Playa Lake Farm & Ranch: Playa Lake Habitat Management
About Playa Lake Farm & Ranch: Playa Lake Habitat Management
Playa Lake Farm & Ranch is a collection of unique farm and ranch properties with land management practices that support wildlife conservation, habitat improvement and enhancement, water conservation, sustainable agriculture production, and American energy independence. Playa Lake Farm & Ranch collaborates with farmers, ranchers, hunters, wildlife enthusiasts, beekeepers, conservation organizations, state and federal agencies, and more to achieve their mission and create sustainable long-term value through balancing agricultural production with natural resource management and conservation.
Project Description & History
Playa Lake Farm & Ranch is in the business of acquiring and managing farms and ranches that contain playa lakes and improving both the agricultural and conservation value of the land and natural resources. They offer the use of their land for farming, ranching, recreational, educational, and research opportunities. Their properties are located in the South Plains of Texas around Lubbock and surrounding counties, which is one of the largest migration pathways of waterfowl and other birds in North America. The South Plains, or Llano Estacado, is an intensely farmed region and playa lake habitat makes up approximately 2% of the landscape, but accounts for 98% of the biodiversity of the region. Playa lakesare a mission-critical source of life for the flora and fauna that live in and migrate through this region. Wildlife Conservation is one of the core focus areas at Playa Lake Farm & Ranch. One of the organization’s goals is to conserve critical wildlife habitats around playa lakes and to create a habitat-sustainable farm and ranch model for properties that contain playa lakes. Where agricultural methods had previously been less sustainable, Playa Lake Farm & Ranch has implemented more sustainable practices such as conservative drip irrigation, cover crops, erosion management, playa lake restoration, and adding grass buffers between playas and farmland.
This model balances agricultural production with wildlife conservation that other landowners in the region can use as an example to follow.
Long-term preservation of the Playa Lake Farm & Ranch properties allows the use of the lands for sustainable farming and ranching, recreational, educational, and research opportunities that will impact thousands of people over future generations. The organization has established a hunting club and opportunities for wildlife viewing and hosts educational events for the local community including K-12 and college students on their land.
Playa Lake Farm & Ranch has a multitude of positive impacts on local agricultural production and resource conservation. For example, over 1000 bales of high quality pima and upland cotton, and over 2500 bushels of high residue crops like corn, wheat, and milo, tens of thousands of pounds of beef, and several hundred pounds of honey are produced using their sustainable farm and ranch practices each year. Further, over 75,000,000 gallons of water recharged into the aquifer on average each year from over 956 acres of playa lake wetland acres within 33 playa lakes. Lastly, more than 50 million kilowatt-hours (kWH) are generated each year from renewable energy resources on their land.
To learn more about the importance of playa lakes, including a video about how playas work, view Texan by Nature’s 2018 Conservation Wrangler, the Playa Lakes Conservation Initiative.
sustainable farming and ranching, recreational, educational, and research opportunities will impact thousands of people over the next decades and future generations.
Several hundred thousand dollars
invested each year into soil health, sustainable farming practices, wildlife habitat improvements, and water conservation.
of farmland and grassland containing 33 playa lakes are managed. Many plants and animals around Playa Lake Habitat and upland grassland habitats are Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Hundreds of thousands of waterfowl and other birds use this land each year along with numerous other species and types of wildlife.