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Pioneer Teams With Babe Winkelman to Plant Forage Refuge


Corn, soybeans, alfalfa included on approximately 60 acres of Winkelman’s ranch

PERHAM, Minn.,- Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., and outdoor television personality Babe Winkelman have partnered to provide more forage for Minnesota’s wildlife.

“We’re planting seeds for all types of wildlife - deer, turkey, pheasants, ducks, geese, bear,” says Babe Winkelman, host of “Good Fishing” and “Outdoor Secrets.” “It’s far beyond a small plot that offers food to a few animals in the wilderness.”

The “plot” on Winkelman’s 262-acre ranch in Perham, Minn., comprises approximately 60 acres of fields and 55 acres of native prairie grasses plus the woods of his property. Winkelman has maintained this forage refuge for five years, with 2007 being the first year Pioneer has participated in the project. The company has provided Winkelman with Pioneer® brand soybean and corn hybrids with the Roundup Ready® gene, grain and forage sorghum, alfalfa and sunflowers. The progress of this plot also will be featured on upcoming episodes of “Outdoor Secrets.”

“There aren’t a lot of crops grown especially for wildlife,” explains Winkelman. “A lot of us who want to be immersed in wildlife choose to plant these plots ourselves.”

“We’re happy to help Babe provide food to more species by expanding the number of crops grown in his plot,” says Marty Lovrien, Pioneer account manager for central Minnesota. “He recognizes the importance of a high-quality forage refuge, and we want to assist by providing seed with the highest yield potential.”

In addition to high-quality seeds, Winkelman also understands other steps needed to assure a quality refuge spot for wildlife in his area.

“Depending on the type of crops you plan to grow, you should test the soil and fertilize appropriately,” says Winkelman. “You should approach a plot like this in an organized way and respect your surroundings. People look at the woods as a place where animals and wildlife live, and a plot like the one we’ll grow as the food source; when in fact, the whole woods itself is a food plot. An area like this, integrated into the woods, helps us maintain and manage natural wildlife.”

“The same things that go into a farmer’s crops go into a forage area like Babe’s,” says Lovrien. “By using premium seed that will germinate under less-than-ideal conditions, including cold stress, he’ll see yields that both he and the wildlife on his ranch land will appreciate.”

For more information on the necessary steps to establish a forage refuge plot, your local Extension service office; and for more information on seed to plan in a forage refuge plot, contact your local Pioneer sales representative.


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