Spotlight on Waterfowl Habitats
Farmers often work to create habitats on their land for wildlife, including waterfowl such as ducks and geese.
As natural wetland regions have greatly diminished throughout the U.S., rice fields have become a critical habitat for migrating waterfowl. Rice is a semi-aquatic plant, and fields are typically flooded throughout the growing season to maintain adequate moisture levels and water quality, and to prevent soil erosion. Many farmers also flood their rice fields after the harvest, attracting migratory birds that provide a host of benefits, including improving soil nutrients through their manure and helping to reduce harmful weeds and insects.
In addition, many farmers maintain waterfowl habitats on their land for recreational purposes, or as part of conservation initiatives managed by the government, such as the Conservation Reserve Program. Supporting migratory bird populations is just one way that farmers can preserve biodiversity and maintain healthy ecosystems on their land.