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

2016 USDA Corn and Soybean Reports Complete

Kelly Marshall

It’s been touted for months, but the USDA’s final Crop Production 2016 Summary finally confirms it, last year was a record-high yield for corn and soybeans. In 2016 corn growers produced 15.1 billion bushels- 11 percent higher than 2015. Average yield is estimated to be 174.6 bushels per acre, up 6.2 bushels over the last crop. The National Agricultural Statistics …

Corn, Soybeans, USDA

New Analysis Reaffirms Importance of Ethanol

Kelly Marshall

A brand new USDA analysis finds that U.S. corn-based ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent compared to gasoline, greater than previous estimates and something the ethanol industry has been saying for years. Unlike other studies of GHG benefits, which relied on forecasts of future ethanol production systems and expected impacts on the farm sector, the new “Life-Cycle Analysis …

Corn, Ethanol, NCGA, USDA

USDA Devotes $252 Million to Conservation

Kelly Marshall

Applications are now being accepted for federal funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The Natural Resources Conservation Service will award up to $252 million for locally driven, public-private partnerships to: improve water quality, overcome drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agriculture viability. Projects must match or exceed federal requests with private dollars or local funds. …

Government, USDA

USDA Invests in Conservation Partnerships

Kelly Marshall

The USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is investing $225 million in high-impact projects to improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.  These 88 new projects bring the National Resources Conservation Service total investment to $825 million in 286 projects with more than 2,000 conservation partners investing their own $1.4 billion. RCPP …

Government, USDA

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

USDA Seeks Census Information

Kelly Marshall

The U. S. Department of Agriculture is seeking assistance to find all active farms and ranches in the United States.  To do this they are sending nearly one million potential farmers and ranchers a National Agricultural Classification Survey (NACS) during the month of December to find any place that produces and sells or could sell $1,000 or more of agriculture products in …

USDA

Survey Highlights Illinois Nutrient Management

Kelly Marshall

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), along with the Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC) and Illinois Farm Bureau have released the latest Producer Survey.  The 2015 survey focused on questions relating to nutrient management and knowledge of  Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS), as well as conservation practices like cover crops, edge-of-field practices, use of soil tests and erosion management.  Responses …

Ag Group, Nitrogen, Nutrient Management, 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

Three Organizations Partner for Pollinators

Kelly Marshall

The U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted an announcement between themselves, General Mills, and the largest and oldest pollinator conservation organization, the Xerces Society this morning. The three organizations are joining together to protect the habitats of pollinators on hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. The project is a five-year, $4 million commitment to provide the technical assistance for planting …

Bees, Company Announcement, pollinators, USDA