NACD in the News:
March Media Highlights

NACD's officers and staff advocate for conservation every day - check out last month's media coverage to learn how NACD is working for you. Be sure to follow and like us on Facebook for more interviews, articles and GOOD READS about conservation.

NACD President Pleased Omnibus Bill Helped Restore Conservation Funding: Radio 570 WNAX
By Tom Riter
NACD members were pleased with the recent omnibus funding bill passed by Congress and signed by the President. NACD President Brent Van Dyke says when their members met with lawmakers last week in Washington, D.C., they were concerned about funding shortfalls for conservation programs. Van Dyke was encouraged by the conservation funding included in the bill.

President-Elect Tim Palmer speaks on the results of a three-year cover crop and no-till study: Successful Farming
By Jodi Henke
Conservation practices such as cover crops and no-till can limit soil loss, reduce run-off, and provide economic advantages.

Tim Palmer is president-elect of NACD and says they have favorable results from a three-year study where corn and soybean farmers experimented with cover crops, and/or no-till. "Even though it costs extra to put cover crops on, there was a return on investment from having them out there to the producer, up to $110 per acre extra profit for adopting," Palmer said.

Adams on Agriculture with NACD Director of Government Affairs Coleman Garrison: American Ag Network
By Mike Adams

Adams: When I look back thinking about covering conservation efforts in the last 20-30 years, you have a great story to tell. We’ve seen the benefits of these programs and how that partnership with government funding and the private partnership working together—so much has been accomplished.

Garrison: Absolutely. Conservation districts were created back in the 30’s to be that local partner to help deliver conservation. It’s that voluntary, incentive-based conservation delivery model that's been so successful over all these decades, and we believe this is certainly not a time when less investment needs to be done. Granted, we understand the budget constraints that Congress is facing, that's why we are hoping that, at a bare minimum, no more funding be taken out of the Conservation Title of the farm bill.


Trump signs giant spending package after veto threat: Agri-Pulse
By Philip Brasher

The bill also eliminates the requirement that landowners who participate in conservation programs obtain System for Award Management (SAM) and Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) numbers. “Removing the burdensome task of SAM/DUNS reporting allows landowners and operators to prioritize conservation program participation without hindrance," NACD CEO Jeremy Peters said.

Conservation Funding Expected to Lag Behind When Farmers Need it Most: Civil Eats
By Bryce Oats

“Good conservation programs provide pathways to treat local conservation concerns, and those can vary quite drastically across the country,” said NACD President-elect Tim Palmer, a crop and livestock farmer from Madison County, Iowa. “The improvements that solve local resource challenges, like erosion and damage from nutrients [i.e., nitrogen and phosphorous] in Southern Iowa, require funding and boots on the ground from conservation professionals to provide farmers with the guidance they need.”

NACD Summer Meeting approaches

Save the date! NACD's 2018 Summer Conservation Forum and Tour and Southeast Region Meeting will be held Aug. 2 - 8 in historic Williamsburg, Va. Registration for the meeting will open Tuesday, May 1.

A draft agenda is available on our summer meeting webpage. During our time in Williamsburg, meeting attendees will have the opportunity to attend one of four conservation-themed tours, including agriculture conservation, urban and forestry, education and coastal and cultural tour options.

Williamsburg played a significant role in the American Revolution as the former capital of the Virginia Colony. Make sure you plan time to visit Colonial Williamsburg, a living-history museum depicting Colonial life, during your time in Virginia. Book your flights today!

Russell Hedrick
Hickory, North Carolina

As a first-generation farmer, Russell Hedrick had the opportunity to set up his operation in a way that would enable him to try new methods and practices to increase his soil health.

In 2012, Hedrick started with 30 acres of row crops and has since expanded to roughly 1,000 acres. In the beginning, he was unable to afford tillage equipment, but with guidance from his district conservationist, he was able to incorporate soil health management systems on his operation.

Through a systems approach, he built his operation to include no-tilling, cover crops, grazing livestock and precision technology to manage seeding and nutrient application. Some of the benefits he experiences include weed suppression and control, erosion control, less herbicide and fertilizer use and much more. His soils have increased moisture retention and lower temperatures, which helps during  drought and summer heat.

With the decrease in inputs, Russell's bottom line has decreased and his yields have actually increased. Hedrick has reported that his corn and soybean yields are 20 - 30 percent higher than the county average. Additionally, due to the nutrient boosts associated with using cover crops, his fertilizer usage has decreased by more than $70 per acre.

Russell encourages farmers to start small – trying no-till and cover crops on twenty percent of their land, making it more manageable and leaving a safety net if farmers don’t get the economic results they wanted. As a soil health advocate, he takes his message of encouragement and experience across the country, speaking at various conferences and workshops. One of Russell's presentations on cover cropping is available online as part of a series called “Treating the Farm as an Ecosystem.

To learn more about Hedrick and his operation, be sure to visit his profile. If you or someone you know is interested in soil health and would like to become a member of this growing network, please contact NACD North Central Region Representative Beth Mason at or 317-946-4463 for more information.

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