Conservation, Energy & Environment


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, […]

Secretary Vilsack Announces Recovery Act Funding to Improve Water Quality

September 22, 2010

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced this week that the USDA will disperse $445.3 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funding to 89 projects to improve water quality and sanitation.  The USDA has provided $3.26 billion in Recovery Act funding for water quality and environmental projects since the Act was enacted in […]

Sustainable Ag Symposium a Success

September 17, 2010

On Thursday, September 16, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Organic Farming Research Foundation, Farm Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, and USDA sponsored an all-day symposium on the recently published National Research Council report Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century. The event, held at the National Press Club, was attended by 125 people, including […]

Freshwater Summit’s Call to Action

September 16, 2010

On September 15, the participants in The Johnson Foundation’s Freshwater Summit issued a report entitled Charting New Waters: A Call to Action to Address U.S. Freshwater Challenges.  Participants in the Summit held earlier this year included businesses, environmental non-profit organizations, a Western farming organization, and government officials, who reviewed the findings of numerous earlier meetings […]

USDA Enrolls 4.3 Million Acres in 39th CRP Sign-up

September 14, 2010

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced today that it will enroll 4.3 million acres of the farmland offered by landowners for the Conservation Reserve Program’s (CRP) 39th general sign-up.  This is the first general sign-up for the CRP since 2006. Over 50,000 landowners submitted bids for CRP contracts, totaling 4.8 million acres. Of the 4.8 […]

ERS Details the Role of Agriculture in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

September 14, 2010

On Tuesday, September 7, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released a briefing paper discussing the agricultural sector’s role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The brief outlines policy options for encouraging farmers to reduce their GHG emissions.  These options include a federal cap-and-trade system to regulate the nationwide burning of fossil fuels; direct incentive payments […]

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