Cooperative Agricultural Opportunity

Complete and return bid sheets by 4p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2021.


Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking bids to farm multiple land parcels in one unit (Farm Unit 1) within the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area (NWR & MA). Cooperative Agriculture is used at Patoka River NWR & MA to achieve wildlife management objectives by providing and restoring habitat and supplementing natural food resources. As a result, this farming program requires that agricultural crops be planted, cultivated, and harvested in accordance with Special Conditions for Farming (Attachment 1) and other requirements described below.

I. What and Where:

Unit 1 is approximately 535 acres described in the attached Crop Plan and Field Descriptions (Attachment 2). Taking management and restoration acreage into account on Unit 1, the average farmed acreage by year in the 3-year rotation is approximately 391 acres.

  1. Farm Units will be rented for a period of three crop years beginning March 10, 2021 and ending December 31, 2023.
  2. Farm Units are located within the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area near Oakland City, IN in Gibson and Pike Counties (Attachment 3 includes Map of Field Locations).

II. How to Bid:

  1. Review General Conditions for Bids and Crop Plans (see #III and IV below). 
  2. Complete and return Bid Sheet(s) (Attachment 4) along with the Special Use Permit Application (Attachment 5) by 4p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2021 to:  By Mail: Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area,P.O. Box 217  Oakland City, IN 47660 or via email  heath_hamilton@fws.gov 
  3. Cooperators will be selected through an open and competitive process where applications will be scored and ranked by a panel according to objective criteria outlined on Bid Sheet (Attachment 4). Please Note: cooperators will be scored and ranked based on the entirety of the selection criteria, not solely on bid amount (9 criteria will be evaluated for each applicant, each worth 10% of the total score, except the Bid Amount which is worth 20%). 
  4. Questions regarding the bid process: contact Heath Hamilton, Wildlife Refuge Specialist, at 812-749-3199 or heath_hamilton@fws.gov.

III. General Conditions for Bids

  1. Bids will be on a per acre basis. Bidders will need to determine what they are willing to pay per acre potentially harvested for each year’s cropping plan; then take that average for the three years. This average price per acre will be the bid. This is the price the bidder will pay each year for acres farmed. The bid should take into account all services and other payments (i.e. native seed purchases for the Refuge, mowing, disking, etc. if specified in the cropping plan).  For example, if a service included in the crop plan is a $10,000 seed order for the Refuge, the bidder does not include this amount in their bid amount since the $10,000 is already part of the cooperative agreement to farm the Unit. Bids will need to be recorded in the appropriate place, for each unit for which the applicant is bidding, on the Bid Sheet (Attachment 4).
  2. Bids will be valid for a 3-year period with a Special Use Permit issued in Year 1 (2021) and renewed annually for the two subsequent years (2022-2023). If the Cooperator does not honor the bid, farming rights will be given to the next highest ranking applicant in this bid cycle or re-bid at the discretion of the Service. If it is re- bid, the original Cooperator will not be allowed to bid at that time.
  3. Once a bid is accepted, 25% of the annual payment must be made each year by February 15 upon the issuance of the Special Use Permit. The remaining 75% of the payment will be made each year by December1.

      Farm Unit 1 Example:

      $50/acre x 401 acres = $20,050 total annual rental payment (2021)

      $50/acre x 391acres = $19,550 total annual rental payment (2022)

      $50/acre x 381acres = $19,050 total annual rental payment (2023)

Year

 Feb. 1

 Dec. 1

 Total

 2021

$5,012.50

$15037.50

$20,050

 2022

$4,887.50

$14,662.5

$19,550

 2023

$4,762.50

$14,287.50

$19,050

Total Payment for 3 Years

 $58,650

                                                     

 

 

 

IV. Crop Plans:

1. Unit 1 Crop Plan

The Crop Plan for Farm Unit 1 covers the planting an average of 391 acres of crops (Year 1 – 401 acres, Year 2 – 391 acres, Year 3- 381 acres), harvesting an average of 391 acres per year over the course of the agreement.  As reflected in the acreages above, 10 acres of Field 4 will be removed from production each year over the course of the farming agreement. Additional costs associated with Farm Unit 1 are: 

  1. maintaining (mow), disk, and/or spray up to 94 acres of field buffers (1-2 times per year) as directed by Refuge staff
  2. purchasing $10,000 in native seed coordinated by the Refuge
  3. paying a contractor up to $1,000 for the planting of native seed coordinated by the     Refuge.
  4. utilizing appropriate equipment to dig out beaver dams and lodges on drainage ditches adjacent and on Farm Unit 1 as instructed by Refuge staff (2-3 times per year).  Permittee could choose to pay a contractor to do this work in lieu of providing the service. All work must be coordinated with Refuge staff.

