Ag Water Conservation News


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March

New National Research Initiative Aims to Improve Cover Crops

3/22/2017

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) & The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation have launched a $6.6 million national research initiative to promote soil health through the development & adoption of new cover crops across the US. The initiative, made possible by a $2.2 million grant from FFAR, will bring together representatives from the seed industry, the USDA -Agricultural Research Service (ARS) & Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a producer network & multiple land-grant universities including Nebraska.   Read More

Source: Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research     By: NA

Farm Conservation Funding on the Chopping Block

3/22/2017

The Trump Administration has proposed cutting $4.7 billion, or 21%, of the USDA's budget. If made, those cuts will come from discretionary spending, which includes on-farm conservation funding—as well as food safety, rural development, & international food aid. There are several pots of federal money that are designated help pay farmers to be good environmental stewards of the land & water on their farm—or set the land aside entirely for wildlife. And those funds often play a key role in helping farmers stay in business. The USDA also funds thousands of NRCS staff positions around the country. But the proposed budget would “reduce staffing in USDA’s Service Center Agencies to streamline county office operations, reflect reduced Rural Development workload, & encourage private sector conservation planning.”  Read More

Source: Civil Eats     By: Bryce Oates

Industry Groups, Ag Leaders React to Proposed USDA, EPA Budget Cuts

3/21/2017

Reuters reports ag leaders are criticizing the planned 21% cut to spending at the USDA in President Trump’s budget. This includes a reduction in some USDA statistical services & county-level staffing. “A lot of farmers & growers rely on USDA’s statistical capabilities to make a lot of marketing & risk-management decisions & planting decisions,” said John Newton, American Farm Bureau Federation Director of Market Intelligence. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says the cuts to EPA & USDA hit rural economies hard & the proposed cuts to the EPA could impact future pesticide approvals.  Read More

Source: Growing Produce     By: Christina Herrick

Farmers improve soil health, increase productivity

3/21/2017

The Soil Health Institute was launched in 2013 in Morrisville, N.C. to help farmers improve soil health. The Institute emphasizes cover crops & no-tillage to help farmers improve the soil, increase productivity & help the environment.  Read More

Source: Southwest Farm Press     By: John Hart

Washington Senate’s ‘use it or lose it’ water bill heads to House

3/21/2017

Washington state's House may take up a bill next week to ensure conservation doesn’t erode agricultural water rights. Senate Bill 5010 would allow irrigation districts & farmers to retain their full water rights, even if they cut back on use for an extended period. The bill’s prime sponsor, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Judy Warnick, said farmers should be encouraged to save water, without fear of having to relinquish a portion of their water rights.  Read More

Source: Capital Ag Press     By: Don Jenkins

Runoff reduced, water retention increased by multi-paddock grazing

3/21/2017

Adaptive multi-paddock grazing has been found to be an effective conservation practice on grazing lands for enhancing water conservation & protecting water quality, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research study at Vernon.   Read More

Source: North Texas e-News     By: Kay Ledbetter

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Promoted to Help Save Ogallala Aquifer

3/18/2017

The USDA & the State of Kansas are partners in implementing a voluntary program to encourage Golden Belt farmers along the Arkansas River to decrease irrigation & take other steps to conserve water & help wildlife. The plan is the establishment of a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) to enroll up to 28,950 acres of agricultural land in a number of counties to conserve & improve water resources & wildlife habitat through buffers, native grasses, shallow water areas for wildlife & the restoration of wetlands.   Read More

Source: Great Bend Tribune     By: Dale Hogg

Farmers & Environmentalists: Old Enemies Conserving Water Together

3/17/2017

Environmental Defense Fund is launching a new Western water strategy that aims to solve the problems of groundwater depletion & habitat restoration by working jointly with farmers.  Read More

Source: News Deeply     By: Matt Weiser

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