Conservation, Energy & Environment


EPA Publishes FY 2011-2015 Strategic Plan

October 8, 2010

On Thursday, October 7, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a 5-year strategic plan outlining strategies for advancing its mission and priorities. The plan presents 5 strategic goals that will dictate EPA’s actions over the next 5 years.  The strategic goals are: Taking action on climate change and improving air quality Protecting America’s waters Cleaning […]

NRCS Extends CSP Sign-up Period, Releases Latest Enrollment Data

October 8, 2010

On Thursday, October 7, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the extension of the FY 2011 sign-up period for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) until January 7, 2011.  NRCS will use the additional time to expand and improve program marketing and outreach to producers.  We had previously announced the decision to extend the sign-up […]

37 Programs Will Lose Baseline Funding in 2012 Farm Bill

October 7, 2010

On September 29, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a new report, “Previewing the Next Farm Bill: Unfunded and Early-Expiring Provisions,” which details the 37 programs that will no longer have baseline funding in the next farm bill cycle. Together, these programs account for $9-10 billion dollars (depending on estimation approach), or 4% of the […]

USDA to Issue Over $1.6 Billion in Annual CRP Payments to Producers This Month

October 5, 2010

During the month of October, USDA will distribute more than $1.6 billion in annual Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) rental payments to producers enrolled in the program. Since October is the first month of the federal fiscal year, all CRP annual payments are distributed during this month.  Producers use these payments to establish and maintain conservation […]

USDA Releases Non-Federal Rangelands Health Assessment

October 5, 2010

On Friday, October 1, USDA announced the release of a new study evaluating the health and productivity of non-federal rangelands in the western United States, which make up 21% of the total area of the lower 48 states.  Findings indicate that less than 25 percent of non-federal rangelands have significant land degradation, but that non-native […]

Party time!

October 5, 2010

We are pleased to share this post by Bridget Holcomb from the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute based on a day-long visit to Wisconsin last week by USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Dave White. I’ve been to my share of birthday parties before, but this has to be a first.  […]

Congress Extends FY2010 Spending Levels through December 3

September 30, 2010

Just before midnight this morning, Congress passed a continuing resolution to extend this year’s federal spending levels into fiscal year 2011.  The Senate approved the continuing resolution yesterday evening before sending it to the House for a final vote.  The House sent the bill to the President early this morning. The continuing resolution will fund […]

USGS Releases National Analysis of Nutrients in Streams and Groundwater

September 27, 2010

On Thursday, September 23, the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) released a comprehensive national analysis of the occurrence and distribution of nutrients in streams and groundwater based on water-quality data collected from 1992 through 2004.  The report indicates that despite major federal, state, and local efforts to control point and non-point sources and transport […]

EPA and Agriculture in the Spotlight

September 24, 2010

EPA and agriculture issues are in the spotlight this week and next week, with a Senate oversight hearing and the first meeting of the EPA Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Committee appointed by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. On Thursday, September 23, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing to examine the impact of Environmental Protection […]

Conservation Stewardship Program 2011 Sign-Up News

September 24, 2010

NSAC learned today (September 24) that the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to hold the farmer and rancher sign-up for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) between October 1 and December 31, 2010. CSP is a continuous sign-up program, meaning that farmers and ranchers can apply to participate in the program at any time.  However, […]

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