Habitat & Conservation  |  08/25/2021

Pheasants Forever and Purina Launch Third Round of Prairie Pothole Region Habitat Initiative


Pheasants Forever has launched a third round of funding for its signature conservation initiative, the Soil Health and Habitat Program, with applications now open to farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. Funded by pet care leader Purina, the innovative program is designed to enhance soil health, protect water quality, and increase wildlife habitat for more resilient farms. The current signup period is now available on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is expended.

Utilizing precision agriculture technology as the foundation, Pheasants Forever will work with producers and growers to analyze data using Truterra™ Insights Engine from 30,000 acres of private lands in the Prairie Pothole Region to help enhance soil health, protect water quality and implement conservation planning on 7,200 acres. Results from the analysis will help guide enrollment of unprofitable acres into the program for habitat by providing those landowners a one-time incentive payment for grassland and improve soil health on their best acres through cover crop mixtures and incentives.

The third signup period for the Soil Health and Habitat Program features a heightened focus on the Dakotas with new incentive payments matching all other states at $250 per acre (one-time sign-on incentive bonus) for perennial habitat, including a $150 per acre implementation incentive based on actual receipts.

“Covering the majority of the Prairie Pothole Region, North Dakota and South Dakota remain top priorities for Pheasants Forever in regard to grassland conservation efforts,” stated Tanner Bruse, Ag & Conservation Programs Manager for Pheasants Forever. “Additionally, millions of acres of saline soils are hindering producers in this specific prairie geography with limited options available for addressing salinity concerns. The Soil Health and Habitat Program is a viable, economic solution that supports farmers and ranchers while implementing best practices for wildlife and soil health.”

“Purina’s partnership with Pheasants Forever helps protect the Prairie Pothole Region. Our collective efforts are reinforcing the role of this critical breeding ground for precious wildlife and habitat while enhancing the growth of healthy ingredients used in our complete and balanced pet food formulas,” said Jack Scott, Purina’s Vice President of Sustainable Sourcing. “This program showcases the importance of teamwork in conservation. Thank you to Pheasants Forever for championing this cause and to the producers and growers who contribute to its mission.”

Soil Health and Habitat Program Guidelines:

Financial Incentives:
  • $250/acre one-time payment incentive for habitat in all participating states
  • $150/acre cost-share for seed and implementation (based on actual receipts)
  • $20/acre for cover crop cost share
  • 5-year contract
  • Participating farmers will also receive Truterra Insights Engine Stewardship Report Card that includes a sustainability score and profits insights. Farmers will agree to provide agronomic practice information to establish baseline metrics.

For more information about enrollment opportunities for Pheasants Forever’s Soil Health and Habitat Program, CLICK HERE. Contact the following state-specific program leaders for further questions:

State Contact Phone Email
Iowa Josh Divan (515) 708-2371 JDivan@PheasantsForever.org
Minnesota Tanner Bruse (507) 865-1163 TBruse@PheasantsForever.org
North Dakota Rachel Bush (701) 799-0766 RBush@PheasantsForever.org
South Dakota Cristin Weber (605) 999-3905 CWeber@PheasantsForever.org