2. Risk and Liability

The Cooperator accepts all risk and liability for annual payments. Annual payments will be based on all tillable acreage identified in the Farm Unit Crop Plan for the given year. If the Cooperator chooses not to carry crop insurance, the Cooperator accepts all risk and liability for annual payments. Annual payment amounts will not be reduced.

V. Permitting

  1. Before work onsite, the Cooperator must have an approved Special Use Permit (FWS form 3-1383-C) for the year farmed. The Special Use Permit will be issued and approved by the Refuge Manager and include an annual farm plan that identifies crops to be planted, use of pesticides, use of best management practices, and special conditions. The Special Use Permit also requires the Cooperator to submit a final Harvest Report identifying acres planted along with herbicide applications. The Special Use Permit is completed, issued, and signed by the Refuge Manager.
  2. The Cooperator will be required to sign the Special Conditions for Farming (Attachment 1).

VI.   Reporting Requirements

  1. The Cooperator will be required to submit a final Harvest Report (Attachment 6) by December 31.
  2. Certified seed labels and receipts must be submitted to the Refuge Manager by the Cooperator Before any planting occurs.
  3. Pesticide notification must be submitted to Refuge Manager within 10 days after applying any chemicals. Receipts must identify chemicals used, application methods, and application rates.
  4. Upon completion of the farming year, the Cooperator will receive a successful or unsuccessful rating from the Refuge Manager. This determination will be made by using the Farming Checklist and Evaluation (Attachment 7). If the Cooperator receives an unsuccessful rating, farming rights will be given to the next highest ranking applicant from the bidding process or if none of the original applicants are interested it will be rebid. The Cooperator may receive an unsuccessful rating for not complying with crop plans, meeting planting deadlines of specified crops, or other general conditions.

VIII. Summary of Cooperative Agriculture Program

Individuals have the opportunity to submit a bid/per acre for the Cooperative Agricultural Opportunity at Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge Management Area. The selected Cooperator will be responsible for the following specifications for the Cooperative Agriculture Program:

1. Farm Unit 1:

A. Plant specified acreage for Farm Unit(s) to crop rotation designated in the annual farm Unit Crop Plan for a 3- year period.               

B. Mow, disk, and/or spray up to 94 acres of field buffers (1-2 times per year as designated by Refuge staff).

C. Utilize appropriate equipment to dig out beaver dams/lodges on drainage ditches adjacent and on Farm Unit 1 as instructed by Refuge staff (2-3 times per year).  Permittee could choose to pay a contractor to do this work in lieu of providing the service.

D. Pay for a $10,000 native seed order coordinated by the Refuge staff each year of the agreement.

E. Pay up to $1,000 to a contractor for the planting of the native seed on Field 4 as coordinated by Refuge staff.

F. Follow Special Conditions for Farming (Attachment 1).

G. Submit Harvest Report (Attachment 6).

H. Follow guidelines on pesticide use and end of year reporting requirements (Attachments 1 & 8).

Attachments 1-8 (Printable versions at the bottom of page.)

Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge Management Area –Attachment 1

Special Conditions for Farming

  1. The government share of the total farm acreage will consist of services including maintaining field buffers and drainages and paying for seed and planting for habitat restoration on the site as specified by Refuge staff. See Attachment 2 for the total farmable acreage of crop for each Farm Unit.
  2. Cooperator is required to implement and/or maintain site specific Best Management Practices (BMPs):
    1. Land alterations included but not limited to, ditching, land leveling, filling, and clearing will be done only upon approval of Refuge Manager.
    2. No disking is allowed without prior approval from Refuge Manager.
    3. All buffer strips will be mowed, disked, and sprayed up to 1-2 times annually at the request of Refuge staff.
     
