Van Dyke Assumes Head of NACD

Kelly Marshall

Brent Van Dyke was sworn into the position of president of the National Association of Conservation Districts at their recent annual meeting. Van Dyke was elected to serve one year as president-elect in 2016 and now begins his two year term as president. “Brent knows conservation – he comes from the farm and understands how important sustainable agriculture is to …

Ag Group, Conservation

Smartphone App Balances Conservation and Production

Kelly Marshall

The LandPKS suite of mobile apps provides specific information about soils to anyone with a smartphone, says USDA soil scientist Jeff Herrick. LandPKS, (Land-Potential Knowledge System) is made up of the LandInfo and LandCover modules, including cloud computing, digital soil-mapping data, and the Global Positioning System (GPS) to give information about the sustainable potential and future climate of a piece …

Apps, Conservation, Soil, USDA

Agren & Land O’Lakes Provide Precision Conservation

Kelly Marshall

Land O’Lakes is partnering with a small business from Central Iowa focused on offering sustainability solutions to agriculture. Agren‘s technology platform will be used to deliver scalable, geo-spatial tools to find highly-erodible areas in a field and create a plan to protect the soil and improve water quality. The program, branded as SoilVantage, will be the first to offer precision …

Agribusiness, Conservation, sustainability

Switchgrass Can Improve Soil Quality

Kelly Marshall

In parts of Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas the loss of topsoil leaves growers to work with difficult claypan soil, but researchers at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources are hopeful about a solution.  Studies show switchgrass, a perennial plant commonly used for biofuels, can build up the soil quality on farms that have …

Conservation, erosion, Research, Soil

Ag Groups Join with NRCS

Kelly Marshall

Agribusiness and agricultural associations from across the nation, including the Agricultural Retailers Association, have joined together to promote and expand federal conservation programs.  Members of the group signed a memorandum of understanding with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to expand the reach of technical and financial assistance to extend conservation adoption and increase the overall sustainability of farming, ranching …

ARA, Conservation, USDA

Maryland Cattle Operation Shows Conservation Success

Kelly Marshall

Conservation in the Chesapeake Bay watershed has been on the national radar for years. Now the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Catoctin and Frederick Soil Conservation Districts are showing off successful conservation efforts by local farmers and ranchers. A recent event at Hedgeapple Farm, a Maryland Angus operation, highlighted the volunteer efforts that have lead to improvement of the Bay’s …

Ag Group, Conservation, livestock, Soil, USDA, Water Quality

Everyone Wins with Pastures For Pollinators

Lizzy Schultz

A new clover seed mixture developed by Grassland Oregon (GO) is a win-win for livestock producers and the environment. Pastures for Pollinators is a seed blend including a variety of flowering annual clovers that could help enhance pollinator habitat nationwide, according to GO co-founder Risa DeMasi. “There are 400 million acres of pasture ground in the U.S., and it happens …

Audio, Conservation, Cover Crops, environment, Honeybees, NAFB, pollinators

NACD Talks Conservation Efforts at #NAFB16

Kelly Marshall

Brent Van Dyke is incoming President for the National Association of Conservation Districts. He traveled from the southwest corner of the country to the midwest for the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual convention to share the message of conservation. “We represent over 3,000 soil and water districts in America. There is a soil and water district in almost every county …

Ag Group, Audio, Conservation, NAFB

Accepting Applications for USDA Conservation Grants

Kelly Marshall

The USDA is accepting proposals for projects designed to provide new conservation opportunities.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is investing up to $25 million for applications that encourage the development and adoption of conservation technologies in areas like conservation finance, data analytics and precision conservation. “Conservation Innovation Grants have played a critical role in developing and implementing creative new …

Conservation, USDA

USDA Finalizes Conservation Easement Program Rule

Cindy Zimmerman

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published a final rule on the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), which was created in the 2014 Farm Bill to consolidate provisions in three previous conservation easement programs. The rule changes are designed to “make the program more flexible and responsive to the unique needs of farmers and ranchers in each region of …

Conservation, Government, USDA