Establishing Native Grasses and Forbs for CRP – Part 2: Seed Placement and Planting

Considering enrolling in CRP for native grasses and forbs? We don’t blame you. CRP not only offers competitive rates, cost-sharing reimbursement, and sign-up incentives, but planting native grass is great for both your farm and the environment as a whole.

That said, if you want to successfully establish native grass on your land through CRP, you’ll need to do it correctly.

It starts with making sure you get the right seed.

(You can learn more about the importance of seed mixes in our previous post.)

While there are a few places you can purchase CRP seed online, it’s a risky venture. Should you purchase CRP seed from Pheasants Forever or a similar company, you’ll first need to figure out what seed you need.

Even with the right seed mix in hand, you’ll need to acquire special equipment and calibrate it to the appropriate settings. It’s not only a lot of work, but there are many things that can go wrong. That’s why it’s best to trust the establishment process to experienced professionals, from the purchasing of seed to the planting and management.

After all, CRP shares the cost of expenses. Contractor services practically pay for themselves. More on that in a moment.

Why Proper Planting Matters for CRP Native Grass and Forbs

When planting native grass and forbs, you’re not simply planting crops for the harvest. You’re establishing a long-term ecosystem. The foundation must be strong. That requires the right tools and the proper methods.

Trying to use traditional farm equipment to plant CRP mixes doesn’t work.  Even if you can get the seed to flow through the planter it won’t be planted at the correct rates and will likely be planted too deeply, preventing germination from taking place.

Even with the right equipment, calibration is needed to plant at the correct rates and spacing. There’s a lot to be calculated when it comes to seed disbursement, with location, soil condition, seed type, and weather all being factors.

To make things more difficult, rented CRP equipment won’t come with GPS capabilities, increasing your chances of either double planting or missing entire sections.

Even with CRP’s cost reimbursement, seed can be expensive.  Wasting seed will multiply that cost, negating the cost share altogether.

Providing the Right Equipment and the Necessary Skills

At FDCE, we already have the equipment and expertise needed to establish native grass and forbs projects. We’ve worked on CRP projects across the country, so we know how to deliver the best results in all soil and climate conditions.

We also have herbicide spray units mounted on our planters, allowing us to seed and eliminate weeds in one pass. Not only does this reduce soil compaction and CO2 emissions, but it makes it easier for the CRP seeds to germinate.

Of course, CRP establishment is only successful if quality seed is used. That’s why we only buy seed from the best seed companies in the nation.  We then reprocess the seed, add micronutrients to enhance germination and test for palmer amaranth to ensure your project gets the best seed in the industry.

If you’re looking to plant native grass and forbs on your land, let FDCE handle the work for you. We even take care of submitting to FSA all of the paperwork required for program compliance and cost share reimbursement..