Landowner Services

Des Moines County Conservation (DMCC) offers numerous services for private landowners undertaking conservation projects. Listed is a brief description of some of the available services. Contact DMCC directly for more detailed information. Work will be taken on a first-come-first-served basis. Availability of services will depend on scheduled workload, weather, etc., so some services may not be available at certain times. Call to check on availability.

Des Moines County Conservation and the Aldo Leopold Pheasants Forever Chapter continue to work together to offer services and cost share opportunities for landowners. The overall goal of the program is to establish and enhance wildlife habitat in Des Moines County by ensuring proper land stewardship practices.

Comprehensive Wildlife Management Plan

Cost: This service is free to landowners.

This service provides landowners with a long-term comprehensive plan based on management objectives. Having a Wildlife Management Plan can also save landowners money with possible cost share opportunities and a discount on some services provided by DMCC.

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Native Grass Planting

Cost: No-till Drill: $35/acre; Broadcast Seeder: $40/acre; NOTE: native seed sold separately

We provide planting services for various applications. This includes CRP planting and mid-contract management (MCM) practices.

A one-time $20 mobilization fee is also charged for each project to cover equipment transport.

Planting Equipment Rental

Cost: $50 flat fee for up to five acres, an additional $10 per acre is charged after that.

To effectively establish native grasses and forbs, specialized equipment is necessary for successful planting. We offer a 14’ and 8’ no-till drill for rent. We also offer a broadcast PTO driven spreader depending on planting applications.

Seedbed Preparation

Cost: Fees are determined by the project and will vary given different conditions. Call for a free estimate.

This service is only available in conjunction with a native grass or food plot planting projects. We offer disking and culti-packing only. We do not offer spraying services. A one-time $20 mobilization fee is also charged for each project to cover equipment transport.

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Food Plot Establishment

Cost: $35/acre (food plot seed sold separately)

Food plots provide excellent sources of supplemental food for wildlife, especially during the winter months. We offer food plot recommendations for landowners as well as planting services to establish the plots. A $3/acre discount applies to those with a Wildlife Management Plan from DMCC or the Iowa DNR. A one-time $20 mobilization fee is also charged for each project to cover equipment transport.

Edge Feathering

Cost: $75 per 1/10 acre

This practice allows for better habitat for wildlife by creating areas of low, dense woody cover along a wooded /open area. Quail, rabbits, and songbirds especially benefit from this practice. Wildlife Management Plans oftentimes use this practice to aide in the enhancement of habitat.

Tree/Shrub Planting

Cost: Fees are determined by the project. Call for a free estimate.

We offer tree/shrub planting services specific to landowner objectives. Projects include: reforestation, quail thickets and windbreaks.

Early Successional Management

Often the key to increasing upland game and other wildlife populations is to apply some early-successional management to your grassland acres. Over time, even native grass stands will become sod-bound and stagnant, losing much of their habitat value. By applying practices that thin the stand and reduce the vigor of some of the plants, you can set back succession and greatly increase the stand’s value to wildlife. These practices will also meet CRP Mid-Contract Management (MCM) requirements.

Prescribed Burn Assistance

Cost: $350 for up to ten acres, $35 per additional acre.

Prescribed fire is by far one of the best ways to manage grassland acres. Though Des Moines County Conservation does not offer this service, the Aldo Leopold Chapter of Pheasants Forever does. A professionally-prepared Prescribed Burn Plan must be submitted for review and approval and burn-day conditions must meet prescription before any burn takes place.

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Prescribed burn assistance must be applied for at least 30 days in advance of the planned burn date. Prescribed fire is one of the allowed mid-contract management activities for CRP management.

For more information on habitat management programs offered by Pheasants Forever, contact local PF Farm Bill Biologist Erica Yost at 319-217-3204.

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Strip-Disking

Cost: $50/acre

Strip-Disking is yet another option to set back succession. This practice helps to break up sod bound grass stands. Strip-Disking is another allowed mid-contract management activities for CRP management. A one-time $20 mobilization fee is also charged for each project to cover equipment transport.