Controlled burning has been a widespread and beneficial tool used by many CRP participants to assist them in preserving good vigor and native grass establishment in their contract stands. It has become apparent due to this period of unseasonable wet and cold weather that a routine and scheduled maintenance or required management burn may not be able to be timely performed within prescribed conservation plan dates.
Therefore, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and FSA, at the state level, have agreed that due to the current inhibiting field conditions, a statewide burning extension will be granted to May 1.
According to these agencies, it is important that a CRP burn be completed even though this extension occurs during the traditional wildlife nesting season.
It will not be necessary for affected CRP contracts to undergo modifications of their Conservation Plan of Operations (CPO) to account for this extension if a prescribed burn was scheduled.
In addition to burning, the final date to perform interseedings, maintenance mowings after grass establishment and light diskings as a CPO management practice or permissive use also now has been revised to end on May 1.
Unless exceptions are granted on an individual contract basis, CRP acres shall be left undisturbed during the period of time after May 1 until July 16 to provide and protect wildlife habitat and permit natural, unconstrained vegetative growth.
For questions or to gain further CRP information, contact the FSA office in your local USDA Service Center.
Bill Harmon is executive director of the FSA office for Marion County.