  3. The use of GMO (genetically-modified organisms) crops is not allowed on the Refuge.
  4. No neonicotinoid-treated (or other insecticide-treated) seed can be used. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. They are marketed and distributed in various forms including sprays, powders and seed treatments. Trade names containing neonictinoids may include (but are not limited to) Acceleron®, Acetamiprid®, Actara®, Adage®, Adjust®, Admire®, Advantage®, Alpine®, Arena®, Assail®, Belay®, Calypso®, Celero®, Centric®, Clutch®, Confidor®, Cruiser®, Dinotefuran®, Encore®, Flagship®, Gaucho®, Helix®, Inside®, Intruder®, Ledgend®, Merit®, Meridian®, Nipsit®, Platinum®, Poncho® , Pravado®, Premise®, Regent®, Safari®, Scorpion®, Titan®, Touchstone ®, Tristar®, and Venom®. Active ingredients include: acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, nithiazine, sulfoxaflor, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam.
  5. An approved Pesticide Use Proposal is required before pesticide application and the Cooperator is required to follow associated guidelines:
    1. See attached list for chemicals that will be available for approval through an Annual  Pesticide Use Permit (Attachment 8). This list normally stays the same each year, but could be adapted due to Regional Herbicide Policy changes. Requests for pesticides that are not on the approved list should be made as soon as possible and accompanied with detailed justification. Approval of chemicals not occurring on the list cannot be guaranteed by the Service.
    2. Pesticides/herbicide may not be applied until an approved Annual Pesticide Use Permit for the chemical has been received by the Cooperator.
    3. Chemical application on any other vegetation is prohibited.
    4. Pesticide label application instructions will be adhered to and efforts will be made by the Cooperator to reduce use of chemicals through alternative nonchemical pest control techniques.
    5. The Cooperator is required to report pesticide application on the Harvest Report (Attachment 6) and furnish to Refuge Manager by December 31.
    6. Misuse of approved chemicals or use of any unapproved chemicals will result in termination of this farming agreement.
     
  6. The Cooperator may begin farming operations March 15.
  7. The permittee is required to notify Refuge Manager of enrollment in FSA program(s). All acreage reporting will be the responsibility of the permittee.
  8. Additional acreages may be added to Farm Units upon agreement between the Refuge Manager and Cooperator (i.e. newly acquired Refuge lands still in agriculture). Likewise, acreages can be subtracted from Farm Units upon agreement between the Refuge Manager and Cooperator. Any changes in bid package acreages will be made in writing, by an addendum, which is attached to and becomes part of the agreement.
  9. Cooperator agrees that the agricultural crops of the type and acreages specified in the Farm Unit Crop Plan must be planted, cultivated, and harvested during the year of the agreement. Should weather conditions limit planting time frames for a particular crop (i.e. fields are too wet planting corn in time), crops may be substituted with prior approval from the Refuge Manager. Changes in the agreement must be made prior to planting, in writing by an addendum, which is attached to and becomes part of the agreement.
  10. All crops shall be planted and harvested as early as possible with a target date for completion of harvesting operations of November 15. Refuge crops will be fertilized at the same rate as the Cooperator’s and receive every other like kind treatment (crop scouting, pesticides, tillage, etc.).
  11. The Cooperator will abide by all appropriate State and Federal regulations pertaining to storage, use, and disposal of hazardous materials (oils, solvents, pesticides, pesticide containers, etc.). The Cooperator will immediately notify Refuge Manager in event of any accidental hazardous material release and take appropriate measures to contain the release.
  12. Burning of any kind is not permitted on the refuge by the Cooperator.
  13. Any violation of these conditions will be grounds for termination or non- renewal of this agreement.

I understand and agree to all special conditions of the Cooperative Farming Agreement.

Signature:                                                                                      Date:                                     

Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area –Attachment 2 

Farm Unit Crop Plan and Unit Description

Farm Unit 1 Cropping Acres Per Year:  does not include managed buffer strips around Field 2 & 3 which will be maintained as part of the farming agreement.

Field

2021

Planted/Harvested

2022

Planted/Harvested

2023

Planted/Harvested

1

40 / 40

40 / 40

40 / 40

2

226 / 226

226 / 226

226 / 226

3

60 / 60

60 / 60

60 / 60

4

65 / 65

55 / 55

45 / 45

5

10 / 10

10 / 10

10 / 10

Total Field Acreage

401 / 401

391 / 391

381 / 381

Farm Unit 1 Soil Descriptions (from USDA Web Soil Survey)

Field

Acres

Farmed

Buffer/ Restored

Field Descriptions

1

40

0

      100% Petrolia silty clay loam, frequently flooded, very long  duration

2

226

44

    84.6 Petrolia silty clay loam, frequently flooded, very long  duration; 14.8% Henshaw silt loam, 0 to 3 percent slopes; 0.5% Steff silt loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes, frequently flooded

