Habitat & Conservation  |  12/01/2020

The Soil Health and Habitat Program


Pheasants Forever and Purina partner to protect the Prairie Pothole Region by working with farmers and ranchers

Pheasants Forever has announced a second 30-day application period for farmers and ranchers to enroll in the organization’s Soil Health and Habitat Program, funded by pet care leader Purina. The new program, designed to enhance soil health, protect water quality and increase wildlife habitat for more resilient farms, invites producers in the Prairie Pothole Region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota to apply for precision ag and conservation solution incentives. The application period will close on December 30, 2020. 

Utilizing precision agriculture technology as the foundation, Pheasants Forever will work with producers and growers to analyze data using Truterra™ Insights Engine from 30,000 acres of private lands in the Prairie Pothole Region to help enhance soil health, protect water quality and implement conservation planning for 7,200 acres. Results from the analysis will help guide enrollment of unprofitable acres into the program for habitat by providing those landowners a one-time incentive payment for grassland and improve soil health on their best acres through cover crop mixtures and incentives.

“I applied for this program during its initial application phase because I understand that portions of our farmed landscape consistently underperform and are sometimes unprofitable. Those acres, when analyzed, are often well-suited for perennial vegetation,” stated Nathan Anderson, an Iowa farmer and recent cooperator enrolled in the Soil Health and Habitat Program. “Using cover crops on the adjacent crop acres can increase the habitat area used by pheasants and wildlife, complimenting the positive impact of the installed perennial vegetation.”  

“Purina’s partnership with Pheasants Forever helps protect the Prairie Pothole Region. Our collective efforts are reinforcing the role of this critical breeding ground for precious wildlife and habitat while enhancing the growth of healthy ingredients used in our complete and balanced pet food formulas,” said Jack Scott, Purina Vice President of Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing. “This program showcases the importance of teamwork in conservation. Thank you to Pheasants Forever for championing this cause and to the producers and growers who contribute to its mission.”

Soil Health and Habitat Program Guidelines:

Financial Incentives:
  • $150/acre one-time payment for habitat in South Dakota or North Dakota
  • $250/acre one-time payment for habitat in Iowa or Minnesota
  • $150/acre for seed and establishment cost share (based off actual receipts)
  • $20/acre for cover crop cost share
  • 5-year contract
  • Participating farmers will also receive Truterra Insights Engine Stewardship Report Card that includes a sustainability score and profits insights. Farmers will agree to provide agronomic practice information to establish baseline metrics
For more information about enrollment opportunities for Pheasants Forever’s Soil Health and Habitat Program, please contact the following state-specific program leaders:
State Contact Phone Email
Iowa Josh Divan (515)708-2371 JDivan@PheasantsForever.Org
Minnesota Tanner Bruse (507) 360-2335 TBruse@PheasantsForever.Org
North Dakota Rachel Bush (701) 403-4853 RBush@PheasantsForever.Org
South Dakota Matt Morlock (605) 881-8258 MMorlock@PheasantsForever.Org