There is a reoccurring conversation that we seem to have with clients. “I want to bring quail back to my property. What do you think of this single and specific species?” The typical reply is something along the lines of… “It depends on what vegetation is currently established and how dense is it? Typically, most are starting from either what is or what will be bare ground, or, old conservation projects. Regardless of where you start, there is not one magical species that will bring all the birds in the world in. Habitat, diversity, moisture, and most of all patience, these are the things that bring in the birds.

Creating an Upland Habitat

Initial use of native, drought-tolerant bunchgrasses is the best place to start. These grasses provide a nesting area that is secluded and insulated from the elements. These grasses are used as a sheltering component within the habitat. Once the grass species mature, they create a natural canopy between each plant. This provides predation cover as well as helping to regulate the soil temperature. The regulation of soil temperature is mutually beneficial to the animal, plant, insect and microbial species within the local ecosystem. Secondly, the vegetation coverage helps retain moisture by limiting the amount of evaporation that occurs due to extreme soil temperatures. The area being vegetated also increases the water infiltration rate of the soil, reducing erosion during dramatic rainfall events. During these rainfall events, the biomass of the grasses slows down the rate at which water contacts the ground. This allows the soil to absorb as much water as possible while reducing water erosion. Lastly, vegetated soils create ideal soil health. The resulting soil health impacts create additional habitat for insects. The insects are a vital food source for new hatchlings. Mature birds will consume some level of insects as well.

Most of the areas that would create ideal upland habitat deal with drought to some degree. This again is why native bunchgrasses are ideal for upland habitat. These grasses have dense expansive roots system that can reach depths greater than 10 feet in some cases. These root systems allow the plant to collect moisture and nutrients from deep within the soil, even in times of drought. The grasses abilities to withstand times of drought also prevent wind erosion from occurring. Wind erosion can be just as destructive as water erosion in some parts of the country, especially in times of drought. The root system that allows the plants to survive drought also provides stability to the soil, reducing wind and water erosion during storm events.

The density of these bunchgrasses can heavily influence the quality of your habitat. Historically these habitats have been created within old or expiring conservation projects. The density of the plantings within the projects are conservative in most cases. Pertaining to upland habitat specifically, this may be better than a retired hay meadow. Too great of a density of bunchgrasses prevents the bird’s abilities to move, collect food, and avoid predators. A lack of plant density allows for erosion, higher soil temperatures, and a reduction in cover and nesting habitat. A generic rule of thumb of an ideal plant density would be to have an appearance of density from afar, yet once you walk through the area you could place your foot between the grass bunches and possibly see a small amount of soil. This could vary dramatically in your specific area. Striking a balance between plant density and erosion is key.

When creating habitat from bare soil, patience and time to allow the area to vegetatively mature should hold high regard. Planting rates will generally vary between conservation and reclamation rates. Many areas require between 3 to 5 years of successful plant establishment to have a useable habitat from bare soil. This time frame may seem drastic to some, though it’s normally as quick, or quicker than creating habitat within an existing plant community.

The Not-so-Secret? Diversity of Forbs

Forbs are a major food source for game birds and wildlife in general. Forbs in an upland habitat should be largely perennial, native and drought-tolerant. Annual and bi-annual forbs may be a wise addition to the perennial forbs is some areas as well.

When planting forbs into existing native grasses, an overseeding of forbs may be all that is needed to attract upland birds and wildlife. As well, some habitats may benefit from an overseeding of forbs every 3-5 years. This figure may vary due to environmental conditions, weather patterns, and management of the area. If the area chosen for habitat has dense vegetation or brush, major management of the density more than likely will be needed to create the desired habitat.

A diversity of forbs in a habitat historically attracts more wildlife, regardless of the desired or targeted species. Each species of forbs has a different bloom period and helps maintain a food source throughout the seasons. Typically 6 or more forbs in an area is ideal. This allows for at least 2 different species per bloom period. Ideally, 8 to 12 species is desirable. This allows for some overlap in bloom periods and more variety of food source.

A notable secondary benefit of forb diversity is the utilization of these plants by pollinators. The benefits of pollinator species within a habitat can be dramatic. Pollinator species utilize forbs for their own habitat. As well as participating as predators and pray for other species of insects and animals. The plant species benefit from pollinator presences as well. Pollinators play a critical role in the long-term, continued reproduction of forbs.

Quail are often viewed as a key performance indicator to the quality of an areas habitat. Historical data indicates, as the quilty and diversity of vegetation decreases, upland birds are some of the first species to be affected.

