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Rice industry's habitat program bolsters Pacific Flyway birds

TAGS: Water
Todd Fitchette Geese in a flooded rice field
Northern California's rice-growing region is one of the major winter grounds for migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway.
The California Rice Commission teamed with the Nature Conservancy to offer incentives for shallow flooding of fields for up to 10 weeks.

Applications for California's Spring 2021 Bid4Birds habitat program in rice are open until Jan. 11.

The program provides incentive payments to growers for shallow flooding of rice fields for up to 10 weeks based on terms of a contract.

Contract terms run from four to 10 weeks between Feb. 15 and May 15 and require a 75-acre minimum. This includes maintaining a four-inch water depth and post-harvest straw management.

The program was developed by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the California Rice Commission in 2014 to address habitat needs for shorebirds and other wildlife that benefit from California's rice fields.

The region is one of the major winter grounds for migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway.

The program compensates growers for flooding fields after harvest to benefit shorebirds and waterfowl.

Information about the program is available at the Bid4Birds webpage. For more information, contact California Rice Commissions Wildlife Programs Manager Luke Matthews at lmatthews@calrice.org or at (916) 607-8988.

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