SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Since the government began requiring ethanol be added to gasoline, the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska have lost 2.8 million acres of land set aside in the U.S. Conservation Reserve Program.
Hunters, who are big business in that part of the country, say they have felt the loss of habitats for ducks, pheasants, grouse and other wildlife as native grasslands that provided shelter to the birds have been overtaken by corn and soy crops, the main feedstock used to produce ethanol.
Pheasant harvests in the region have declined by 44 percent since 2006.
The owner of a Nebraska hotel popular among hunters says, "Everything's against the pheasants right now."