What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
April 29: Deadline to sign up for Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC)
May 14: Deadline to complete CRP Management Activities
May 15 - August 1: CRP Primary Nesting Season
May 31: Deadline to apply for a Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) for 2023 crops

Prescribed Burning
Spring is here and we are seeing several people out and about conducting burns across the county in their road ditches, hay fields, CRP, and timber. Burns can be very beneficial if completed timely and conducted routinely every 3-5 years. One exception is woody vegetation. It may be necessary to burn two or more consecutive years to control undesirable sprouting of woody vegetation. Having a purpose or a goal in mind before you burn can dictate when your best burn window can be.

Just because your neighbor is burning doesn’t always mean it is a good time to go out and burn for yourself as their purpose may be different than yours. Whether you are burning to remove last year litter, promote native species or introduced species, improve wildlife habitat, or control trees timing can vary.

To achieve noticeable results, we are still a little early in the year to start burns. Burning now may cause some unwanted or adverse effects.

Some general guidelines for conducting burns:
- Reduce deciduous trees/shrubs (April 1–May 15)
- Increase warm season grasses (April 1–May 15)
- Reduce cedar trees (Sept. 1–May 20)
- Reduce cool season grass (April 20-May 20)
- Reduce noxious perennial weeds (before flowering)
- Improve wildlife habitat (Only burn 1/3 of site)
- Increase forbs/diversity (Sept 1-February 1)

Whatever your goals are, planning and preparation is key to a successful controlled burn. Proper firebreaks, equipment, and site conditions can make a huge difference on the outcome of a safe and successful burn. We offer assistance for burn plans, cost share for prescribed burns, and have a list of prescribed burning vendors if you are looking for someone to burn for you.