Landowners with Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts are required to apply mid-contract management practices to their CRP land. The practices are required in certain years of your contract and you should check with your county office to see what options are available for your land. Practices may include disking, fire burn, spraying or interseeding. The time period for applying these practices depends on the individual practice. However, these activities cannot be performed from May 15-Aug 1, during the upland bird nesting or brood rearing season.

Purpose

Mid contract management (MCM) will be conducted on certain Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign up practices. The purpose of MCM is to manage established plant communities in order to maintain an early successional stage. Management will:

  • Increase plant community species and structural diversity.
  • Provide wildlife habitat for those species that use early successional stage vegetative habitat
  • Provide habitat for declining species
  • Remove duff and control woody vegetation

Where it applies

MCM is required on certain CRP contracts entered into during sign up 26 or subsequent sign ups. MCM applies to many CRP practices. (See your conservation plan for more details.) MCM will be applied to every acre at least once during the contract life. Cost share for MCM is available for any CRP acres where MCM is an option.

How it helps

Managing plant communities is beneficial if not essential for less mobile animal species. The less mobile the species of wildlife, the more important it is to provide all the life cycle habitat requirements for multiple species in a small area (songbirds, quail, and pheasants).

MCM will be designed to achieve the desired plant community in density, vertical and horizontal structure, and plant species diversity needed by the targeted wildlife species.

Methods used will be designed to maintain soil and water quality criteria.

Prior to interseeding, the existing vegetation must be weakened. This will promote the establishment of the interseeded species. For CRP, the stand may be weakened by disking, prescribed fire or chemical application. MCM should not be used more than once every three years on the same location in a field.