3

60

20

     93.5% Petrolia silty clay loam, frequently flooded, very long duration; 6.5% Henshaw silt loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes, frequently flooded

4

65 (2021)

20

    100% Fairpoint silt loam, reclaimed, 1 to 15 percent slopes

5

10

0

    47.9% Hosmer silt loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes, eroded; 31.7% Hosmer silt loam, 5 to 10 percent slopes, severely eroded; 11.2% Belknap silt loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes, frequently flooded; 9.2% Fairpoint-Bethesda complex, 8 to 15 percent slopes

Total

401

84

 

Attachment 3 

(map - see link at bottom of page)

Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area - Attachment 4 Bid Sheet Instructions:

  1. Complete this Bid Sheet (Attachment 4).
  2. Complete 1st Page of Special Use Permit Application (Attachment5).
  3. Place Bid Sheet and Special Use Permit Application in an envelope andseal.
  4. Mail or deliver sealed envelope to Patoka River NWR & MA by Friday, February 26, 2021 at 4:00p.m.

Proposals are to be submitted to the Refuge Headquarters in a sealed envelope marked Cooperative Farming Proposal, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area, 510 ½ W. Morton St. Oakland City, IN 47660 or mailed to P.O Box 217 Oakland City, IN 47660. The envelopes may be submitted either by mail or hand delivery to the refuge office. All proposals will be opened on Monday March 1, 2021. The individual with the highest ranked proposal will be notified within 10 days of selection.

Interested cooperators should complete the additional information section below. Cooperators will be selected through an open and competitive process where applications will be scored and ranked by a panel using the following criteria:

  • Experience in cultivation of crops, including knowledge of soil composition, chemistry, moisture, fertility, water needs, and pest problems.
  • Experience in cultivation of crops, including personal experience on NWR lands or comparable conservation land.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully cultivate crops under restrictions listed above (e.g. non- GMO crops, non-neonicotinoid pesticides, and limitations on pesticides).
  • Ownership or access to the proper equipment, materials, labor, or other resources to participate in the Cooperative Agriculture Agreement (equipment and personnel).
  • Dollar bid amount per acre.* Please evaluate the attached Crop Plan and place your bid based upon the average you would pay per acre each year. This will be your competing bid. Your annual rent will be your bid amount per acre multiplied by acreage by farm year for each Farm Unit you are bidding on. (*Note: Cooperator will be scored and ranked based on the entirety of the above criteria, not solely on bid amount (e.g. highest bid does not guarantee selection))

Be as detailed as possible when filling out the attached bid sheet. Applicants must address in their application how they will meet the criteria outlined in the above bulleted points (attach additional sheets if necessary). In the event of a tie, the winning applicant will be randomly drawn from a pool of equally ranked competing applicants.

Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area - Attachment 4 Bid Sheet

Applicant Information:

Name(Proposal Submitter) Partner(if applicable)                                                                               

Name of Business or Farm                                                                                                                  

Address                                                                                                                                                

Telephone Number                                                   E-mail address                                                         

Current Pesticide Applicator’s License: Yes/No (Circle one)

Type: ________________________________Expiration:                                                             

Bid Information:

Write your bid amount for the corresponding Farm Unit(s) in the space(s) provided below.

Bid Amount ($/acre)Unit1:                                           Bid Amount ($/acre) for an

average of 391 acres harvested per year for 3 years

Additional Information:

Describe your experience in farming operations (including number of years, cultivation of crops, pest problems, etc.) or other related experience:

Describe your experience specific to farming on National Wildlife Refuges or comparable conservation lands:

List all available equipment in good working condition, for example harvesters, tractors, implements, trucks& trailers. Attach additional sheets if necessary.

Equipment:

Personnel available:

Describe your experience cultivating crops under restrictions such as non-GMO and non-neonicotinoid treated seeds and limitations on pesticides:

Who would be doing your herbicide applications?

I have read and if selected agree to the permit conditions listed in the bid package.

Signature:                                                                                      Date:                                     

Attachment 5

(Commercial Activities Special Use Permit - see link at bottom of page)

Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area– Attachment 6

Final Harvest Report

Please complete the form and return to Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area by December 31.

