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Federal & State Conservation Programs
Regardless of whether you live in the city, along the river, or in the country, there may be a conservation assistance program that is right for you and your property. We'll help connect you to the professionals nearby that can assist in achieving your conservation goals.

The federal land conservation funding and technical assistance programs are national in scope and the majority are offered by the Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Department of Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service.

The state of Arkansas has a number of land conservation assistance programs designed to help you with either financial or technical assistance. Take a look through the programs to see if one fits your conservation goals. The following federal and state assistance programs are designed to promote habitat protection or restoration as well as other conservation activities on your land through grants, cost-share, technical assistance, or tax incentives.

Conservation Districts
According to the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts, their 75 conservation districts are political subdivisions of the State of Arkansas. They were established for the purpose of conserving Arkansas’s land and water resources as authorized by Act No. 197 of the Arkansas General Assembly of 1937, the Nation's first conservation district law.

The idea behind the formation of the AACD is to keep decision making on soil and water conservation matters at the local level. Each district is governed by a board of five directors who serve without pay. Two directors are appointed by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and three are elected by resident landowners.

The districts, along with nearly 3,000 conservation districts nationwide, provide assistance to its citizens through cooperation with federal, state and local agencies, businesses and civic organizations.

The Arkansas Conservation Partnership is a partnership, formed in 1992, that consists of seven organizations:

The Arkansas Conservation Partnership strives to more effectively assist private landowners in meeting the conservation challenges of the 21st century.

One partnership effort devoted to air quality concerns is the state’s model carbon sequestration project led by the Central Arkansas RC&D Council, which will restore a total of more than 7,800 acres working with the NRCS.

Cooperative Extension
The University of Arkansas' Division of Agriculture houses the state’s Cooperative Extension Service, with offices in all 75 counties. Extensions provides educational programs and research-based information to the people of Arkansas, enabling them to make informed decisions about their economic, social, and cultural well-being.

Extension's overall purpose is education to help people make intelligent decisions about their land, their families, and their environment. Extension's unique interdisciplinary perspective enables the organization to make a real difference in the lives of Arkansans.

The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service can provide advice and technical assistance in agriculture, home and garden, and natural resources management. Specific topics of interest to private landowners include:

  • Horticulture: lawn and garden care, fruits and vegetables, weed control, turf care
  • Forestry and tree management and health
  • Aquaculture (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff)
  • Environmental issues, policies and practices for communities, homes and farms
  • Family financial issues; i.e. estate planning, credit management and family financial planning
  • Rural community development
  • Leadership development
  • Agricultural economics
  • 4-H and youth development
  • Entomology
  • Safety issues; i.e. farm, product and weather
  • Arkansas agricultural commodities: dairy cattle, beef cattle, poultry, soybeans, rice, cotton
Project Updates / News Project Updates / News
Updates and news from Private Landowner Network

Not So Easy Money: The Pros and Cons of Leasing Farm Land to Hunters

Vilsack Announces Conservation Details During Oregon Trip

Authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program is expected to provide $1.2 billion in funding over the next five years.

FSA Microloan Program

The low-interest FSA Microloan can help new and smaller producers.

Do you have your AD-1026 certification form on hand?

For farmers to be eligible for premium support on their federal crop insurance, a completed and signed AD-1026 form must be on file with the FSA.

Farmers Need to Plan for Changes in New Farm Bill

Although signup is months away, agricultural landowners and producers need to begin planning for decisions they will have to make because of the new farm bill, according to LSU AgCenter economist Mike Salassi.

Farmers markets try to weather the drought

Farmers claim that due to drought, they are not able to sell their usual array of products this year at farmers markets.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Proclaims August 3-9 National Farmers Market Week

New Policy Proposed to Benefit At-Risk Wildlife, Provide Credits to Landowners Taking Voluntary Conservation Actions

The policy will promote preemptive conservation efforts for species that may one day be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Watershed Rehabilitation Funding to Repair Dams in 26 States

Natural Resources Chief Joins House Ag Chairman to Highlight Projects that will Protect Lives, Provide Jobs

Disaster Assistance for 2012 Frost or Freeze Fruit Crop Losses Announced

Enrollment begins July 22

Historic Farm Bill Funding Available to Organic Producers and Handlers

Funds to assist with Organic Certification Costs

How To Grow Your Own Meadow

Tired of your boring old lawn? Need a little pollination in your life? Why not try planting your own wildflower meadow, if not for yourself, then at least for the birds and the bees

Research Projects to Improve Plant Feedstocks for Bioenergy Production

Departments of Agriculture and Energy Announce Projects in 10 States

Field to Market Launches New Agricultural Supply Chain Program

Field to Market, the Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, announces the launch of a new agricultural supply chain program for U.S. commodity crops.

