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Conservation Clips is a weekly collection of articles distributed by NACD that provides our members and partners with the latest news in what's driving conservation. These articles are not indicative of NACD policy and are the opinions of their authors, unless otherwise noted. If you have a relevant submission or need assistance with accessing articles, please contact NACD Communications Manager Sara Kangas.

NACD Blog: Did You Know? District Employees May Be Entitled to FMLA Protection

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees certain employees the ability to take family, medical and military leave. Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year. During this time, their employer must maintain their health insurance benefits and ensure that they have the same or an equivalent job for them to return to.

NACD Blog: Cover Crop Champions Seek Innovative Outreach Methods
By Jessica Espenshade

District program coordinators across the country have noticed a trend - agricultural outreach is relying on traditional field days to bridge the knowledge and action gap in the farming community, and attendance is increasingly a challenge. Outreach specialists need to think outside of the box to convince farmers to make soil health a priority and cover crops a common sight.

Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Conservation Needs Farm Bill Compromise
By Brent Van Dyke

(Opinion) As conferees continue to meet and work out a compromise between their versions of the farm bill, Congress must ensure the locally-led conservation delivery system will continue to thrive in the final product. Unfortunately, some are publicly calling for Congress to take one chamber’s version over the other. Each version has policies worthwhile of the final product, and a compromise should blend the best parts of each bill.

The Washington Post: Extreme Category 5 typhoon, the worst U.S. storm since 1935, leaves Northern Mariana Islands devastated
By Allyson Chiu, Chris Mooney and Juliet Eilperin

Super Typhoon Yutu rampaged through the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, leaving behind storm damage that residents are calling the worst they have ever experienced.

Des Moines Register: Conservation programs encourage long-term sustainability
By Maggie McQuown and Steve Turman

(Opinion) The CSP and other conservation programs are important to all of us, not just farmers, because they are part of what encourages sustainability in our human and animal food production.

The Washington Times: Farmers fear it will take years to recover from storm strike
By Jeff Martin

Hurricane Michael did substantial damage to Florida’s cotton, peanut and fruit crops, nurseries and livestock. The Florida Forest Service estimates the state lost almost $1.3 billion in timber that would have been harvested over several years.

Island Packet: Minnesota’s clean water buffer law will likely change
By Walker Orenstein

Gov. Mark Dayton's signature clean water law requiring buffers along Minnesota waterways is in many ways well established. It first went into effect in November of 2017, and state officials say compliance is high — more than 95 percent on all bodies of water in Minnesota. But with Dayton leaving office, the buffer law has become one of the top natural resource issues in the governor's race and both (candidates) are likely to forge their own path on balancing clean water and agricultural production by changing the program.

Water Deeply: Colorado River Crisis Demands Focus on Farm Conservation Programs
By Hannah Holm

(Opinion) When there is simply less water to go around, infrastructure investments such as the cost-share program that helped Kay buy his sprinklers can make the difference between viability and non-viability for farms and ranches and their rural communities.

The Baltimore Sun: Start of invasion? Spotted lanternfly confirmed in Maryland, raising alarm that invasive species could establish here
By Scott Dance

A spotted lanternfly has been found in a trap in Cecil County, raising concern that the invasive species could soon establish itself in Maryland. Spotted lanternflies feed on more than 70 types of plants and crops, including grapes, hops, apples and peaches as well as oak and pine trees.

American Agriculturist: How to talk to your friends about cover crops
By Scott Groff

There is agreement that cover crops are good for the soil and the environment, especially those affected downstream. So, why doesn't everyone use them?

Tallahassee Democrat: Soil and Water Conservation District is small government at its best
By Brian Lee

(Opinion) Our elected supervisors are not paid any salary – we’re all volunteers. We don’t have the authority to impose taxes or create regulations, laws or ordinances. So we aren’t costing the taxpayers any money or telling people or businesses what they should do.

Western Farm Press: Researchers studying cover crops near almond orchards
By Tom Hearden

University of California Cooperative Extension researchers have started field trials to analyze the benefits and trade-off of planting cover crops near or within almond production systems.

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