Farmers Offered Funding to Help Protect Nesting Tricolored Blackbirds in their Fields

Farmers who have Tricolored Blackbirds nesting in their fields may be eligible for financial assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to delay silage harvesting and allow the birds 35 days to fledge their young. Interested producers should submit an application as soon as possible because the application-ranking period closes April 17 for available funding. “A unique partnership of dairy farmers and environmental experts continues to work together to help protect both an imperiled bird and the long-term sustainability of California’s dairy industry,” says Carlos Suarez, NRCS state conservationist for California. “The goal is to create a strong incentive for farmers to voluntarily help these birds recover.” Last month, this initiative was selected as one of the first NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) recipients, providing expanded federal funding and technical assistance. RCPP was launched in the 2014 Farm Bill to bring together partners with shared conservation causes. This partnership effort includes the Western United Dairymen, Audubon California, Dairy Cares, California Farm Bureau, and Sustainable Conservation organizations. <more>

March 10, 2015 NRCS news release