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conservation legislation
The National Association of Conservation Districts is pleased to support legislation introduced this week in both the Senate and House to exempt America’s conservationists from unnecessary and burdensome reporting requirements.

“Farm bill and Natural Resources Conservation Service programs help American producers provide our nation with clean water and healthy soils; and yet they are made to jump through hoops to use them,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said. “Farmers have enough to worry about taking care of their operations without having to complete arbitrary requirements that were never meant for them in the first place.” Continue reading

By Jan Suszkiw, Agricultural Research Service

phone

USDA-NRCS rangeland scientist Emilio Carrillo tests the new LandPKS mobile app on his smartphone.
Photo by Jeffrey Herrick.


New mobile phone applications (“apps”) are helping farmers and land managers balance productivity with conservation. Known as the “Land-Potential Knowledge System” (LandPKS), the suite of apps identifies and delivers information about specific soils to anyone with a mobile phone, according to Jeff Herrick, a soil scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Continue reading

Helping Dairy, Beef and Other Producers Protect Working Grasslands in 43 States

conservation grasslands
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini announced that USDA will accept over 300,000 acres in 43 states that were offered by producers during the recent ranking period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands enrollment with emphasis placed on small-scale livestock operations. Through the voluntary CRP Grasslands program, grasslands threatened by development or conversion to row crops are maintained as livestock grazing areas, while providing important conservation benefits. Approximately 200,000 of the accepted acres were offered by small-scale livestock operations. Continue reading

USDA Begins Second Year of National Project to Quantify Effects of Agricultural Conservation

USDA Nass logo-agricultural conservationThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service is contacting 25,000 farmers and ranchers now through August to take part in a national survey that will more accurately measure the environmental benefits associated with implementation and installation of conservation practices on agricultural land. The results of the National Resources Inventory Conservation  Effects Assessment Project (NRI-CEAP) survey will help further develop the science-based solutions for managing the agricultural landscape to improve environmental quality. Continue reading

NACD, NRCS announce $2 million for urban ag conservation

CSPThe National Association of Conservation Districts, in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, has awarded $2 million in grants to 42 conservation districts in 25 states to boost technical assistance capacity for urban agriculture and conservation projects.

“NACD and the conservation districts we represent work on a scale that no other conservation organization or coalition does,” NACD President Lee McDaniel told an audience of conservation leaders in Minneapolis on Sunday. “We have the reach we need to engage the 98 percent of folks who don’t necessarily produce our fuel, fiber, and food, but still can make a sizable and positive difference on the landscape.” Continue reading

Conservation
Conservation will likely be a regular practice for California’s water future even when changes come to the water system. Challenges continue again this year despite an increase in precipitation this winter, and groups say updates are needed.

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