Article credit:  Colby F. Scroggins – Reclamation Specialist at Bamert Seed Company.

Photo credit: Barry Coker, Ricky Linex, and Bamert Seed Company.



Monarchs are all the craze! Rightfully so, as their migration pattern is a true expression nature which is to be appreciated by the most layperson.

Monarchs and Milkweeds

Species of milkweed plants are responsible for the butterflies’ food source during early stages of life. The number of milkweed plants has been negatively affected by many cultural practices throughout multiple industries. Therefore, numerous initiatives have been developed throughout North America to plant milkweeds in areas such as: roadway medians, flower beds, school yards, etc .

There are numerous species of milkweeds throughout North America. However, the availability of many of the species of milkweed seed has troubled the conservation and restoration communities and their respective initiatives to plant milkweeds. There are only a few milkweed species that can economically be produced, and therefore, be offered on the market. This creates a problem for some of the areas within the migration path…that problem is: there are no seeds of the region-specific milkweed species for the given area.

No Milkweed? No Problem

So, if there is no milkweed seed available for your region what do you do? Chris Helzer, Nature Conservancy’s Director of Science in Nebraska, has a great blog related to other necessary strategies of Monarch habitat conservation. These necessary strategies include ensuring that nectar-rich native forb species are available for adult feeding throughout the migration.

Chris says, “In addition [to planting milkweeds], protecting and restoring the wildflower-rich grasslands and other natural areas that provide food for adult monarchs, as well as for thousands of bee and other pollinator species, is also vitally important.” Furthermore, “A healthy prairie with a diverse wildflower community is invaluable to bees and other pollinators, and also provides nectar resources needed by monarch butterfly adults. If that prairie contains vibrant populations of milkweed species that provide egg-laying habitat to monarchs, that’s even better. Many prairies don’t currently have strong milkweed populations. Some milkweed species are not strong competitors in a tight-knit plant community, and certain grazing and other management practices tend to further discourage milkweeds. Over the next several years, I am hoping to learn more about how to make prairies support stronger milkweed/monarch populations. Hopefully, we and others can help make North American prairies even better contributors to the survival of monarch butterflies.”

Therefore, it is important to recognize native, natural prairies as a function of Monarch habitat sustainability. You can read Chris’s full article at:https://prairieecologist.com/2016/03/01/monarch-conservation-strategies/

[avatar user=”Rhett Kerby” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” link=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhettkerby” target=”_blank”]by Rhett K. Kerby, M.S.[/avatar]


Pollinator Week – 2016

Pollinator_Week_Bamert

“Nature is to be found in her entirety nowhere more than in her smallest creatures.” — Pliny the Elder

Pollinator Week began in 2007 upon the Senate’s unanimous decision to designate a week of June as “National Pollinator Week”.  This marked the beginning of advancing awareness of all pollinating species.  Pollinating species such as: bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, and others are vital to our nation’s well-being by pollinating the flowers of plants that produce food, fiber, feed, and fuel.

In celebration of Pollinator Week, we are offering FREE SHIPPING on our pollinator blends: American Magic Wildflower Mix and Bird and Butterfly Wildflower Mix.

Purple Pollen

The photo above is Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea).  The purple parts of the plant are the petals of the flowers. The pollen of Purple prairie clover is orange, and is the male parts of the flower.  The structures that create and present the pollen are called stamens.  Pollinating species are attracted to the flower by its bright color and sweet nectar.  As the pollinating species search the flower for nectar they are come in contact with the pollen; the pollen can either attach to the pollinator or can simply be knocked loose from the stamen.  As the pollinator moves about the flower they transfer the pollen from the stamens to the pistil.  The pistil is the female part of the plant.  When the pollen (male) and is placed in or on the pistil (female) fertilization occurs.  Upon fertilization the flower will begin to produce a fruit.  We knows these fruits as vegetables, fruits, or seeds.

[avatar user=”Rhett Kerby” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” link=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhettkerby” target=”_blank”]by Rhett K. Kerby, M.S.[/avatar]


We are proud to offer our seed guides in Flipbook format!

 

This format offers the feel of an actual book, while possessing the power of hyperlinks to our product pages!   After clicking on the links below, make sure to select the “Enable FullScreen” button in the upper right of the Flipbook window.

