The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is working to increase northern bobwhite quail populations on land where cattle roam by providing more warm-season forages, which are plants that provide food for cattle and habitat for quail.
With funding assistance from the Northern Bobwhite in Working Grasslands initiative, the program will not only provide habitat for the ground-nesting birds, but is expected by the USDA to better the outcomes of cattle production in the area. This allows farmers to implement conservation practices that focus on habitat loss while continuing to use the land for agriculture.
The program provides financial and technical assistance to farmers who replace invasive fescue grass with native grasses, which help to restore soil health, increase weight gain among cattle and safeguard against droughts in the summertime.
These programs are available for private landowners in Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and 8 other states. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/BobwhiteQuail
— Rachel Pressley
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the number of states where the program is available.