Put Your Pivot Corners into Native Grass!! – CP33 Pivot Corner Wildlife Enhancement

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced that a new Conservation Reserve Program, CP33, has been put into place to encourage the further development of ground-nesting bird habitat on established irrigated farmlands. This new program will focus on the corners of center-pivot irrigation systems which have historically been ineligible for CRP, as these acres were not connected with a linear strip of grassland. The purpose of this program is to convert pivot corners into grass buffers, in turn creating greater habitat for upland birds and other species. The goal of this program is to create up to 500,000 acres of habitat for dependent birds, such as quail, mourning dove, wild turkey, meadowlarks, bobolinks, and several sparrow species. The creation of this new program will help in the establishment of nesting and brood-rearing habitat, in turn leading to an approximate increase of bobwhite quail by over 1 million birds annually. Not only will this program hope to increase the bobwhite quail population but it will also benefit reptiles, amphibians, and other upland birds; some of which are under consideration for the endagered species list. Although this program is focused on increasing multiple wildlife habitats, it will also be beneficial to the field profile as well. By moving these corners into grasses it will help reduce soil erosion from wind and rain, increase soil/water quality, as well as improving the ecosystem of the farmland. The new program will include the establishment of native warm-season grasses, forbs, legumes, and wildflowers, as well as shrubs and tree species.

But what does this new program mean to landowners who enroll? This program provieds landowners the opportunity to move their costly corners into a source of income. Input costs for maintaining corners in regards to weed control, seed, fertilizer, etc will be replaced by establishing native grasses; of which 90% of the cost of grass establishment will be paid by the USDA. After establishment an annual per acre payment will be paid to the landowner, this varies from county to county. Therefore, these once uproductive, costly corners can now become profitable!

For more information on the new CP33 Program check out the FSA link below.

http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/newsReleases?mystate=tx&area=stnewsroom&subject=stnr&topic=landing&newstype=stnewsrel&type=detail&item=stnr_tx_20150126_rel_319.html

2010 Quick - Draw Studios Pictures 007_compressed

 

 

Rhett Kerby

by Rhett K. Kerby, M.S.

National Ag Day

In 1973 National Agriculture Day was established to honor and recognize the hard working agriculturalists. Agriculture is one of the oldest practiced sciences in the world and is an ever evolving science. Agriculture has a large impact in our everyday lives; from the food we eat, the clothes on our backs, the houses we call home, and the money we exchange. As the agricultural industry continues to meet the demands of the global economy, it is important to teach the worldwide impact of agriculture.

We here at Bamert Seed Company would like to thank the scientists, conservationists, farmers, ranchers, and all those involved in the agricultural industry.

Dodge put out an advertisement a couple years ago, we believe this is a good way to thank all of those involved in agriculture.

Click the video below to see Dodge’s “So God Made a Farmer

So God Made a Farmer

 

 

 

Bamert Seed

 

Wildlife Habitat Federation Partnership

If you are familiar with the Bobwhite quail, then you may also know Texas has faced a declining quail population, as well as many other states. This population decline correlates to the decrease in native habitat for quail. Bobwhite quail thrive on the nutritional value found when foraging on native seeds. Native plants are not only used as a source of food but also for nesting habitat, predator defense, and escapement. Native prairies are also needed to attract the insects for young chicks to feed on. Insects provide a large portion of the metabolic water required by quail of all ages.

 

In 2014, Texas lawmakers reserved $6 million for restoring native prairies and researching Bobwhite quail. However, there is one group who has already taken up the call for action to preserve the quail. Jim Willis, the founder of the Wildlife Habitat Federation (WHF), began the initiative to preserve Bobwhite quail when he began transitioning his overgrazed pastures into native grasslands in 2004. They started out with 200 acres and created what they call the Quail Corridor. This corridor spreads down to the Attawater Prairie Chicken Reserve and has helped the Bobwhite quail population restoration efforts. Jim Willis’ and the WHF’s dedication to restoring prairie lands has helped inspire others to join the same restoration and conservation initiative. Since 90% of Texas is privately owned, landowners are the key to helping restore these native prairies. Today Jim Willis and the WHF have helped to restore 40,000 acres of native prairies that were once introduced monoculture pastures. It is the goal of the WHF to help restore 200,000 acres of native prairies for Bobwhite quail habitat and population growth.

 

Bamert Seed Company has been partnering with Jim and the WHF since 2010. Our partnership and friendship with Jim and the WHF developed out of our shared goals to restore and conserve native prairies. Bamert Seed Company has helped Jim and the WHF develop planting strategies and native blend diversity. Throughout the years as WHF’s program has grown, so has our partnership. Bamert Seed Company supplies the seed for WHF’s initiative with blends that create diversity; as well as making available WHF locally harvested seed.