 

Bamert Seed Co – Seed Guide

 

Bamert Seed Co – Reclamation Seed Guide

 

[avatar user=”Rhett Kerby” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” link=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhettkerby” target=”_blank”]by Rhett K. Kerby, M.S.[/avatar]


Bamert Seed Company is proud to say that 2016 will mark our 65th year of partnering in conservation efforts for many species throughout the United States!

 

We look forward to opportunities to be involved in the conservation of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken!

 

 

In 2010, the Natural Resources Conservation Service launched the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative to help private landowners voluntarily improve lesser prairie-chicken habitat. This video introduces the program and shows how we go about win-win conservation that benefits both agricultural producers and prairie wildlife.

 

[avatar user=”Rhett Kerby” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” link=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhettkerby” target=”_blank”]by Rhett K. Kerby, M.S.[/avatar]


 

 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a new conservation effort to help farmers in Indiana and nine other states provide food and habitat for monarch butterflies. This targeted effort in the Midwest and southern Great Plains by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will invest $4 million in 2016 to help combat the decline of this iconic species.
The orange-and-black butterflies are known for their annual, multi-generational migration from central Mexico to as far north as Canada. Monarch populations have decreased significantly over the past two decades, in part because of the decrease in native plants like milkweed – the sole source of food for monarch caterpillars.

Examples of conservation improvements include buffer habitats, cover crops and better pasture management practices which help reduce erosion, increase soil health, inhibit the expansion of invasive species and provide food and habitat for insects and wildlife.

 

This effort by NRCS contributes to a multi-agency, international strategy to reverse the monarch’s population decline in North America, estimated to have decreased from one billion butterflies in 1995 down to about 34 million today. The National Strategy to Protect Pollinators and Their Habitat has a goal of increasing the eastern population of monarchs back up to 225 million by 2020.

 

Source: Washington Times Herald

 

[avatar user=”Rhett Kerby” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” link=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhettkerby” target=”_blank”]by Rhett K. Kerby, M.S.[/avatar]


Its noteworthy to mention that this program is available year-round. In other words, there is no sign-up period…sign-up anytime!

 

 

 

USDA Accepting More Farmland for Wildlife Habitat in Texas

 

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – July 17, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Judith A. Canales today announced that an additional 27,300 acres of agricultural land in Texas is eligible for funding for wildlife habitat restoration.

 

The initiative, known as State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE), is part of the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a federally-funded voluntary program that for 30 years has assisted agricultural producers with the cost of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. In return, USDA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. CRP has helped farmers and ranchers prevent more than 8 billion tons of soil from eroding, reduce nitrogen and phosphorous runoff relative to cropland by 95 and 85 percent respectively, and even sequester 43 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, equal to taking 8 million cars off the road.

 

In total, up to 400,000 acres of additional agricultural land will be eligible for wildlife habitat restoration funding through this SAFE announcement. The additional acres are part of an earlier CRP wildlife habitat announcement made by Secretary Vilsack. Currently, more than 1 million acres, representing 98 projects, are enrolled in SAFE nationwide.

 

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Conservation Reserve Program, which has not only resulted in significant soil and water improvements, but also greater populations of waterfowl, gamebirds and other wildlife native to the rural countryside,” said Canales. “Here in Texas, 114,800 acres in the Mixed Grass Project for the benefit of the Lesser Prairie Chicken are designed specifically to increase the Lesser Prairie Chicken habitat. Since it was first established in 2008, farmers and ranchers have enrolled 87,500 acres, which increased managed and developed habitats, resulting in a 25 percent increase of the Lesser Prairie Chicken population. We hope to continue this progress by offering interested farmers and ranchers the opportunity to enroll another 27,300 acres in this project.”

 

Interested producers can offer land for enrollment in SAFE and other CRP initiatives by contacting their local FSA county office at http://offices.usda.gov. To learn more the 30th anniversary of CRP and to review 30 success stories throughout the year, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/CRPis30 or follow Twitter at #CRPis30. And for more information about FSA conservation programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation.

 

The Conservation Reserve Program was reauthorized by 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

 

 

Source: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/newsReleases?mystate=tx&area=stnewsroom&subject=stnr&topic=landing&newstype=stnewsrel&type=detail&item=stnr_tx_20150717_rel_01.html

 

 

[avatar user=”Rhett Kerby” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” link=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhettkerby” target=”_blank”]by Rhett K. Kerby, M.S.[/avatar]


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

 

 

[avatar user=”Rhett Kerby” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” link=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhettkerby” target=”_blank”]by Rhett K. Kerby, M.S.[/avatar]


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

 

 

 

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