Kentucky farmers can earn some much-needed extra cash by enrolling in the Cooperative Dove Field Program. Enrollment is underway and continues through March 1.
The Cooperative Dove Field Program pays landowners to lease fields on their property for public dove hunting.
“Landowners may earn up to $10,000 in the Cooperative Dove Field Program,” said Wes Little, migratory bird biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “They earn $300 per acre planted.”
Little said the department has accepted fields ranging from six to 40 acres with additional lease payments offered for buffers around planted fields. “Fields generally run from 20 to 30 acres in size,” he explained. “But, we encourage anyone interested to apply.”
Farmers may plant sunflowers, millet or another acceptable crop for a public dove field by working with a Kentucky Fish and Wildlife private lands biologist and following some simple guidelines.
Payment amounts depend on the number of acres enrolled, crop type and fulfillment of the plot management agreement with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
The department is especially interested in reaching agreements with property owners who have acreage in underserved areas with significant numbers of dove hunters. In the west, this includes Caldwell, Calloway, Christian, Daviess, Fulton, Grayson, Hardin, Hart, Hickman, LaRue, Logan, Lyon, Simpson, Todd and Trigg counties. In southcentral Kentucky, this includes Boyle, Cumberland, Laurel, Lincoln, Pulaski and Wayne counties.
To get the process started, landowners must contact their Kentucky Fish and Wildlife private lands biologist or Natural Resources Conservation Service liaison. For a listing of biologists, visit the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife homepage at www.fw.ky.gov and search under the keywords, “private lands biologist.” Property owners may also call the department at 1-800-858-1549 for more information.