to improve water quality. “We also want landowners to know what
cost-share programs are available to them, how and why to enroll,
and what they can expect long-term,” Budd said. “This is a great
opportunity for landowners to meet the conservation professionals
in the area who provide funding, technical assistance, and who can
help landowners through each step of the process” he added.

According to David Long, Private Lands Coordinator with Arkansas
Game and Fish Commission, many times farmers have croplands and
other lands that are hard to farm or are low in productivity that
they would like to figure out other income sources for these low
yielding agricultural lands. “Most are not aware of the many state,
federal and private programs that provide significant financial
incentives and income opportunities to improve or create wildlife
habitat on private property,” Long explained. “In addition, program
changes occur regularly that normally result in better benefits for
landowners and place new practices in the toolbox. Our workshop
will cover all the programs available to assist landowners in
conservation practices to improve fish and wildlife habitat and
show them the money to improve their farm operations and many times
increase cash flow.”

Salt intrusion in catfish ponds is causing production problems for
many farmers, Long noted. “Many are looking at and enrolling in
income producing programs such as found in the Wetland Reserve
Program (pays up to $1,500 per acre for conservation easements and
the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program which pays yearly
rental payments (up to 15 years), $100 per acre up-front payments
and other incentives. These programs will be covered in detail at
the Feb. 1 workshop in Lake Village,” he said.

The workshop will be held on Feb. 1 at the Lake Village Fire
Station #2, starting at 10 a.m. A free lunch will be provided
following the session. For more information, and to RSVP by Jan. 25
to secure a seat and the lunch, please contact Sheila Pieroni at
the Chicot County Conservation District at 870-265-5312, ext.
3.

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