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USDA Oklahoma Farm Service Agency Accepting CRP Offers to Restore Playa Wetlands
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) offers to participate in the Kansas Nebraska Oklahoma Migratory Birds, Butterflies, and Pollinators State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) project. FSA is currently accepting offers, and qualifying farmers and landowners have until February 17, 2023 to submit an initial offer, with final offers due March 17, 2023.

“Through unique partner opportunities like this, SAFE helps restore vital habitat in order to meet high-priority state wildlife conservation goals,” said FSA Oklahoma State Executive Director Steve Kouplen. “In addition to supporting key species like our state bird, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and the Monarch Butterfly, this SAFE project will provide habitat for other wildlife, including deer, game birds, waterfowl, and pollinators that have significant social and economic value.”

The following three counties in Oklahoma are eligible for the SAFE project: Beaver, Cimarron, and Texas. Additional counties in Kansas and Nebraska are also eligible.

FSA partners with states to conduct CRP SAFE projects that give qualifying landowners and agricultural producers an opportunity to participate in CRP with an emphasis on establishing wildlife habitat. This tri-state SAFE project is designed to improve habitat for migrating birds and beneficial insects by restoring playa wetlands. Playas are shallow depressions that fill with water after rainstorms which provides critical habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife while also recharging the underlying aquifer.

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Oklahoma Farm Report's Ron Hays talks regenerative agriculture and ranching with Jimmy Emmons. Jimmy is a long time resident of Leedey, OK. He is the third generation on the family farm in Dewey County. He and his wife Ginger have been farming and ranching together since 1980. They have a diverse 2000 acre cropping operation growing wheat, soybeans, sesame, sunflowers, irrigated dairy alfalfa hay, canola, grain sorghum and several cover crops for seed.
Jimmy has been monitoring soil health with soil testing since 2011 utilizing cover crops to enhance soil health.

Jimmy and Ginger also have a 250 cow/calf herd and take in yearling cattle for custom grazing on the nearly 6000 acres of native range. Ginger is the primary cattle manager in the operation. The Emmons’ utilize an adaptive multi-paddock grazing system on their range and forages grown on crop ground. They use the system to keep the native grasses and soils healthy, maximize biological diversity and optimize animal health.

As Jimmy Says- Long Live the Soil!

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