New Method of Establishing Bicolor Plantings on Private Lands

This paper reports on a technique that appears successful for establishing bicolor or other perennial wildlife plots on private lands. During the winter of 1973-74, University of Tennessee personnel (with farmers' help) established a total of 127 perennial plots. 0.1 to 0.25 acres each with a tree planter on 19 private farms (average 6.7 plots per farm). A total of 35.2 man-days (excluding travel and farmers' time) was expended. This computes to be 0.28 man-day per plot or 1.85 man-days per farm. Plots were planted from November through April, and plant survival was satisfactory in practically all cases. A growth evaluation survey revealed that 65.1 percent of the plots rated fair or above. Grazing was responsible for poor growth in 24.6 percent of the plots, and 7. J percent of the plots were plowed up when crops were planted-in most cases by laborers who didn't know the plots existed. The most efficient team proved to be a crew of 2 people-one technician and one laborer. Typically the two individuals pulled a tree planter on a small utility trailer behind a pickup truck (with camper cover) loaded with bicolor seedlings. Upon arrival at the farm, the farmer drove his own tractor, and the two university personnel rode the tree planter, setting out seedlings. The technician, as well as planting, interpreted management plans and made decisions with farmer about exact plot locations. Based upon these data, this technique may be feasible for state wildlife agencies to consider. The author suggests, however. that plots not be established in pasture unless areas for plots are fenced beforehand. It is also suggested that plots established at edges of cultivated fields be delineated by stakes with colored flagging until plots are well established. Advantages ofthe technique include: 1. Assurance that plantings on private lands are actually carried out-and correctly. 2. Farmer has input (tractor and personal time) and is likely to be more interested in plots. 3. Unless destroyed, plots established are permanem and will likely produce food and cover for many years. 4. Opportunity for technician to teach farmer certain wildlife management principles. 5. Projecting the above data, costs of such a program appear feasible. It is estimated that the cost to a wildlife agency (excluding plants and administrative costs) would be 11 cents per affected acre of habitat per year, based on an average expected planting life of 10 years.

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