5 Ways South Dakota Farmers Help Hunters

Hunters depend on farmers to create habitat for wildlife. Many farmers like to hunt, too! Here’s how farmers help:

  1. Food plots
    Farmers plant crops in certain areas specifically for wildlife, including corn, soybeans, wheat and clover.
  1. Turn marginal land into habitat
    Land that isn’t productive for crops is often enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or state-sponsored Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Farmers call it “farming the best and conserving the rest.”
  1. Promote biodiversity
    Farmers use practices like no-till, crop rotation and cover crops to create the organic matter that produces healthy soil. This promotes a wide variety of plant life in set-aside areas and fields left fallow. Plant diversity promotes wildlife diversity.
  1. Locate habitat strategically
    To help wildlife flourish, some farmers plant specific crops adjacent to CRP or CREP land. For instance, pheasants like nesting in winter wheat; locating habitat next to winter wheat increases the area available to the pheasants.
  1. Manage grasses and wetlands
    Farmers manage land in ways that promotes wildlife. Protecting wetlands, encouraging native prairie grass growth and leaving dead trees or logs on the ground provides habitat for wildlife.

Thanks to South Dakota farmers for helping grow our wildlife population!

South Dakota farmers are long-time conservationists with a deep sense of responsibility for the land — including all its wildlife and aquatic life. Voluntary strategies include:

  • Planting food plots for pheasant, deer and other game wildlife.
  • Using shelterbelts to naturally protect crops, livestock or homes — and create significant wildlife habitat at the same time.
  • Working with researchers to help protect habitat from farm production, livestock and machinery.
  • Taking part in the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that pays farmers rent in exchange for land set aside for wildlife habitat or left unused near waterways.

South Dakota Corn Growers believes in conservation compliance. We continue to educate and encourage our members about conservation practices we can apply to protect soil, wetlands and wildlife.