Precision Farming for Manure?

Melissa Sandfort

The same precision farming techniques that work with crops can work with manure management on cattle feedlots, according to USDA scientists. Agricultural engineers and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Clay Center, Neb., map the distribution of manure on the surface of feedlots and the flow of liquid manure in rain runoff. This research could lead to both precision harvesting of …

Computer Model Calculates Livestock Numbers

Cindy Zimmerman

Ranchers in the central Great Plains may be using some of their winter downtime in the future to rehearse the upcoming production season, all from the warmth of their homes, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) soil scientists. The ranchers would use the GPFARM (Great Plains Framework for Agricultural Resource Management)-Range computer model to see which cattle or sheep …

USDA Wraps Up Conservation Forums with National Meeting

John Davis

Throughout March, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, with some help from the American Farmland Trust and Farm Foundation, has been holding a series of regional meetings across the country to examine conservation programs and policies. Now, the ideas talked about at those meetings will be brought together at the National Agricultural Landscapes Forum April 7-8 at the Marriott Metro …

Benefits to No-Till

Melissa Sandfort

As Ann Perry reports: Wheat farmers in eastern Oregon and Washington who use no-till production systems can substantially stem soil erosion and enhance efforts to protect water quality, according to research by USDA scientists. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) hydrologist John Williams led a study that compared runoff, soil erosion and crop yields in a conventional, intensively tilled winter wheat-fallow system …

Alabama NRCS Offers Precision Ag Incentive

Cindy Zimmerman

The Alabama Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is encouraging growers to sign up for the Precision Farming Incentive under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). According to State Conservationist Dr. William Puckett, the Precision Farming Incentive is designed to encourage the adoption of variable-rate application of nutrients and pesticides and promote the use of GPS-enabled precision agricultural technology and equipment. …

USDA to Hold Series of Forums on Conservation Policies

John Davis

The USDA, with some help from our friends at Farm Foundation, is holding a series of forums across the across the country to discuss natural resource conservation policy issues. The first forum by the Ag Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is this coming Thursday, March 3rd at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois: The regional forums are opportunities for the …

Deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently extended the ranking period cut-off date for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to tomorrow, January 21. Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS Office by the deadline so that their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2011. CSP is offered in all 50 states, and …

Nebraska Ag Tech Conference Gears Up

Kurt Lawton

Don’t miss the upcoming February 9-10 NeATA conference in Grand Island, Neb., as it promises a technology extravaganza, along with other valuable topics such as precision Nitrogen management, social media, building consumer trust and much more. The Nebraska Agricultural Technologies Association (NeATA), founded in 2001 by innovative Nebraska farmers, ranchers, agribusiness representatives and the University of Nebraska Extension, has compiled …

USDA Launches CropScape Data Service

Cindy Zimmerman

To provide easier access to geospatial satellite products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has just launched CropScape, a new cropland exploring service. CropScape provides data users access to a variety of new resources and information, including the 2010 cropland data layer (CDL) just released in conjunction with CropScape. The new service offers advanced tools such …

USDA Improves Online Carbon Management Tool

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently released an enhanced and expanded online tool that helps producers estimate carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions associated with a variety of on-farm management practices. NRCS Chief Dave White says COMET-VR 2.0 is a very user-friendly tool for farmers and ranchers. “Once producers have a better sense of their carbon footprint, they can …