Quail Unlimited and Sharp Brothers Seed Co. of Healy have joined to provide low-cost quail nesting and brood seed mixes for state landowners.
"Wildlife biologists have identified the need for creating and planting additional quality nesting and brood rearing cover as the number-one objective for quail recovery," QU official Roger Wells said.
The native grass and forb mixes are designed to provide the short, bunch-grass growth preferred by bobwhites. In addition, a variety of preferred forbs are included to provide overhead cover and attract insects ideal for quail chicks.
These grass and forb mixtures can be planted along field borders, small non-farmed areas, forest openings and abandoned crop fields. They also may replace non-native species - such as fescue and Bermuda grass - that provide poor quail habitat.
"One of the biggest mistakes when planting native grasses is to plant too much seed," Wells said. "Native grass cover for bobwhites should be relatively thin to allow ease of quail travel at ground level."
Two mixes are available. The Eastern Mix is designed for areas receiving more than 35 inches of rainfall per year. This mix contains grass varieties that remain at preferred quail height even in areas of higher rainfall. The Western Mix has a small amount of taller grass varieties added and is adapted to sites receiving less than 35 inches of rainfall per year.
The cost of each mix is $45 per acre plus shipping and handling, with a one-acre minimum order. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.