Final Harvest Report

Field

Crop Acres

Acres Planted

Crop

Yield/ Acre

Pesticides

& Specific Pest Targeted

# Applications & Rates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Acreage

 

 

 

 

 

 


Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area is located at 510 ½ W. Morton St .Oakland City, IN 47660

Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area – Attachment 7

Farming Checklist and Evaluation

Special Use Permit #                                                                            

 

Permittee Name:                                                                                     

Special Use Permit signed and issued prior to start of farming activities?        Yes    No

25% of annual payment received by February 1?                                         Yes    No

Pesticide Use Proposals requested and issued prior to pesticide application?   Yes    No

Special Use Permit submitted to county Farm Service Agent? 

Seed labels and receipts submitted to Refuge Manager prior to seeding?

 Yes

 Yes

   No

    No

Pesticide use reported within 10 days of all pesticide applications?

Yes

No

Unauthorized pesticides applied?

Yes

No

Crop Plan as identified in the SUP was carried out?

Yes

No

Final Harvest Report submitted to Refuge Manager by December 31st?

Yes

No

75% of annual payment received by December 1st?

Yes

No

 

Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area– Attachment 8

 

Pesticides granted field station level approval in Region 3 under limited conditions. 

Pesticide

   Some Trade Names

Sethoxydim

Grass Getter, Poast, Poast Plus, Sethoxydim SPC, Sethoxydim E-Pro

Imazapic

Plateau, Cadre

Imazapyr

Arsenal, Chopper, Ecomazapyr 2 SL, Gullwing, Groundclear, Habitat, Imazapyr 2 SL, Imazapyr 4 SL, Polaris, Polaris AC, Polaris SP, Rotary 2 SL, Stalker, etc.

Imazethapyr

Clearpath, Newpath, Pursuit, Thunder

Metsulfuron

Accurate, Escort, Manor, MSM 60, Patriot, Rometsol

Rimsulfuron

Basis, Matrix, Matrix FNV, Matrix SG, Resolve DF, Resolve SG, Resolve Q

Thifensulfuronmethyl

Harmony, Affinity Broadspec, First Shot SG, Resolve Q

Tribenuronmethyl

Express, First Shot SG, Afinity, Harmony Extra SG

2,4-D amine

2,4-D Amine 4, Amine 4 2,4-D Weed Killer, Clean Amine, DMA 4 IVM, Dri- Clean, Orchard Star, Saber, Temstyle, Weedar 64, Weedaxe, Weedestroy, AM-40 Amine, etc.

Aminopyralid

Milestone Specialty, Milestone VM

Clopyralid

Clopyralid 3, Clean Slate, Garrison, Spur, Star Thistle Killer, Stinger, Transline, etc.

Triclopyr amine

Element 3A, Garlon 3A, Grandstand CA, Green Light Cut Vine & Stump Killer, Image, Kraken, Platform, Renovate 3, Tahoe 3A Turflon Amine, etc.

Triclopyr ester

Element 4, Forestry Garlon XRT, Garlon 4, Garlon 4Ultra, Pathfinder II, Relegate RTU, Remedy , Remedy Ultra, Tahoe 4E, Turflon Ester, etc.

Glyphosate

Accord Concentrate, Accord SP, Accord XRT, Accord XRT II, Alecto 41S, Aquamaster, AquaNeat, Aqua Star, Buccaneer, Buccaneer Plus, Cornerstone, Cornerstone Plus, Eraser AQ, Extra Credit 5, GlyphoMate 41, Glyphos, Glyphos Aquatic, Glyphosate 4+, Glyphosate 5.4, Glyphosate Pro 4, Glyphos X-TRA, Gly Star Original, Gly Star Pro, Honcho, Honcho Plus, KleenUp Pro, Makaze, Mirage, Mirage Plus, Prosecutor, Ranger Pro, Razor Pro, Remuda, Rodeo, Roundup Original, Roundup OriginalMAX, Roundup PowerMax, Roundup Pro, Roundu Pro Concentrate, Roundup ProMax, Roundup UltraMax, Roundup WeatherMAX, etc.

Printable version of attachments:

Attachment 1 - Special Conditions for Farming

Attachment 2 - Farm Unit Crop Plan and Unit Description

Attachment 3 - Map of Farm Unit 1 Fields 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Attachment 4 - Bid Sheet Instructions and Bid Sheet

Attachment 5 - Commercial Activities Special Use Permit

Attachment 6 - Harvest Report 

Attachment 7 - FarmingChecklist and Evaluation  

Attachment 8 - Pesticides granted field station level approval in Region 3 under limited conditions