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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.

Agri-Pulse: Shutdown slows farm bill implementation
By Philip Brasher

The government shutdown that is now in its second week has short-circuited the USDA’s implementation of the 2018 farm bill just as it was getting launched. The personnel needed to begin developing guidelines and rules for implementing the bill's required changes are barred by law from continuing such work when the department’s funding is expired.

Politico: House Ag Democrats plan farm bill oversight, farm economy
By Helena Bottemiller Evich

The subcommittee structure will be largely the same, except for three changes: energy is shifting to the conservation and forestry subcommittee; the nutrition subcommittee is adding in oversight and department operations; and rural development is being added to what is currently the commodity exchanges, energy, and credit subcommittee (in lieu of energy).

Des Moines Register: Farm Bill takes important step toward rewarding those who care for our land
By Moira McDonald and Sarah Gilbert

(Opinion) Thanks to renewed funding in the Farm Bill, important conservation programs will protect our farmland from harmful pollutants and promote healthy soil, water and air. These programs will continue to incentivize landowners like farmers, ranchers and foresters to engage in conservation efforts that produce environmental rewards and, in turn, lead to economical ones.

KRCC: Drought Puts A Pinch On Southern Colorado Agriculture
By Ryan Maye Handy

Colorado's farming and ranching communities are facing a season of economic losses, after summer drought dried up grass for cattle, killed crops and kept thousands of acres from being planted.

MPR News: Native American tribes win big in the new farm bill
By Dan Gunderson

Native American leaders say a coordinated lobbying effort on the 2018 farm bill has paid off, with unprecedented provisions that will benefit tribal nations across the country. Tribal governments were historically not granted the same authority as states, but that has changed in the farm bill's latest iteration.

The Californian: County to establish urban agriculture incentive zones
By Joe Naiman

The County of San Diego will be establishing urban agriculture incentive zones in the unincorporated portion of the county. AB 551 authorizes cities and counties to enter into contracts with landowners to restrict the use of vacant, unimproved, or otherwise blighted land for small-scale production of agricultural crops and animal husbandry.

The Christian Science Monitor: Millet anyone? Facing soil crisis, US farmers look beyond corn and soybeans
By Story Hinckley and Laurent Belsie

Across the American Midwest and Plains, small groups of farmers are looking at their most important resource – the soil – and contemplating big change.

The New York Times: Will Mushrooms Be Magic for Threatened Bees?
By Paul Stamets

(Opinion) In the field study, a small amount of one of these mycelial extracts was added to the sugar water commonly fed to honeybees by beekeepers; wild bees could benefit too. I hope to create, with some colleagues, a nonprofit organization that could make available this mushroom extract and a bee feeder, similar to a hummingbird feeder, so that all of us can help save bees from our own backyards.

US Ag Net: $103 Million in Grant to Improve Water Quality

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's 2018 Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) annual competitive funding program awarded more than $103 million in grants to 124 projects that will improve water quality, reduce the potential for harmful algal blooms (HABs), and protect drinking water across the state.

Great Lakes Echo: Farmers, Great Lakes benefit from cover crops
By Andrew Blok

Cover crops help prevent nutrient runoff from farms, particularly phosphorus, from making its way to the Great Lakes and creating conditions for algal blooms. If the Great Lakes are ever free of nuisance algal blooms, it will be because more farmers adopt soil-smart practices such as cover crops to curtail erosion, researchers say.

San Francisco Chronicle: Private woodlands lost to California wildfire — and may not be replaced
By Peter Fimrite

The fires, larger and more damaging each year, are especially problematic for the individuals and families who own a cumulative 9 million acres of heavily wooded property in the state. Many of these small property owners don’t have the money or resources to clear out and replace trees when wildfires sweep over the landscape.

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