Conservation, Energy & Environment

USDA to Extend Comment Period for Conservation Stewardship Program Rules

December 22, 2014

On Tuesday, December 23, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will extend the comment period on the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Interim Final Rule until January 20.  The original 60-day comment period was scheduled to close on January 5, 2015; however, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) concluded that more time is needed “to ensure that […]

Top 14 of 2014: A Look at This Year’s Key Victories for Sustainable Food and Farming

December 22, 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, we thought we would take a moment to recognize and celebrate this year’s victories for sustainable food and farming. Among the successes? From new or restored farm bill programs that are up and running, important progress on our campaign priorities, hill visits and hearings, and the release of our […]

It’s a Wrap – This Congress is Over – Final Bills and Letters

December 17, 2014

Both the House and Senate have now finished, bringing this Congress to a close.  A new Congress — the 114th — begins in January. This post summarizes some end of session activity. Legislation Government Spending Bill — The Senate approved the so-called “cromnibus” appropriations bill on Saturday, December 13 and the bill was signed into […]

Environmental Quality Incentives Program Rules Revised

December 16, 2014

On December 12, 2014 the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) published revised rules for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that provides farmers and ranchers with financial cost-share assistance and technical assistance to implement conservation practices on working agricultural land. EQIP funds are available through […]

Final Budget Bill Guts Conservation Funding and Farmer Protections

December 11, 2014

Despite some good news, Congress’ final appropriations bill paints a bleak picture for sustainable agriculture.

Final LSP Crop Insurance White Paper Released with Principles for Reform

December 10, 2014

On December 9, the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) released a new white paper, How Crop Insurance Hurts the Next Generation of Farmers, the final of three white papers on the federal crop insurance program . This final white paper was released alongside a “Principles of Reform” document that outlines LSP’s ideas for reform of the […]

CSP by the Numbers: 2014 Sign-up Data

December 8, 2014

Over 7,600 farmers and ranchers enrolled over 9.5 million acres in advanced conservation through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. CSP provides technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to address regional natural resource concerns, like water quality, soil erosion, and critical habitat. The program covers more working farm and ranch […]

GAO: Updated Report on the Cost of Climate Change to the Federal Crop Insurance

November 25, 2014

On November 20, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report on climate change and the federal flood insurance and crop insurance programs. This report is similar to one GAO released in 2007 that found that climate change could increase the financial risks associated with the federal government’s insurance programs. The new report focuses […]

Second Cover Crop Survey Confirms Yield Boost

November 20, 2014

On Tuesday, November 18, USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program released the results of the 2013-2014 Cover Crop Survey, which assesses the benefits, challenges, yield impacts, and scale of adoption of cover crops.  The North Central Region of the SARE program worked with the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) to survey more than 1,924 […]

WOTUS Walk-through: NSAC’s Comments on the EPA’s Controversial Proposed Rule

November 17, 2014

The twice-extended public comment period for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) proposed rule defining “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act came to a close last Friday, November 14.  NSAC contributed to the dialogue around the proposed rule by submitting comments seeking greater clarity for agricultural producers, […]

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