Conservation, Energy & Environment


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, […]

USDA Releases Guidance Documents for Conservation Initiatives

November 13, 2014

In the final days of October, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provided its state NRCS offices with national guidance on when and how to administer various conservation initiatives for fiscal year (FY) 2015.  The initiatives are funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program. An October 23 directive […]

Conservation Stewardship Program Rules Revised

November 5, 2014

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service published new rules governing the Conservation Stewardship Program

NRCS Releases Second Revision of Cover Crop Termination Guidelines

November 4, 2014

On Wednesday, October 29, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) issued a second revision to the Cover Crop Termination Guidelines document that was first issued in June of 2013. This second revision modifies the rules for grazing a cover crop, adds a definition of a cover crop, and defines when a cover crop is considered […]

USDA Begins Certification Process for Conservation Compliance

October 31, 2014

On Friday, October 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a revised certification document, known as an AD-1026 form, that will allow farmers who receive crop insurance premium subsidies to certify that they are in compliance with highly erodible land (HEL) and wetland conservation requirements, collectively known as “conservation compliance.”  In conjunction with the […]

USDA announces $4 million in funding to promote bee habitat

October 29, 2014

On October 29, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $4 million in Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding for financial and technical assistance to help farmers promote and protect honey bee health and habitat. The funding is a renewal and expansion of the $3 million in EQIP money set aside this year for pollinator protection.  The EQIP funding […]

EPA Advisory Board Backs Scientific Basis for “Waters of the U.S.” Rule

October 24, 2014

On Thursday, October 23, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) released its 103-page review of the agency’s hydrology connectivity report. The report, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence, reviews and synthesizes hydrology literature and is largely the scientific basis for the EPA and […]

USDA Creates New Website for Climate Hubs

October 24, 2014

On Wednesday, October 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a new website dedicated to its regional climate change “hubs,” which the Department created in 2013.  USDA maintains seven hubs–Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Northern Plains, Southern Plains, Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast–and three sub-hubs–Caribbean, Northern Forests, and California.  USDA created the three sub-hubs where “special aspects […]

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