Written by The Business Journal Staff
Farmers who have Tricolored Blackbirds nesting in their fields may be eligible for financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The blackbirds are protected under the California Endangered Species Act, so farmers with nests in their fields are being asked to delay silage harvesting and allow 35 days for the blackbirds to fledge their young.
Entering its fourth year, this NRCS Tricolored Blackbird Initiative helps farmers who have Tricolored Blackbirds nesting in their fields by providing incentive payments to delay harvest. Over the past four years, farmers’ participation in this initiative has resulted in nesting success for tens of thousands of birds.
Producers are asked to submit an application for funds by the May 13 deadline.
“A unique partnership of dairy farmers and environmental experts continues to work together to help protect both an imperiled bird and the long-term sustainability of California’s dairy industry,” says Carlos Suarez, National Resources Conservation Service state conservationist for California. “The goal is to create a strong incentive for farmers to voluntarily help these birds recover.
Each spring, the blackbirds build large colonies of nests in the Central Valley that were once marshy ecosystems and are now cropland.
Only farmers in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Riverside, Stanislaus, and Tulare counties that actually have Tricolored Blackbirds on their property in a winter silage crop are eligible to participate.
For more information, visit the NRCS website.