Playa Renovation on Haynes Farm in Colorado

Larry Haynes, a farmer from Holyoke, Colorado, talks about putting land “to its best use.” For decades he attempted to farm playas in his fields, but said he “rarely” was able to harvest crops grown in those wetlands. So he renovated and planted large buffers around them, thus putting the playas “to their best use” as wildlife habitat.

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Managed Intensive Grazing on Birdwell and Clark Ranch

Deborah Clark and her husband Emory apply the principles of holistic ranch management, and they use managed intensive grazing on their stocker cattle operation on 14,000 acres in north-central Texas. Holistic management demands that the practitioner think through tasks, processes and the deployment of assets not to “put pounds on cattle,” but to remain laser-focused on a goal of profitability gained from efficiently-grazed cattle on an ever-improving healthy grass landscape.

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Conserving Playas Provides Lush Grazing and Bird Habitat

Shaw Family Farms had several playas that often made farming the field a challenging proposition. The Shaws fenced-off 80 acres, developed those resident playas by restoring natural hydrology and planting grass buffers. They further enhanced the parcel by planting a variety of grasses and forbs to attract bugs and birds, then put the land in a permanent conservation easement. Their cows and calves now graze the wetland parcel, and bugs and birds are attracted to the forbs and seeds.

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Managing CRP Buffers Increases Quality Habitat and Hunting Habitat

Physician Joe Barnes is a hunter. He consulted Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist Tyson Seirer on ways he and his tenant producer could make crop fields more hospitable for pheasant and quail at little additional expense.

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Conserving Playas “Puts Land to Its Best Use”

Larry Haynes of Holyoke, CO, is a proponent of putting land to its best use. In his case, that meant no longer farming through playas in crop fields and developing those wetlands into wildlife habitat to benefit autumn and winter hunting.

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