Hedgerow and Grass Margin Stewardship Program
Native trees and shrubs are planted on Delta farms through the Hedgerow Stewardship Program. These hedges provide year-round wildlife habitat along field edges. Over half of the bird species found on a typical piece of farmland can be attributed to hedgerows, even though the hedges may comprise only a small portion of the available habitat. Hedgerows provide a number of benefits, including:
- Providing habitat for a diversity of songbird and raptor species
- Acting as “insectories;” providing habitat for a host of beneficial insects, including pollinators like bumblebees and predators like lacewings
- Creating microclimates conducive to improving field productivity; hedgerows act as wind barriers, preventing soil erosion
- Creating shaded resting places for livestock
- Providing nesting sites for Red-tailed Hawk and Bald Eagles in mature hedgerow trees like alder, cottonwood, and douglas fir.
For more information on the Hedgerow Program, read our Hedgerow Fact Sheet.
The edges of farm fields can be planted with a mix of forage grasses through the Grass Margin Stewardship Program. These margins are beneficial to both wildlife and farming because they:
- Provide habitat for small mammals, which are in turn preyed upon by raptors and wading birds
- Provide nesting habitat for bumblebees
- Provide refuges for beneficial insects, like predatory Carabidae beetles
- Reduce the need for ditch cleaning by trapping sediment before it can run off of the field
- Act as a buffer between organically-certified crop fields