Center pivot irrigation systems are highly efficient systems which help conserve water, reduce erosion, and cut labor costs while supplying water to grain crops during times of need. Needless to say, they are pivotal for production agriculture. But if you have ever tried to put a round peg in a square hole, you know that there are going to be gaps in this engineering nightmare. Thus the self-created pivot corner, those areas of the ag field that are left without water throughout the growing seasons. Some producers have been very creative on wise uses of pivot corners – ranging from shop headquarters, unconventional crops such as sunflowers or alfalfa, to billboard and antennae leases.
An alternative solution that the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Private Land Conservationists can assist you with is the development of small game conservation cover in your pivot corners. There are several options that are currently available to producers in the state of Missouri and most of those options will require the establishment of native grasses and wildflowers to provide the food and shelter many wildlife species need. Most programs also require winter cover areas be provided. A pivot corner is an ideal location for conservation habitat because it often borders an alternative food source on one side and a fence row on the other.
The Missouri Department of Conservation’s Private Land Conservationists (PLCs) are available to offer technical assistance to landowners and their habitat management needs. To find out who to contact near you, use the ‘Who’s My Local Contact?‘ search function to find the PLC that covers your county.
About the author: Tim Kavan is a Private Land Conservationist with the MDC serving the bootheel counties of Mississippi, New Madrid, and Pemiscot.