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Refuges seeking contracts with farmers (by April 3rd)
Agreements are crop share and growers are responsible for all growing costs

Herald and News 3/26/15

  H&N file photo

   Geese fly at the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The Refuge wants to contract with local farmers for cooperative farming privileges for the 2015 crop season.

     Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex wants to contract with local farmers for cooperative farming privileges at Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges for the 2015 crop season, according to a news release.

   Cooperative farming agreements will be issued for barley or wheat production at Lower Klamath NWR Unit 4C (554 acres) and Unit 7A (498 acres) and small grain and row crop production at Tule Lake NWR Lot 364, fields 8340 (95 acres) and 8341 (96 acres).

   Due to the low water year, in lieu of “walking wetlands” preference will be given to applicants who provide a fall/winter flooded grain leave on private land near waterfowl habitat such as the refuges, Lost River, Upper Klamath Lake, etc. and are willing to farm refuge cropland organically.   However, all growers are welcome to apply.

   Contracts are crop share and growers are responsible for all growing costs. Crop share for wildlife is 33 percent if no private grain leave is provided and 25 percent if a leave is provided.

   Farmable units on the refuges are contingent upon the availability of irrigation water each year. The Lower Klamath NWR units in this offering have been preirrigated and can be certified for organic production. The Tule Lake NWR unit in this offering has also been pre-irrigated and cooperator may plant one-third of the unit to row crops contingent upon a grain leave on private land otherwise farming is small grain only. Duration of agreements will be either contingent upon wildlife benefits associated with the private land agreement or one year.

   Pesticide use at Lower Klamath NWR is restricted to products containing MCPA, dicamba and glyphosate while pesticide use at Tule Lake NWR is the same as lease land contracts. Only professional growers with documented experience growing small grains will be considered. Only one application per farm enterprise will be considered.

   Instructions for obtaining and submitting applications are available from the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters at 4009 Hill Road, Tulelake, Calif. To be eligible, all applications must be received at the Refuge Headquarters by April 3.

   For cooperative farming information, contact Stacy Freitas, Wildlife Refuge Specialist, at 530-667-8312 or stacy_freitas@ fws.gov, Monday through Friday.  


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