Cropland

Habitat Type
Croplandx520

Management of the 307-acre Unit A began with farming in 1950 and continued with either cooperative farming or refuge farming until 1981. The refuge continued farming Unit A in a rotation with moist soil, rice, millet, milo, and green browse through 2000. In 2001, the refuge reworked levees and water control structures in Unit A to improve water management capability in the eight fields that range in size from 12 to 48 acres. Water can usually be gravity-flowed into Unit A from Lacassine Pool. A two-way pump is used to drawdown these fields and to provide a reliable method for flooding the unit.

Unit B is a 724-acre area, which includes 579 acres of rice impoundments that have been managed since 1990 by a cooperative farmer. Rice is planted in a field every other year, alternating with wheat, rye grass, or fallow. The farmer harvests the first crop of rice and leaves the second crop for waterfowl, which works out to be about 20-25 percent of the total rice crop. Wheat or rye is planted as green browse for wintering geese.

The refuge acquired the 530-acre Unit F in 1996, and, since then, it has been cooperatively farmed similar to Unit B. On average, 327 acres of rice are planted in a field every other year, alternating with wheat, ryegrass, or fallow.

Facts About Cropland

  • Operated through cooperation with refuge and local farmers.
  • Percentage of crops left for wintering waterfowl to use.
  • Crops include rice, wheat, rye and fallow.