We examined a case study where a successful wildlife-friendly model for intensively managed hayland was developed from field data and implemented locally as policy by a federal agency. Farmers were ensured a first hay-harvest with high protein content; after a 65-day delay (compared to the normal 35–40-day cutting cycle) farmers took a second harvest of greater quantity but decreased quality. Farmers were paid $247–333/ha in 2008–2010 to offset costs associated with the decreased nutritional content caused by the approximately 25-day second harvest delay. Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) reproductive rates improved from 0.0 to 2.8 fledglings per female per year. Creation and implementation of this policy required communication among scientists, federal agricultural agencies, farmers, and state and federal fish and wildlife departments. Data collection, analyses, and communication processes served as an effective global model for practitioners to apply to other agricultural products and taxa.
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