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The major cash crops in the Kootenai valley are winter wheat and barley, and most of the Valley is used for crop production.  In the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge Master Plan, planting grain to "accommodate waterfowl" and "lessen the threat of depredation locally and elsewhere" was a stipulation.  Today, the Refuge is abiding by those terms by managing approximately 200 acres of croplands for waterfowl and of that, 160 acres is plowed and seeded to winter wheat and barely every year on a rotational basis.  All cropland management is performed by refuge staff.  Grain from standing crops has continued to be an important food source for migrating waterfowl in the early spring.

Last Updated: May 15, 2012
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