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Crop Insurance Hazards Shown in Lost Pheasants in Grasslands

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Such successes, key to the state’s $172 million pheasant season, are getting harder to come by. Bird numbers are down almost two-thirds from last year.

A number of reasons are cited for the decline, ranging from harsh weather to a boom in commodity prices that has encouraged farmers to plow grassland and plant crops, reducing habitat for pheasants and other wildlife.

Some see a man-made element: taxpayer-supported crop insurance, a program that critics say has contributed to a decline in acres set aside for conservation. A House-Senate conference panel that begins meeting today will consider trimming government subsidies for the insurance and adding conservation incentives as lawmakers reconcile multiyear farm bills approved by each chamber.

Remind me, do the Duck Dynasty guys like hunting pheasant too?

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