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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 the NACD Communications Team.

NACD Blog: NACD Government Affairs update on emergency wildfire legislation
By Mary Scott

The 2020 wildfire season has already inflicted severe economic, health and natural resources challenges across the country.

WNAX: NACD President Testifies In Front Of House Ag Sub Committee On Conservation

National Association of Conservation District’s President Tim Palmer who farms near Truro, Iowa testified in front of a House Ag subcommittee last week. He said conservation programs are being delivered despite the challenges of the pandemic.

AgNet West: Conservation Challenges Highlighted in Subcommittee Hearing

In his written testimony Palmer emphasized the value of local, technical assistance in addressing conservation challenges. Staffing issues within NRCS makes it difficult to fully maximize the opportunity provided through technical conservation assistance.

American Ag Radio Network: NACD President Stresses Importance of Conservation Programs During Testimony

Tim Palmer, President of the National Association of Conservation Districts, testified before the House Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry about 2020 conservation programs.

RFD-TV: COVID-19's impact on the Department of Natural Resources and conservation practices

"These practices ease the burden of local infrastructure, such as bridges and culverts, assisting local governments responsible for these structures," Tim Palmer with the National Association of Conservation said. "It is clear to me that conservation has a crucial role to play, not only for benefits to the environment, but as an engine as we look to recover and rebuild our economy.

AgDaily: New pilot program to show farmers the benefit of conservation

The Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC), Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA), Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), and GROWMARK are launching an ESMC pilot project in Illinois to generate quantified, verified, certified greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and improved water quality credits from agriculture.

The Indiana Gazette: County Conservation District to receive money

Indiana County Conservation District is getting $283,871 in state funding to reduce sediment inputs into the South Branch Plum Creek and the Leisure Run subwatershed in East Mahoning and South Mahoning townships through streambank stabilization and rotational grazing systems.

Spectrum News 13: Soil and Water Districts Attract Office Holders Who Aim to Engage, Educate
By Pete Reinwald

Young serves as chair of the Seminole district, one of 58 such areas in Florida, including one for each county in Central Florida. The districts aim to trumpet responsible use and conservation of soil, water, and natural resources, according to the Florida Association of Conservation Districts.

GANT News: DEP Awards $4.9 Million in Nonpoint Source Management Grants to 23 Watershed Restoration Projects State-wide

The projects will help communities and the environment around the state by restoring impaired watersheds. It was noted that about $3 million in 2021 grant funding is available for further project grant applications.

Ohio's Country Journal: Trumbull SWCD Cover Crop Cost-Share Program

[The] Trumbull Soil and Water Conservation District offered a cover crop cost-share program in 2019 that focused on drilling the seed but there can be challenges with timing.

Morning AgClips: USDA seeks new partnerships to safeguard, restore wetlands

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced up to $30 million is available in technical and financial assistance through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) to help conservation partners protect and restore critical wetlands on agricultural lands.

Fortune: A.I. gets down in the dirt as precision agriculture takes off
By Aaron Pressman

Widespread use of precision agriculture methods could reduce farming costs by $100 billion while saving 180 billion cubic meters of water by 2030, according to a McKinsey study done for the World Economic Forum. 

Successful Farming: U.S. Farm Landscapes Could Be Reshaped By Changing Climate - Research
By Sonia Elks

Climate change could render swathes of agricultural land largely useless for farming in the U.S. South, and force Midwestern farmers to move corn and soybeans elsewhere as crop yields decline, researchers said on Monday.

Phys.org: Studies explore the role of cover crops in suppressing glyphosate-resistant horseweed

Two recent studies—one published by the journal Weed Science and the other by the journal Weed Technology—provide insights on the role cover crops might play in controlling horseweed and reducing the need for herbicides.

NPR: 4 Million Acres Have Burned In California. Why That's The Wrong Number To Focus On
By Lauren Sommer

Fire scientists say returning some fire to the landscape is key to reducing the destructiveness of future fires, either by purposely setting low-grade, controlled burns or allowing wildfires to burn as long as they don't threaten human development. Those fires remove dense and dead vegetation, which has fueled some of the explosive fires this year.

Science Daily: Harvesting vegetation on riparian buffers barely reduces water-quality benefits

Allowing farmers to harvest vegetation from their riparian buffers will not significantly impede the ability of those streamside tracts to protect water quality by capturing nutrients and sediment—and it will boost farmers' willingness to establish buffers.

San Francisco Chronicle: Newsom calls for California to conserve land, coasts to capture carbon and fight climate change
By Alexei Koseff

California will enlist its natural resources in the state’s fight against climate change by establishing new land conservation and carbon sequestration goals over the next decade.

The Minnesota Daily: The winter camelina: University researchers developing new cash cover crop
By Becca Most

Newly planted winter camelina seedlings sprout in little green rows at the University of Minnesota field plots on the St. Paul campus. The winter annual plant is one of 15 breeds University researchers are cultivating to help farmers keep nutrients in their soil, reduce erosion and create a commercially viable product for farmers to sell.

The New York Times: New England’s Forests Are Sick. They Need More Tree Doctors.
By Marguerite Holloway

As climate change accelerates, the trees in the Eastern forests of the United States are increasingly vulnerable. For many arborists, the challenges facing trees are reshaping and expanding the nature of their work. Many said they are spending more time on tree removal than ever before — taking down dead or unhealthy trees, or trees damaged or felled by storms.

Fast Company: How to redesign a forest: restoring California’s trees in the age of fire
By Adele Peters

“The fires are coming back so frequently, and they burn so hot, that they take out all the mature, seed-bearing trees,” says Austin Rempel, senior manager of forest restoration at the nonprofit American Forests. “There just isn’t a source of seed for trees to come back after fire. What fills the gaps is the grasses and shrubs. We’re basically talking about semipermanent forest loss.”

Grand Forks Herald: Ducks Unlimited and partners receive grant to help producers with soil health
By Emily Beal

Ducks Unlimited and partners have been awarded an $8.73 million grant in an effort to develop an agriculture producer focused program where they will concentrate on soil health within the prairie pothole region.

FOX 17: USDA sets aside $30M to help preserve Tennessee wetlands

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has set aside up to $30 million to help protect and restore wetlands on agricultural lands in Tennessee.

AgWeb: How Bazile Farmers Use Conservation To Tackle Nitrates And Protect Nebraska Groundwater

In northeastern Nebraska, farmers in the Bazile Groundwater Management Area who rely on this precious resource know its value.  Yet conservationists caution that without proactive attention to local water-quality challenges such as nitrate contamination, the Ogallala—the singular water source for producers and rural communities in the region—is at risk. 

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