 

John F. Kennedy once said that “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Jim Willis and the WHF have proven their leadership role in the preservation of the Bobwhite quail and their habitat.

 

For more inforamation regarding Jim Willis’ progress in restoring native prairies please visit the recent Houston Chronical article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/science-environment/article/Prairie-landowners-replant-to-make-room-for-quail-5928426.php?t=cc33b2e5e6b82edad4&cmpid=email-desktop#/0

 

For more information regarding the Wildlife Habitat Federation, please visit their website at: www.whf-texas.org

 

 

 

Rhett Kerby

by Rhett K. Kerby, M.S.

Native Grass Seeding

Have you ever driven by a roadside construction area and all there is bare ground? Maybe you’ve driven through oil country and saw a long wide stretch of bare ground where a pipeline has just been installed. Do you ever ask yourself “Why don’t they plant something on that?” Well the truth is most contractors who are involved in land disturbing practices actually do go back and reclaim the land. Now days more and more people are leaning towards a native grass seeding, to help stablilize the soil, reduce erosion, and to have a natural look. John is such a contractor, he is involved in multiple contracting jobs and he goes back to his job sites and plants native grasses. Although a lush landscape is not instantaneous, most if not all reclamation projects are planted dryland and depend on Mother Nature to provide the necessary rainfall for establishment and growth.

 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and John has definitely captured a successful reclamation project with the picture below. John planted a mixture of Blue Grama, Desert Globe Mallow, Sand Dropseed, Fourwing Saltbush, Mexican Hat, and Sideoat, on this project around the Las Cruces, New Mexico area.

 

Bamert Seed Company would like to congratulate John not only on a successful reclamation project but for also being awarded for Excellence in Reclamation. Congrulations John!

 

Bokich                  Seed provided by Bamert Seed Company

 

 

Bamert Seed

Switchgrass: Growing Switchgrass as a Profitable Energy Crop

Switchgrass, a perennial warm season grass that is central to the North American tallgrass prairie, is commonly grown by farmers for foraging and livestock purposes. In the last few years, there has also been a growing interest in using switchgrass as an energy crop.

Researchers have begun to recognize the importance of switchgrass as a viable biomass crop for the production of ethanol, on top of its soil conservation and game cover qualities. From the usage of sawdust and woodchips for biofuel, research and initiatives are now looking to tap into cellulosic ethanol, specifically from switchgrass, because of its multi-purpose potential.

Corn-based ethanol, which is the traditional choice, only produces roughly the same amount of energy required to raise it, which makes it a costly energy crop especially when weather conditions and overall plant management are less than ideal. Compared with corn, the energy that switchgrass is able to produce is significantly more relative to the energy needed to produce it.

For every acre of land planted with switchgrass seed, it is estimated to yield 500 gallons of ethanol. Switchgrass, which is a perennial and doesn’t have to be replanted every year, can be harvested multiple times throughout the growing season depending on growing conditions. As a cash crop, it can be cut or grazed for forage early in the season then harvested for biofuel later in the season.

Generally speaking, switchgrass is able to adapt to a variety of soils and growing conditions but is most productive on sandy to clay loam soils. It grows quickly, with its roots being able to reach deeply into the soil for water—which helps prevent soil erosion during the winter—and it can stand as high as 10 feet, possessing thick and strong stems full of converted solar energy.

If you’re looking for high quality switchgrass seed for sale, call us here at Bamert Seed Company. 90% of the seeds we sell are produced on our farms; therefore, one can rest assured that strict quality control measures are in place.

For inquiries on our switchgrass seed or other native grass seed, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-262-9892. You may also visit our Plant Library on our website for more information on switchgrass, or read our How to Guide to learn more about how to plant native seeds.

Cyber Monday Sale

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It’s that time of year again, when people are bustling from shop to shop or browsing website to website to find the best deals and get all of the items that their loved ones want. During this busy holiday season, it’s not typical that one would consider native grasses for a loved one or maybe even for themselves. But it is the perfect time to consider native grasses as a gift. Do you a loved one who is maybe the avid hunter looking to pull in the big bucks? Why not get that special someone seed for their food plot, much like our Rack’em & Rut’em Blend or maybe ever our Spring Turkey, Quial, and Deer Blend. Maybe you have a big DIY’er in the family and they want to redo a yard or garden. We have the perfect items just for them. We have everything from Buffalograss to wildflower blends for all of their yard or garden plans. So whether you are trying to find a gift for your hunter or gardener, Bamert Seed Company has all of your seed needs in one place.

