January 31 Deadline for USDA Conservation Innovation Grants

Cindy Zimmerman

January 31, 2012 is the deadline to submit project pre-proposals for fiscal year 2012 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Pre-proposals support large-scale demonstration projects that test and prove original approaches to conserving America’s private lands. “These conservation grants continue to generate exciting new ideas that help farmers and ranchers run sustainable and profitable …

Conservation, Nutrient Management, USDA

Farm Program Atlas

Cindy Zimmerman

The USDA Economic Research Service has a Farm Program Atlas online for your searching pleasure. The Farm Program Atlas is a web-based interactive mapping tool that displays payment and participation data on major farm programs and covered commodities at the county level — to visualize how these Federal farm programs vary across the United States. Users can select maps displaying …

USDA

USDA Incorporates 4R Nutrient Stewardship in New Nutrient Management Standard

Melissa Sandfort

TFI Fertilizer Institute (TFI) commended the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for embracing 4R nutrient stewardship (the right nutrient source at the right rate, the right time, and in the right place) at the national level with its December 13 release of the national conservation practice standard for nutrient management. 4R Nutrient Stewardship is an innovative and science-based approach …

Company Announcement, USDA

Precision.AgWired.com: Making life a little simpler

Meghan Grebner

Each month we look at different technologies that make our lives just a little easier.  Sometimes it is great technological advancements is precision technologies… sometimes it’s the latest and greatest app for our smart phone and sometimes it is just making a tedious process a little less cumbersome.  That’s the case this month.  In this Precision.AgWired.com Podcast, sponsored by Ag …

Education, Government, USDA

USDA to Conduct Chesapeake Bay Conservation Survey

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA is conducting a survey for the 2011 National Resources Inventory (NRI) – Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) to collect information from producers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed about farming and conservation practices on cultivated cropland. The information gathered from the survey will help USDA improve and strengthen technical and financial programs that help private landowners plan and adopt on-farm …

Conservation, USDA

Conservation Making Improvements in Great Lakes Region

Cindy Zimmerman

A new USDA study shows that farmers using combinations of erosion-control and nutrient-management practices on cultivated cropland are reducing losses of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorous from farm fields and decreasing the movement of these materials to the Great Lakes and their associated waterways. “The Great Lakes Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) study confirms that good conservation planning and implementation have …

Conservation, Nutrient Management, USDA

USDA Could Use Some Precision Adoption

Cindy Zimmerman

The latest report from USDA’s Economic Research Service on “Recent Adoption of Precision Agriculture” is about five years behind the times. The report heralds that agriculture is “On the Doorstep of the Information Age” – using mostly information from 2005-06. According to the report, “recent data from the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) show that use of yield monitors, often …

GPS, USDA, Variable rate, yields

Tracking Land Use with UAVs

Cindy Zimmerman

The military started using them to safely check on enemy activity without putting troops in harms way, but Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are now starting to be used for many civilian applications, especially in agriculture. USDA scientists are studying how UAVs may be used to keep an eye on changing land-use patterns across vast tracts of western rangeland. Ranchers, government …

Aerial Imagery, USDA

New Method Transforms Digital Cameras for Aerial Photography

Cindy Zimmerman

Scientists with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service have patented a way to transform commercial digital cameras to produce color infrared aerial photos that can measure the extent of vegetative cover. USDA has jointly patented the technology that can take an ordinary 12-megapixel camera sold without an internal filter that blocks near-infrared (NIR) light and then add a custom-made lens filter to …

Aerial Imagery, USDA

USDA and Esri Implement Geospatial Portal

Melissa Sandfort

The USDA and Esri have partnered in the implementation of a fully cloud-based geospatial portal. USDA’s prototype portal, Enterprise Spatial Mapping Service (ESMS), is built with Portal for ArcGIS, managed by Esri, and hosted on the Amazon cloud within USDA’s secure environment. The teams designed the prototype’s geospatial interfaces with a focus on search and discovery, managed service hosting, and …

USDA