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Conservation Clip List is a weekly collection of articles distributed by NACD that provides our members and partners with the latest news in what's driving conservation. If you have a relevant submission, please contact your NACD Communications Team.
NACD Blog: What’s in a soil science certification?
One of the many ways the Soil Science Society of America is working with NACD to accelerate the adoption of improved agricultural production and natural resource stewardship practices has been through its certification programs for soil science professionals.
The Container Garden Project was born out of a desire “to provide a way for food pantry guests to easily grow and harvest fresh vegetables right outside their door,” said Andrew Fritz, the urban agriculture conservationist for Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District in Indiana.
Farmers return to cover crops to improve soil and water quality via Quad City Times
Cover crops are now, slowly, making a comeback, and it has more to do with soil and water quality than it does with feeding livestock. In 2009, fewer than 10,000 acres of Iowa farmland was used for so-called cover crops — non-commodity crops such as rye, oats, and wheat — that are planted on bare fields to prevent topsoil erosion, improve the soil quality, and increase nutrients available to plants. In 2016, cover crops were planted on 600,000 acres in Iowa, the largest cover crop in the state’s history.
Wildfires driving people from their homes in California and throughout the U.S. West have had help from an unlikely source: the rain. Major winter downpours that pulled the state out of years of drought also brought a layer of grass that early-summer fires are greedily feeding on.
California water bill passes House, but Democrats vow to fight it in the Senate via Los Angeles Times
Some of California’s decisions about how to use its water would be relegated to the federal government under a bill passed by the House on Wednesday. Republicans say the bill will bring more water to the parched Central Valley. California's Democratic senators have promised to fight the bill in the Senate because it weakens California’s ability to manage its own resources.
Extreme heat broils the Dakotas and Montana; flash drought takes toll on wheat crop via The Washington Post
A massive and intense heat dome has spread over the northern Plains and mountain West, sucking moisture out of the soil, and may persist for weeks. The scorching heat and absence of rain have spurred a rapidly intensifying drought that is decimating the region’s wheat crop.
Minnesota Land Stewardship Project’s Policy Program Organizer Ben Anderson says conservation should be the top priority and crop insurance needs refining. He says conservation programs needs to be prioritized and properly funded. Anderson notes there’s been increasing demand for conservation programs and more funding must be provided to meet farmers’ needs.
This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a potential solution: moths genetically engineered to contain a special gene that makes them gradually die off. A field trial slated to take place in a small area of upstate New York will become the first wild release of an insect modified using genetic engineering in the US.
Drought fears mount for Iowa farmers with little rain last week via The Des Moines Register
Over half of southeast Iowa’s topsoil — and a third of its subsoil — rated very short of moisture. Parts of south-central, southeast and northwest Iowa are considered in a moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. About half the state is considered abnormally dry, it shows.
Perdue OK’s emergency haying on drought-stricken CRP acreage via Agri-Pulse
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue gave the go-ahead to conduct emergency haying on Conservation Reserve Program lands to help provide feed for livestock in drought-stricken areas of Montana and North and South Dakota.
Cover crop research aims to expand the season via Iowa Farmer Today
In recent cover crop research projects across Iowa, farmers have been focused on increasing the growing season for cover crops with earlier seeding and later termination.
My View: Farming can be sustainable and profitable via Mankato Free Press
(Opinion) Years of evidence from innovative producers is combining with academic research to prove that soil health, the seemingly obvious fact that healthy soil results in healthy crops, has benefits that can completely transform agriculture, helping both the farmer and the public.
The bill maintains Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding at $300 million. At $397 million, the bill’s overall funding level for geographic programs – including initiatives in the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound – is seven percent less than the current fiscal year.
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