This Cyber Monday, Bamert Seed Company is offering 10% off your entire order and free shipping. So hurry before it’s over! Use code CMBS

Bamert Seed

by Gretchen Adams, M.S.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving-Image

We here at Bamert Seed Company would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy this time with family and friends and take a moment to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for as individuals and as a nation. While enjoying your Thanksgiving festivities, take a moment to thank the farmers who provide a bountiful harvest every year. It is through their hard work and dedication which allows us to enjoy an abundance and vast variety of agricultural products!

 

Bamert Seed

by Gretchen Adams, M.S.

Blue Grama Grass for Soil Erosion Control and More

Soil erosion is a reality many people have to contend with. As the rains come down on sloping terrain, loose surface soil is taken down with the water. One way to address and control soil erosion is through the use of plants like Blue Grama grass.

What makes it a great choice for soil erosion control is that its dense, shallow root system holds down the soil it’s planted in, preventing soil from blowing away even during storms. Because the root structure is shallow, rainfall is quickly and easily absorbed.

Other characteristics of Blue Grama that makes it a great option for soil erosion is its tolerance to drought, heat, cold, temperature fluctuations, and soil variation. It also mixes well with Buffalograss. Maintenance is minimal and it is moderately durable. Blue Grama grass needs well drained soils to flourish and is unsuited to wet, poorly drained terrains. This makes it an ideal soil erosion control option for open plains, foothills, woodlands, and other dry arid climates.

Besides acting as an effective way to control soil erosion, Blue Grama grass is also an important forage species for all species of livestock and wildlife because of its high nutritional value. After curing, it still retains up to 50% of its nutritive value. It grows between 10–20 inches and has a fast maturation time of as short as 60–70 days.

These characteristics make Blue Grama a good grazing option for all sorts of livestock and wildlife. Growth usually does not occur until the onset of summer warmth and accompanying moisture. Under severe drought conditions, it goes dormant and will resume its growth cycle when conditions are favorable once again. It is suited for fall and winter grazing, maintaining a high nutritional value upon curing.

It is also an excellent choice for turf grass in low maintenance, un-mowed lawns. Proper management is needed to achieve good turf quality, but excessive irrigation and fertilization can lead to weed and cool season grass invasion.

If you are looking for a specific, native seed for your project, Bamert Seed has the seeds you are looking for. You can check out our plant library to see the seeds we have available, as well as technical data such as the mature height, seeds per pound, tolerance to different types of soils and climates, as well as values for wildlife and foraging. We offer over 200 species of high quality grasses, forbs, and legumes.
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Manage Your Sideoats Grama for Livestock and Wildlife Foraging

A perennial mid-height grass found in a variety of habitats such as meadows, rocky slopes, and mountainous plateaus, Sideoats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) derives its name from the way its seeds grow on the sides of the stalk which makes it look like oats. This grass type has become a popular choice among growers because of its thin, long leaves that makes for excellent foraging for livestock and wildlife alike.

Sideoats Grama grass can tolerate drought and dry soils. It is a deep-rooted perennial, that produces high quality forage which makes it ideal for foraging. The grass type features zigzag stalks with evenly spaced spikes, and is commonly used as animal fodder material due to its medium protein content which is highly palatable for grazing animals. It is considered as nutritious forage for all classes of livestock, from elk and deer to birds and even wild turkey.

The tiny flowers of Sideoats Grama typically come in either orange or purple, but may also come in hues of orange or red. This prairie grass is able to withstand the full heat of the sun with little water and can even be grown as turf grass. This grass type is best cultivated in grass mixes for range and pasture seeding along with Blue Grama or Buffalograss to provide optimal erosion control. It is also recommended for earth fills and recreational plantings because it may be planted in dry to average soils that drain well. Additionally, it may be used for ornamental purposes because of its blue-green foliage.

Since Sideoats Grama grass can thrive in many kinds of soil and different climates, managing this grass type is easy as long as you know what season to use it in. While it is a tri-seasonal grass, it still grows best during the summer and fall, but its grass stays palatable for animals even in winter. This makes it a flexible range grass species. It is also well adapted to calcareous and moderately alkaline soils. Under favorable conditions, it can quickly restore eroded grasslands.

Bamert Seed offers high quality Sideoats Grama seeds you can use to plant forage for all classes of grazing livestock as well as wildlife. For any inquiries about this native grass seed and our other available options, feel free to contact us. We produce over 90% of our seeds right here on our farms, so you can be assured that our seeds are of the highest quality.

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