Managed Grazing During Times of Drought

Much of the High Plains region is under extreme or exceptional drought. Learn how enrolling grassland in the NRCS Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative helps landowners take advantage of technical advice for deploying managed-grazing regimes to protect rangeland, both for cattle-grazing and Lesser Prairie-Chicken habitat. Good rangeland management during drought will enable the landscape to recover faster once “Mother Nature turns the spigot on again.”

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Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative at Work

Land manager Tom Turner manages grazing land in west-central Kansas in the sandhills south of Kinsley. Owing to sandy soil composition the grassland is fragile. Turner got the land enrolled in the NRCS Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative and used cost-share money to improve cross-fencing and a livestock watering system. That eased the process of rotational grazing, one of the components of a managed grazing plan to protect the fragile landscape while improving Lesser Prairie-Chicken habitat.

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NRCS Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative

The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative funds managed-grazing programs that help the grass and therefore the rancher’s bottom line, and also help support the habitat of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken. Learn about cost-share funds in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) that help ranchers with projects related to managed grazing. These EQIP funds available under the Initiative are a “life saver” for land coming out of CRP, helping them be reverted to grazing land rather than plowed and planted to crops.

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