Conservation, Energy & Environment

USDA Interim Rule for the Conservation Reserve Program

July 30, 2010

On Wednesday, July 28, USDA issued an interim rule to implement provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) which were not implemented under two previously issued CRP interim rules.  The interim rule is effective immediately.  USDA is taking public comments on the interim rule, due by September 27, 2010, that […]

Legislative Roundup: Farm Credit Funding Passes, Other Food and Farm Legislation Could Move

July 28, 2010

[Friday July 30 update to story below — A measure to fund the Pigford II class action settlement between USDA and black farmers is now expected to come to the Senate floor early next week as a stand alone measure.  The Food Safety Modernization Act (S 510) is now not expected to be taken up […]

Conservation Reserve Program General Sign-Up Announced

July 27, 2010

On Monday, July 26, USDA announced that a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up will be held from August 2-27, 2010.  This is the 39th sign-up for the CRP according to the somewhat unusual Farm Service Agency (FSA) sign-up counting system. It will be the first general sign-up since 2006. Under a CRP general sign-up, […]

Update on USDA Hoop House Pilot Program

July 26, 2010

In  December, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) launched a  3-year pilot program to provide cost-share funding to farmers who want to extend the growing season on their farms by using high tunnels (sometimes referred to as hoop houses).  Read NSAC’s last update on the program. A big ‘thank you!’ to all the NSAC […]

Specialty Crop and Organic Producers Testify

July 22, 2010

Specialty crop and organic producers are “classic entrepreneurs” said Subcommittee Chair, Dennis Cardoza (D-CA).  Rep.  Cardoza spoke on Wednesday, July 21st at the House Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture hearing to review specialty crop and organic programs in preparation for the 2012 Farm Bill. Cardoza began the hearing with praise for specialty crop producers, […]

Senate Deliberates On Rural Development and Energy in the Farm Bill

July 22, 2010

On Wednesday, July 21, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry convened to hear from several witnesses regarding rural development and the farm bill.  The hearing centered on the potential benefits of alternative fuels production and research both for developing rural communities and for strengthening national security.  A list of witnesses and a link […]

NSAC Sends Letter to White House and Congress Opposing Conservation Cuts

July 22, 2010

On Wednesday, July 21, NSAC, along with over 70 other farm, conservation, and environmental organizations sent a letter to the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and a letter to President Obama expressing strong opposition to any use of farm bill conservation program funding as an offset to pay for improvements to school meal programs. […]

House Committee Looks at USDA Rural Development

July 21, 2010

On Tuesday, July 20, the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development, Biotechnology, Specialty Crops, and Foreign Agriculture held a hearing to assess progress on Rural Development program implementation and hear ideas from the field in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill. USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager emphasized the “five pillars” the agency […]

Revised Chart on FY 2011 Ag Appropriations

July 20, 2010

With both the House Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee and the full Senate Appropriations Committee now having taken action on their Fiscal Year 2011 agricultural spending bills, NSAC is posting a revised version of its annual agriculture appropriations chart to our website.  The chart provides detailed funding level decisions on a program-by-program basis for about 40 USDA […]

Climate Change Letter Delivered to Senators

July 16, 2010

The passage of climate change and energy legislation in this Congress is still an open question.  Proposals range in scope from the American Clean Energy and Security Act – a comprehensive energy and climate bill passed by the House in 2009 but stalled in the Senate – to a narrow bill focused only on the […]

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