USDA Introduces New Bobwhite Conservation Pilot and Opens General CRP Signup

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has unveiled two significant conservation initiatives aimed at promoting wildlife habitat preservation and environmental stewardship. In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Robert Bonnie, announced the launch of the Working Lands for Wildlife’s Northern Bobwhite Pilot Project and provided details about the upcoming signup dates for the General Enrollment signup in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). To learn more about signing up, contact your local USDA service center 

The General CRP signup, which opens on March 4 and runs through March 29, 2024, offers producers and landowners the opportunity to establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species on their lands. Through the Climate-Smart Practice Incentive, participants can enhance carbon sequestration efforts, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support wildlife habitat restoration. 

Meanwhile, the Northern Bobwhite Pilot Project, facilitated by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), aims to conserve northern bobwhite quail and East-Central grasslands. With dedicated funding of $13 million for fiscal year 2024, this initiative helps producers through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Producers in eligible states are encouraged to apply for this program, which supports the Working Lands for Wildlife’s long-term goal of conserving 7 million acres (about twice the area of Connecticut) of critical habitat. 

Both programs underscore USDA’s commitment to fostering collaboration between agriculture and conservation. Producers and landowners interested in participating in either opportunity are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center for more information and to apply before the respective deadlines. 

USDA’s initiatives align with broader efforts to promote climate-smart agriculture practices and enhance resilience in food systems. Through these programs, USDA aims to create more resilient local and regional food production systems, ensure fairer markets for all producers, and promote equitable access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food for all communities. 

 For more information about these conservation opportunities and USDA’s broader initiatives, visit and learn how you can contribute to building a more sustainable and resilient future for agriculture and the environment. 

In addition to the valuable initiatives announced by the USDA, FDCE emerges as a pivotal partner in supporting landowners enrolled in government conservation programs. With a core business focused on providing establishment services, FDCE has been instrumental since 2003 in assisting landowners in fulfilling their obligations according to contract requirements. Offering a range of services including herbicide application, native grass and forb seed provision, and state-of-the-art seed establishment equipment, FDCE ensures that landowners meet USDA’s reporting requirements for the program. Through their expertise and dedication, FDCE plays a vital role in facilitating successful conservation efforts and contributing to the sustainable management of land resources. Landowners interested in taking advantage of the USDA’s General CRP signup or the Northern Bobwhite Pilot Project are encouraged to contact FDCE to explore the opportunities available and to make a positive impact on wildlife habitat and conservation efforts.