Conserving Playas Provides Lush Grazing and Bird Habitat

Dec 8, 2015

Credit Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Shaw Family Farms produces 1,000 calves a year. The cows and those calves require lots of forage. A field under crop production has several playa lakes, and 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. Cost-share funding to achieve the project came from a North American Wetland Conservation Act grant, a Nebraska Environmental Trust grant, and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Cows/calves are grazing the wetland parcel and bugs and birds are attracted to the forbs and seeds.

PARTICIPANTS:

Andy Bishop
Coordinator
Rainwater Basin Joint Venture
Nebraska

Brian Shaw
Cattleman/Ag-Producer
Fairfield, NE

Produced by Playa Lakes Joint Venture.