The father-son duo of Lee and Arthur Wisecup of Missouri Valley in western Iowa are the recipients of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever's Precision Farmer of the Year Award for 2019, sponsored by John Deere. The recognition honors the family’s conservation ethic and was presented at the precision ag workshop at Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.
The Wisecups have used precision agriculture and conservation practices on their southwest Iowa farm to boost per-acre profits. They worked with the Pheasants Forever precision ag and conservation specialists, and a field biologist to analyze their entire operation and identify unprofitable areas.
With the help of a precision ag technology partnership involving Pheasants Forever, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Heartland Co-op, EFC Systems and USDA farm programs, the family was able to create 262.94 acres of new wildlife habitat, including:
- 218.36 acres of restored wetlands that improve water quality
- 27.28 acres of pollinator habitat, which is also brood habitat for pheasants and quail
- 17.30 acres of bobwhite quail habitat
Role models in caring for land
“We are very grateful for this award,” Lee Wisecup says. “We thank our team at Pheasants Forever, Iowa NRCS, Heartland Co-op and EFC Systems. Without the help they provided, we were having a hard time showing our landlords the benefits of sustainable farming and how to remain profitable. We are proud to be one of the many examples of farmers who truly care about the environment and the land they use.”
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s role in precision ag and conservation focuses on maximizing return on investment for every acre on the farm while improving wildlife habitat, water quality and soil health.
"The Wisecups are pioneers in turning red acres green. They’ve demonstrated how data and technology can improve a farmer's bottom line while enhancing and increasing natural resources,” says Ryan Heiniger, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever's director of ag and conservation innovation. "We applaud them for the stewardship of their farm, and on behalf of The Habitat Organization, are grateful for the opportunity to work alongside them."
For more information about Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s precision ag and conservation efforts, email [email protected] or call 319- 768-8348.