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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: Busy as bees with pollinators in mind
By Sunni Heikes-Knapton

Pollinators don’t worry about pandemics. Stay-at-home orders and social isolation aren’t stopping the bees, butterflies, bats and moths from doing their important tasks in our landscape. Similarly, our nation’s conservation districts also continue their valuable work during a challenging time, even on efforts that help those same pollinators to keep working.  

NACD Blog: Get ahead with your S.T.A.R. field
By Erin Bush and Megan Baskerville

The Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources (S.T.A.R.) initiative is an innovative conservation program that helps farmers, ranchers and landowners track how well they are caring for our soil and water while producing crops using the free S.T.A.R. field evaluation tool.

Farm Progress: $206 million awarded for conservation projects

USDA’s Natural Resources Service is investing in 48 conservation projects across 29 states through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program. NRCS will award $206 million for these 48 RCPP projects while leveraging nearly $300 million in partner contributions. 

Rural Radio Network: Conservation Districts Lead Nine RCPP Projects

[Last] Friday, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) applauded the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for announcing nine conservation district-led projects as part of this year’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) awards.

The News-Gazette: Urgent action needed to protect water, soil
By Steve Stierwalt

(Opinion) As extreme weather in Illinois has intensified and become more frequent, diverse audiences from farmers and landowners to homeowners, developers and local governments have relied on soil and water conservation districts to provide vital technical assistance on natural-resource issues.

The Hill: EPA finalizes Trump administration rollbacks on stream and wetland protections
By Anagha Srikanth

The Trump administration published a final rule Tuesday rolling back Obama-era environmental protections. The final rule, written by the Engineers Corps and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), redefines the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act, passed under President Obama in 2015.

Agri-Pulse: USDA rolls out $19B COVID-19 recovery program
By Spencer Chase

(Subscriber Only) The Department of Agriculture has announced a $19 billion program that combines direct payments to producers and $3 billion in commodity purchases for distribution through food banks and faith-based organizations.

Yahoo News: Plant, restore soil, repeat. Could nature help curb climate change?
By Amanda Paulson

The work to restore the Bay Area’s tidal marshes is just one example of a strategy that has been gaining attention in the past few years from climate change experts. Often described as “nature-based climate solutions,” this strategy encompasses a wide range of conservation and restoration approaches involving trees, mangroves, soil, and marshlands. 

Technology Networks: Sprinkling of Rock Dust May Improve Soil Health and Crop Yield

Adding basalt rock dust to farmers’ fields could help soils to store four times more carbon dioxide (CO2) and increase crop yields, according to new research by academics at the University of Sheffield.

EurekAlert: New research explores the impact of cover crop residues on weed control

Cover crops have a well-documented role to play in suppressing troublesome weeds. But what happens as those cover crops degrade? A new study featured in the journal Weed Science explores whether cover-crop residues help to suppress summer annual weeds and promote greater crop yields.

Clemson University: Clemson study finds winter cover crop mix improves crop productivity
By Dennis Attaway

Clemson researchers have found a cover crop mixture that can reduce costs for South Carolina farmers, rejuvenate farm soil and help conserve the state’s water supply if included in crop rotations.

Forbes: Welcome To The New World Of Digital Agriculture
By Jennifer Kite-Powell

An ecosystem scientist and an agricultural economist have outlined how agriculture needs to develop a more sustainable land management system through the integration of big data into crop and farmland usage, which they are calling digital agriculture. 

USDA: Conservation Tools Help Producers Make Positive Impacts on Changing Climate
By Jocelyn Benjamin

America’s farmers and ranchers are helping put the nation on track to a healthier and more resilient environment in the face of a changing climate. While agriculture only contributes nine percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, it offers a variety of opportunities to reduce emissions and cut carbon from the atmosphere.

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