Wildlife habitat practices evaluated for USDA
By Tom Lollis
Results of a three-year study of federal Farm Bill guidelines for improving wildlife habitat on farms and woodlands will be reported to the USDA in November.
Laura Knipp, a Clemson master’s student, has been working with T.J. Savereno, a wildlife biologist at the Pee Dee Research & Education Center, under the direction of professor Greg Yarrow. The study was funded by a grant from the USDA Agriculture & Wildlife Conservation Center and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
In 2004 they established replications of eight wildlife habitat practices: hedgerows, riparian buffer zones, native warm season grass plots, filter strips, field borders, forest openings, forest stand improvement and prescribed burning.
Knipp’s preliminary observations indicate that plant species diversity has increased in treatment areas, with a corresponding increase in wildlife species such as rabbits and bobwhite quail. She also noted that patience is required for planted warm-season grasses to become established. It took three years for planted grasses to win out over pigweed and sicklepod in year one and horseweed in year two.
For information: Greg Yarrow, 864-656-7370, firstname.lastname@example.org