Pocosin Lakes NWR in Columbia, North Carolina is accepting bids from qualified agricultural producers for a cooperative agriculture opportunity. Agricultural practices on the refuge are primarily for providing feed for wildlife with a focus on wintering waterfowl. Cooperators will have the use of two tracts of land totaling approximately 494 acres of cropland for the 2023 growing season. The Service is proposing a percentage crop share-split agreement of 80% cooperator/20% refuge, with an additional 25 acres of winter wheat to be planted as a cover crop. Cooperators must follow all federal and state regulations regarding chemicals and timing. All pesticides must be pre-approved by the refuge through a Pesticide Use Proposal prior to being used.
The cooperator should not expect renewal under this 2023 CAA. Refuge staff are currently evaluating management priorities and assessing future land management and best management practices on these acreages. Depending on the results of these evaluations, a Notice of Agricultural Opportunity may be released in late 2023 with the opportunity to bid for a 2024 CAA on some or all of these acres. If a Notice of Agricultural Opportunity is released for the 2024 growing season, the cooperator would need to re-bid for the 2024 CAA.
Applicants must complete and submit a bid sheet and applicable sections of a Special Use Permit Application for each bid packet. Please review the Supplemental Instructions for additional details about the application process. Packets are available below, in person at the Refuge Headquarters (205 South Ludington Dr, Columbia, NC 27925), or by contacting Sarah Toner at 252-256-0316 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Bids must be returned via email, mail, or in person by January 30, 2023 at 4:00 pm. For any additional questions, please contact Wildlife Refuge Specialist Sarah Toner.
The application package contains the Notice of Cooperative Agricultural Opportunity; the Supplemental Application Instructions; the Bid Sheet; and the Special Use Permit Application. Please read all materials thoroughly before submitting an application. Not all sections of the Special Use Permit Application need to be completed, but the applicant must provide sufficient information on the Special Use Permit Application and Bid Sheet for the Service to rank and score the application. For questions, please contact Wildlife Refuge Specialist Sarah Toner, email@example.com.