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. …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

USDA Awards $6.7 Million for Healthy Agroecosystems

Kelly Marshall

Eighteen grants with a total sum of $6.7 million dollars are being granted by the USDA‘s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  The grants are to encourage researching the interactions between components of an agroecosystem interact in food production: soil, water and sun to plants, animals and people. “Population growth, along with environmental factors, including the growing threat of climate change, …

No Progress on US-China Biotech Issues

Cindy Zimmerman

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack were among those who participated in a Thanksgiving week session of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Washington last week, the last one for the Obama Administration. The talks resulted in some progress in the areas of intellectual property protection, pharmaceutical and medical devices, and information …

Vilsack Visits with #NAFB16

Kelly Marshall

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made his final appearance at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention of his eight years in this office. “First of all, I want to thank the broadcasters here today,” Vilsack started his remarks to a standing room only crowd. “I think all of you have done and continue to do a great service, particularly …