Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is continuing its Bird-Friendly Certified Hay (BFCH) program for the sixth consecutive year, after a record year in 2018. The program connects hay-growers, hay-buyers and rural landowners with available land to create safe habitats for threatened grassland bird populations.
In 2018, there were 41 participants involved in the BFCH program. Fifteen farmers working 19 different farm properties together harvested 388 acres of bird-friendly certified hay. This benefits grassland-nesting birds by harvesting at a time and in a way that ensures newly hatched birds are not impacted. In addition to over 300 total sightings of grassland-nesting birds, we observed 22 pairs of nesting Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark in participating properties.
“During my search for a tenant farmer for my land, I came across the Bird-Friendly Certified Hay Program,” says Deborah Berg, a horse farmer and four-year participant of the BFCH program. “Enrolling in the program helped me connect with a local farmer who shares my appreciation for wildlife and takes care of my land.”
The BFCH program provides a matchmaking service for rural landowners trying to find tenant farmers to manage their land. It is also an online marketplace for people buying and selling bird-friendly certified hay. The hay is certified as bird-friendly by cutting it later in the season, at a time when the grassland birds that nest in hayfields are not impacted by harvesting.
Are you a hay grower, hay purchaser or landowner with land available for growing Bird-Friendly Certified Hay? Registration for the 2019 program is now open. Participating properties may be eligible for property tax reductions. For more information, visit www.birdfriendlyhay.ca or contact Jordan Graham, Program Coordinator of Agricultural Outreach, at 1-800-668-5557 ext. 243 or [email protected].
Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is a local conservation authority established by the Ontario government in 1954 to protect, restore and enhance the natural environment of the Credit River watershed. That watershed is the area of land defined by where all rainfall, snowmelt and runoff drains into lands and waters flowing into the Credit River. CVC creates connections between people and nature, knowledge and action. It inspires a deep appreciation for the role of nature in keeping people connected, healthy and happy. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario.
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Credit Valley Conservation
905-670-1615 ext. 310