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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: Forest Farming in Leake County, Mississippi: Mushrooms Appeal to Rural and Urban Growers
By Candice Abinanti

In Leake County, Mississippi, the Leake County Soil and Water Conservation District, NRCS Leake County Field Office, Alcorn State University and the Winston County Self Help Cooperative partnered to provide a two-part workshop on the agroforestry practice of forest farming, or growing crops under the shade of trees, specifically: mushrooms.

Successful Farming: New Market Planned to Pay Farmers for Soil Carbon, Water Quality
By Virginia Gewin

General Mills, ADM, Cargill, McDonald’s, and The Nature Conservancy are among 10 companies and nonprofit organizations that are forming a national market by 2022 to incentivize the adoption of farming practices that build soil carbon and improve water conservation. The aim of the venture is to develop protocols and a market framework to issue greenhouse gas reduction credits to farmers who adopt conservation practices.

The Mercury News: Here’s how much recent rains have washed away California’s drought
By Paul Rogers

Soaked by relentless storms, California as of this week has less land area in drought status than at any time in the last seven years. Less than 1 percent of the state — a sliver on the Oregon border — is still classified as being in a moderate drought.

The Washington Post: A massive aquifer lies beneath the Mojave Desert. Could it help solve California’s water problem?

There is water here in the Mojave Desert. A lot of it. Whether to tap it on a commercial scale or leave it alone is a decades-old question the Trump administration has revived and the California legislature is visiting anew. The debate will help resolve whether private enterprise can effectively manage a public necessity in a state where who gets water and where it originates endures as the most volatile political issue.

Agri-Pulse: Gray wolf delisting proposal on the way 'soon'
By Steve Davies

In a statement, a FWS spokesperson said acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt had announced that the service “will soon propose a rule to delist the gray wolf in the lower 48 states and return management of the species back to the states and tribes.”

Successful Farming: General Mills Aims to Drive Regenerative Agriculture on 1 Million Acres by 2030
By Bill Spiegel

One of the nation’s largest food companies has pledged to “advance regenerative agricultural practices” on 1 million acres of farmland by 2030. Today’s announcement builds upon the company’s commitment to improve soil health and to reduce its absolute GHG emissions by 28% across its full value chain by 2025.

Lab Manager: A Faster, More Accurate Way to Monitor Drought

A new monitoring method developed at Duke University allows scientists to identify the onset of drought sooner—meaning conservation or remediation measures might be put into place sooner to help limit the damage.

StarTribune: Environmental education might be solution to making natural resources relevant
By Dennis Anderson

Becker-Finn and Ingebrigtsen (among others, including Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, chairman of the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division) correctly recognize the need to better and more comprehensively educate Minnesotans about their state and what’s required to sustain its land, water and other resources.

Indiana Prairie Farmer: Center tracks on planter reduce soil compaction
By Tom J Bechman

Part of the secret to doing the best job they can and unlocking maximum profitability is minimizing soil compaction. One way they accomplish this is by relying on tracks vs. tires when it makes sense.

The Washington Post: Ruined crops, salty soil: How rising seas are poisoning North Carolina’s farmland
By Sarah Kaplan

Rising seas, sinking earth and extreme weather are conspiring to cause salt from the ocean to contaminate aquifers and turn formerly fertile fields barren. A 2016 study predicted that 9 percent of the U.S. coastline is vulnerable to saltwater intrusion — a percentage likely to grow.

South Dakota State University: Clover improves soil quality, feeds biofuels crop
By Christie Delfanian

A four-leaf clover might bring good luck, but a stand of Kura clover can produce healthier soil—in the long run. Planting Kura clover, a pasture legume, with prairie cordgrass can improve microbial activity in the soil, thus reducing the amount of fertilizer needed to produce the potential biofuels crop.

The Country Today: Bill would create water-quality credit clearinghouse
By Heidi Clausen

On Feb. 26, Cowles began circulating a bill for co-sponsorship that would create a third-party clearinghouse to better accommodate the buying and selling of water-quality credits between municipalities and farmers. While state law already allows for this type of trading, having a centralized system for the sale of such credits would make it an easier, more accessible process and, as a result, more popular. Participation in the state’s three existing water-quality programs historically has been low.

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