Working Lands

NATIVE

Native Agriculture To InVigorate Ecosystems

Audubon’s NATIVE project is training farmers to grow native plants as an environmentally friendly, climate change-resistant specialty crop that provides both income and on-farm wildlife habitat. Income is from the sale of seed to meet the growing demand for locally sourced native warm season grasses, including Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Indiangrass, and Switchgrass, plus pollinator-friendly forbs, like Blazingstar, Coneflower, and Compassplant, needed to restore Arkansas's prairies.

Restoration of prairie ecosystems, once home to the Greater Prairie-Chicken, will help other declining grassland birds such as the Northern Bobwhite, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Dickcissel.

Preparing a bed to be sown with native grasses. Photo: Audubon Arkansas
Broadcasting native grass seed. Photo: Audubon Arkansas
Planting native grass plugs. Photo: Audubon Arkansas
Switchgrass Photo: Audubon Arkansas
A farmer's Switchgrass crop is coming up. Photo: Audubon Arkansas
Mature Switchgrass stand. Photo: Audubon Arkansas
Native grass production plots double as buffers for traditional row crops. Photo: Audubon Arkansas
Planting forb plugs into production plots. Photo: Audubon Arkansas
An ironweed plug planted in plastic mulch with drip tape irrigation. Photo: Audubon Arkansas
Prairie Blazingstar (Liatris pycnostachya) Photo: Audubon Arkansas
Compassplant seed harvested from a portion of one farmer's production plot. Photo: Audubon Arkansas

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Audubon Arkansas's Flail-vac is up and running, sweeping up Little Bluestem seeds so that farm production plots can be made for Audubon's NATIVE Project.

Wildflower Plug Planting

Related

Have Seed, Will Travel
Working Lands

Have Seed, Will Travel

This past growing season five farmers harvested four grass species and ten wildflower species, including Switchgrass, Little Bluestem, Slender Mountainmint, and Rattlesnake Master.

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Another Season of Successful Seed Collecting
Working Lands

Seed Collecting is for the Birds

Volunteers support Audubon's NATIVE Project

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USDA Invests in Audubon Arkansas’s Work with Minority Farmers
Working Lands

USDA 2501 Grant

Audubon Arkansas awarded a USDA grant to put working lands to work for birds and people.

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USDA Invests in Audubon Arkansas’s Farm Conservation Work
Working Lands

Conservation Innovation Grant

Audubon Arkansas was awarded a USDA Conservation Innovation Grant

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Audubon's NATIVE Project
Working Lands

NATIVE Project Presentation

Audubon’s Native Agriculture To InVigorate Ecosystems (NATIVE) project is training farmers to grow native plants as an environmentally friendly, climate change-resistant specialty crop that provides both income and on-farm wildlife habitat. Income is from the sale of seed to meet the growing demand for locally sourced native warm season grasses and pollinator-friendly forbs needed to restore Arkansas's prairies.

Read more

Natural Areas as Seeds for Restoration: The Arkansas Native Seed Program
Working Lands

Arkansas Native Seed Program Presentation

The Arkansas Native Seed Program, a collaborative effort of several state, federal, and private conservation partners led by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, is working to develop commercially available sources of local native plant materials for large-scale revegetation and restoration projects in Arkansas.

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NATIVE
Working Lands

NATIVE Project

Working with local farmers to to promote native grasses and preserve ecosystems.

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Get Involved

Audubon Arkansas, Audubon Louisiana, and Audubon Mississippi have joined forces to become Audubon Delta.