There are a dozen different ways you can make some type of income by owning your own land. Timber thinnings, hunting leases, and farming leases are the most common in eastern North Carolina. There are other governmental programs landowners can take advantage of also. This is why enrolling your property into a CRP, or a similar program, could be the best thing for your property.
The Conservation Reserve Program was originally designed for the purpose of eliminating soil erosion, but has recently taken a turn towards wildlife habitat enhancement. There are a few requirements for a landowner in order to implement a CRP program on their property.
- The property must have been owned for at least one year
- The property must have been a part of an active row crop farm practice for four previous years
- The program lasts for either 10 or 15 year installments
So what does this mean for the prospective buyer who is looking at land enrolled in CRP, or a landowner who is considering enrollment? It means they will make just as much, if not more in the CRP than they will renting their farm out for agricultural practices. It also means that their property will see an increase in wildlife activity due to wildlife-friendly forages that will be implemented. A plethora of wildlife will flock to CRP planted fields. There are also no restrictions on a minimal amount of acreage, benefitting many farms that may only have a slight amount of farmland acreage. Also, land enrolled in CRP can rent at much higher rates per acre than farmland when it comes to hunting leases. With little forage rotation, the wildlife will consistently use CRP on your property more so than farmland, which has a crop rotation. Corn and soybeans are great, but the years when cotton and tobacco are planted can leave a hunter scrambling trying to figure out where the deer are. The CRP is also a great option when hunting or owning land in areas of marginal soil quality.
Lastly, there are a ton of forages that a landowner can choose to plant on their property. The seed selection depends primarily on what species they wish to promote. Many forages are beneficial to multiple wildlife species, so this overlapping makes it easy for someone to plant forages that profit more than one type of wildlife species. I have personally seen fawns bed in freshly sprouting CRP. Wild turkeys also use CRP. The gobblers will strut and hens will nest in the cover provided. I have also stumbled on more than a few covey of bobwhite quail. Luckily, Mossy Oak BioLogic has more than a few seed selections that are approved for CRP implementation.
A full length article can be found in the Winter Issue of Mossy Oak Gamekeepers. The article titled The Acronym for Your Acreage and was written by Brenda Valentine.
For more information on implementing management techniques on your property, or assistance in finding your perfect tract of hunting land, please contact Andrew Walters.