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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: Brown County SWCD helping to ‘whittle down’ EQIP backlog

In January 2018, Ohio’s Brown County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) received a technical assistance grant from NACD and NRCS designed to add capacity at the local level to provide more assistance to landowners.

NACD Blog: What the Elections Mean for the Farm Bill
By Coleman Garrison

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, as a result of mid-term elections, the House of Representatives flipped to Democrat control while Senate Republicans added to their ranks. These changes will impact farm and conservation policy over the longer-term in the next Congress but also hold near-term impacts when Congress returns later this month for a lame duck session.

Agri-Pulse: Peterson confident of lame-duck farm bill
By Philip Brasher

Rep. Collin Peterson expressed confidence Wednesday that a new farm bill would be enacted before the Minnesota Democrat regains the chairmanship of the House Agriculture Committee in January. Peterson also said he had the full support of the Democratic leadership for finalizing a bill in the lame duck session.

DTN/The Progressive Farmer: Election Reflects Divide
By Chris Clayton

The midterm election Tuesday was the big "blue wave" that became more of a mild blue tide as Democrats captured the House, but Republicans held their own and gained Senate seats. Rep. Tim Walz, a Democrat and member of the House Agriculture Committee, won Minnesota governor's race. Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, won the governorship of New Mexico.

UPI: Farmers push Congress to pass new farm bill before year ends
By Jessie Higgins

With the Midterm elections over, farmers and farm groups are putting increased pressure on lawmakers to pass a new farm bill before the end of the year. A joint House and Senate committee failed to pass a new bill before the old one expired Sept. 30, freezing dozens of programs. The committee now has until the end of the year to reach a compromise, or lawmakers will have to start over next year.

NBC News: 20,000-acre wildfire all but destroys Paradise, California
By David K. Li and Alex Johnson

The fire had more than doubled in size to 20,000 acres and was at 0 percent containment, Cal Fire reported Thursday night. Meanwhile, in Southern California, a brushfire that ignited Thursday afternoon quickly grew to encompass 10,000 acres.

AgWeb: What Might Happen If Farmers Were Paid To Use No-Till?
By Sonja Begemann

The group asked Bainbridge if he would ever consider going back to conventional tillage—such as for a monetary incentive. “Maybe if I know I’m not going to be farming it for the next 30 years I’d do it for $50 per acre, but no… I don’t want to till my soil. I have no interest in it,” he said. For him, the environment he’s created in the soil using no-till is too valuable to sacrifice. From better water infiltration, to applying fewer nutrients, the benefits speak for themselves on his farm.

The Hill: EPA just tossed farmers a lifeline to protect crops
By Tim Burrack

(Opinion) Regulators extended for two years our ability to use a form of a soybean that resists dicamba, a traditional crop-protection product that helps us defeat these terrible weeds. Over the next two years, we farmers have to make sure we get it right. Let’s study the label, follow its rules, and use dicamba properly. The EPA’s sensible decision will make farming in 2019 a little bit easier — and when we all do our part, we’ll continue to benefit from an excellent tool for fighting weeds.

The Sacramento Bee: Think modern wildfires are bad? Fires once burned up to 36 times more of the West, study says
By Jared Gilmour

Researchers compiled long-term data on wildfires in the West and found that by the mid-20th Century as little as 500,000 hectares burned yearly in Western ecosystems. Compare that with the 7 million to 18 million hectares that burned each year before modern fire suppression began in the area.

AP News: Tidal flooding also contributes to Chesapeake Bay pollution

Scientists have begun researching an under-studied source of Chesapeake Bay pollution: Tidal flooding. Flooding driven by ocean tides often drags trash and other waste into the nation’s largest estuary.

Utah Public Radio: More Smaller Wildfires May Increase Water Resources In The West, Study Says
By Rachel Hager

The land of the western United States is shaped by wildfire and water availability. According to new research from Utah State University, increasing the number of smaller wildfires could increase water resources in the West.  

Corn and Soybean Digest: 10 years, 10 soil takeaways
By Lynn Betts

The best way to learn is to be willing to try something new. If you test an idea carefully on just a few acres, it doesn’t matter if the idea succeeds or fails, Jack Boyer believes, because you learn either way. Boyer takes a scientific approach to building soil health. For the past 10 years, the retired ag engineer has focused on optimizing cover crop benefits on his farm, learning from both successes and failures of test strips on his farm near Reinbeck, Iowa.

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