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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: Hill County-Blackland SWCD Eases Backlog with a 2018 TA Grant
By Katrina Vaitkus

Through a 2018 NACD Technical Assistance Grant, Hill County-Blackland Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in Texas has been able to remove the backlog that has plagued the district for quite some time.

Thrive: Workshop Trains Leaders How to Speak Up for Agriculture
By Karyn Ostrom

For Michael Crowder and many of his fellow 2020 LAIB participants, there is little distinction between their professions and their advocacy efforts. “My professional activities and volunteer roles almost completely overlap in many forms,” says Crowder, who serves as president-elect of the National Association of Conservation Districts and also manages farming operations in multiple geographic locations, including Illinois, Washington state and Indiana, where he is the third generation on the family farm.

USDA-NRCS: National grant funds wildfire mitigation and soil health through California Resource Conservation Districts

Funding from the Technical Assistance grant will increase on-the-ground conservation by allowing RCDs to hire foresters, soil health specialists, and other technical staff.

Successful Farming: USDA Announces $5 Million for Wetland Mitigation Banking Program
By Megan Vollstedt

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available up to $5 million for wetland mitigation banks.

Phys.org: Soil pores hold the key to stability for desert soils
By Kaine Korzekwa

With little dead plant material to decompose and create a rich layer of organic matter, desert soils are unique. It is important to study these soils because semi-arid lands cover about one-third of the planet's land area. Soils with V horizons are often disturbed because populations of cities in arid environments are growing.

Phys.org: Irrigated crops underestimation risks water shortages

The area of agricultural land that will require irrigation in future could be up to four times larger than currently estimated, a new study has revealed.

New Mexico State University: NMSU study finds cover crops can improve soil health
By Carlos Andres Lopez

A five-year study by a New Mexico State University researcher found that integrating cover crops, such as legumes and grasses, into existing cropping systems can increase the biological health of soils on hot and dry semiarid lands.

COSMOS: Understanding moisture and rainfall
By Nick Carne

The role that atmospheric water vapour plays in weather is complex and not clearly understood. However, U.S. researchers say they are starting to get a handle on it after teasing out the relationship between morning soil moisture and afternoon rainfall under different atmospheric conditions.

EOS: Hardwood Forest Soils Are Sinks for Plant-Produced Volatiles
By David Shultz

New research identifies temperature, moisture, and soil fungi as important factors in influencing how biogenic volatile organic compounds cycle between plants and the atmosphere.

KBIA: Missouri Ag And Climate Change: Farmers Scramble To Find Solutions Like Cover Crops, No-Till Methods
By Michele Skalicky

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, without adapting to the changing climate, some Midwestern counties in the U.S. could see a decline in crop yields of more than 10 percent over the next five to 25 years.

The Ada News: Fire, mixed-species grazing enhance livestock production in research project

Researchers from Oklahoma State University are partnering with university scientists and researchers in two other states on a project using fire and mixed animal species to graze in an effort to enhance livestock production and more sustainable rangelands.

Phys.org: Experts apply microbiome research to agricultural science to increase crop yield
By Heather Tate

In an effort to increase crop yield, scientists at Northern Arizona University's Pathogen and Microbiome Institute are working with Purdue University researchers to study the bacterial and fungal communities in soil to understand how microbiomes are impacting agricultural crops.

Lincoln Journal Star: Four decades of no-till study proves nature knows best
By Jon Burleson

No-till shows higher yield (40-50 bushels more per acre) and thus higher profits when judged on equal terms. Compared to other tillage methods, no-till also adds to profitability by saving fuel costs and reducing labor requirements.

Farm and Dairy: Soil testing can increase forage, crop production
By Jessie Radcliff

A small investment in a current soil test can make all the difference for accurate fertilizer rates, as well as increased forage or crop production once soil fertility is addressed.

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