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State of the Birds Report

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Agriculture

Farming_USGS.jpg
Photo courtesy USGS

The way that we use land to grow our food has significant impacts on birds. Because of conversion of grasslands to agriculture, grasslands are the most endangered ecosystem in North America. The Conservation Reserve Program and other initiatives pay farmers to keep areas with erodible soils and sensitive habitats out of production. Farmer participation in this successful program varies. In 2008, for example, farmer involvement was affected by high commodity prices for corn and other grain caused by the growing demand for food and biofuels. In the future, millions of program acres will expire or will not be renewed, putting vital grassland habitat in jeopardy.

 

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