The Lay of the Land

The land consists of:
    190 tillable acres, currently farmed
    15.6 acres in CRP  
    81 acres in WHIP which includes:
         23.7 acres of prairie grass  
         24.6 acres of protected timberland
         2.3 acres of Hedgerow Plantings
         0.7 acres of Field Border
         2.0 acres of wetlands
         51.4 acres of upland habitat

    In 2004, after being enrolled in the WHIP and CRP programs, major plantings began.  Starting out, hundreds of Red Osier Dogwoods were planted throughout the property and almost two thousand Red Pine were planted along property lines and in various locations throughout the farm.  Additionally, there a few fruit trees such as Apple and Mulberry along with over a hundred of each White Pine and Norway Spruce planted along the lane.  The plan for the west border included 125 hybrid Poplars and 25 Red Oak, 25 White Oak, 25 Green Ash, 50 Bur Oak, 25 Pin Oak, 25 White Swamp Oak but the trees struggled and many have died or are fighting with grass for survival.  Twenty-five Bald Cypress were planted around Beaver Lake, with a fair survival rate.  Of the trees planted in the main areas, the Green Ash and Bur Oak are thriving and are will be considered in future tree plantings.   
    That same year, 23.7 acres of prairie grass was planted, including Little Blue Stem, Big Blue Stem, Indian Grass, and Eastern Gama Grass.  Finally, 4 acres of food plots were planted, which consisted of Ladino Clover Mix, Sorghum and Cow Pea.  The initial cost to create these habitats was almost $16,000, but because these were to become dedicated conservation lands, the NRCS made a contribution of $10,000. 
    On-going care is required to maintain the flora of the farm. Each year, all of the plantings are reevaluated and new vegetation is added as necessary.   Recent tree plantings include 200 Red Cedar, 200 American Plum and 50 Bur Oaks in 2009.  In 2010, an additional 900 Cedar tree and shrub seedlings were planted, along with 100 more American Plum.  The majority of these had tree shelters built around them as protection from wildlife so that they could grow to mature trees.  In July of 2010, the warm season grasslands were broadcast sprayed with Plateau herbicide to help control some of the cool season grass competition. 

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