Farmers and ranchers in the expanded Focus on Pheasants (FOP) areas may offer eligible land for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up March 12-April 6. They also may be eligible for FOP incentives.

An expansion of the Focus on Pheasants Plan was approved by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioners on March 9.

The Southwest Focus of Pheasants area has expanded from 262,529 acres in portions of northwest Hitchcock, southeast Hayes and northwest Red Willow counties to 956,048 acres in all of Hitchcock and portions of Hayes, Frontier and Red Willow counties. The new South-Central Focus on Pheasants area includes 353,275 acres in portions of Furnas and Harlan counties.

FOP is a joint effort by Game and Parks, Pheasants Forever and resource and conservation partners to improve pheasant hunting by creating more and better habitat.

CRP allows landowners to enroll environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits, which provides significant wildlife habitat and hunting opportunities on private lands.

As part of the FOP effort, project partners are providing an enrollment incentive equivalent to one year’s CRP soil rental payment and an incentive for establishing higher-quality wildlife habitat plantings on enrolled CRP land. Incentive payments will be made after landowners plant their CRP under a new contract.

For more information about FOP, landowners in the south-central area may call John Laux at 308-928-2541 and landowners in the southwest area may call T.J. Walker or Adam Kester at 308-535-8025.

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