The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is asking farmers to think about our nature friends before working their ground this fall. D-N-R wildlife biologist, Todd Bogenschutz says fall tilling destroys much needed food for all kinds of wild animals. He says most tillage practices, even minimum tillage, greatly reduce the amount of waste grain available to wildlife. Bogenschutz says a study in Illinois showed the results.He says cornfields that were not plowed after harvest had about 200 pounds of waste corn per acre, while chisle-plowed fields had 40 pounds, and those plowed with a mould board plow had only four pounds per acre. He says Iowa farmers have cut back dramatically on their fall plowing as a conservation measure. He says for those who still fall plow, leaving a little land alone can help. He says just leaving a strip along the outside of the field would help. Bogenshutz says the stubble in the field can also provide shelter for birds. He says the stalks give the birds more cover from the wind and weather. Bogenschutz says native birds like pheasants, quail and turkeys benefit from the wast grain in fields. He says migrating birds such as Canada geese also benefit.
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