Delaware Landowner Incentive Program (DELIP)
Upland Early Successional Habitat Enhancement
Changing land use practices have severely limited the amount of early successional upland habitat (grassland/hedgerows) available to wildlife. The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife hopes that by offering incentive programs like DELIP this trend can be reversed. DELIP will provide funding and technical assistance to landowners for the planting and management (e.g., grazing / mowing schedules) of warm-season grass buffers and fields, secondary successional habitats (hedgerows) and shrub-forest ecotones. Upland early successional habitat provides for a variety of species-at-risk including grassland birds, reptiles, small mammals and numerous insects as well as non-target species such as upland game birds.
An agricultural field that has been planted as warm season grass.
Where should I plant upland early successional habitat?
Upland early successional habitat may be planted in agricultural fields and pastures as hedgerows, grass buffers, or you may wish to plant the entire field to warm season grasses. Areas adjacent to streams, wetlands and drainage ditches, as rights of way (under powerlines), are ideal locations for incorporating early successional habitat.
Financial Assistance Available
Seventy-four percent cost-share, a flat rate of $296/acre will be provided to landowners interested in establishing early successional habitat primarily warm season grasses. This flat rate includes all installation and materials costs including renting a warm season grass drill, seed, lime, herbicide (2 applications), site preparation and a nurse crop. Landowners may also establish a scrub/shrub habitat for a flat rate of $3.70/large seedling or $0.74/small seedling. In addition the landowner will receive a rental payment for the loss of agricultural income. The rental payment will be made annually, in the fall of each year. In return the landowner will be required to manage their early successional habitat for a period of 5 or 10 years. This may include spot spraying invasive species and/or physical removal, mowing after nesting season may be necessary to encourage growth after the first year, and burning/disking every 3-5 years to maintain early successsional stage.