Deadline Approaching for ELAP Sign-Up

Deadline to sign up for the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish is August 1!

New USDA grants to help specialty crop industry

USDA says the economic, environmental and social sustainability of specialty crop industries and the improved economies of the communities that depend on these industries are the ultimate beneficiaries of the NCPN program.

Initial farm bill decision aid now online for farmers

While the FSA's interpretation of the farm bill is still likely months from being finalized, the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University has released the preliminary version of its farm bill decision aid tool for farmers.

Secretary Jewell Announces $43 Million to States for Parks, Outdoor Recreation through Land Water Conservation Fund

Jewelled announced that $43.38 million in state conservation funding is now available from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

USDA conservation program helps ranchers preserve farm and wetlands

The new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides finanical and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to protect farmland and wetlands.

USDA Provides 12-Week Progress Update on Disaster Assistance

106,000 Payment Helping Farmers in 40 States Recover from Losses; Producers reminded sign-up deadline approaching for ELAP

Delta farmers meet initial goal for voluntary metering of irrigation wells

As the June 30 deadline passed, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced that the 5 percent goal for voluntary metering of irrigation wells supported by the Delta Sustainable Water Resource Task Force had been officially met.

USDA to Invest in Red River Basin Conservation Effort

Conservation Initiative to Minimize Flooding, Improve Water and Soil Quality, Help Waterfowl, Strengthen Agriculture and Outdoor Recreation Economies

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for July 2014

The CCC announced this month's borrowing rate, which is unchanged from June.

United States and Korea Streamline Organic Trade

The US and Korea have entered an arrangement where organic processed products certified in either country can now be labeled as organic in the other.

USDA Makes $5 Million in Farm Bill Support for National Clean Plant Network Available

Farm Bill funds supports 19 projects under the National Clean Plant Network.

USDA Continues Farm Bill Implementation with Provisions to Help Farmers Manage Risk

Department Announces New Beginning Farmer Benefits, Other Changes to Crop Insurance that Provide Flexibility to Farmers

USDA Announces Loan Rates for 2014-Crop Peanuts

The CCC announced 2014 crop loan rates for select peanuts.

'Conservation grazing' use on the rise thanks to funding

There is much debate on the use of conservation grazing. As opposed to prescribed burns, it can be more reliable, create habitat diversity and provide much needed rest and nutrients to the soil.

USDA Announces New Support for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Department Implementing New Farm Bill Programs, Unveiling New Centralized Online Resource to Support Next Generation of Farmers

USDA Announces New Farm Bill Funds Available for Research to Fight Citrus Greening

$31.5 Million Being Allocated to Test Various Ways to Combat Disease Threatening U.S. Citrus Industry

USDA Announces Funding Availability for Turning Biomass Material into Energy

Farm Bill Implementation Continues as Energy Facilities Can Now Apply for Renewed Biomass Crop Assistance Program

Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15

Nominations for local FSA county committees begins June 15 and ends Dec 1.

Are you EQIP-ed for Conservation?

EQIP provides financial and technical assitance to landowner to implement conservation practices on their land. The deadlines to enroll are June 20, July 18, and August 15.

USDA Announces Programs to Conserve Sensitive Land and Help Beginning Farmers

Programs that Allow Producers to Protect Land and Help New, Minority and Veteran Farmers Get their Start in Agriculture

USDA Reassigns Fiscal Year 2014 Sugar Allotments

No Actions Taken Under Feedstock Flexibility Program

NRCS Partnership Program Ushers in New Era of Conservation

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, will streamline regional programs and award funds to conservation projects designed by local partners specifically for their region.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Action to Combat Insects and Diseases that Weaken Forests, Increase Fire Risk

Vilsack Also Reiterates Need for Fire Funding Solution as Projected Cost of Fighting Wildfire Exceeds This Year's Budget

New Pilot Program Offers Coverage for Fruits and Vegetables, Organic and Diversified Farms

2014 Farm Bill Expands Crop Insurance Options, Provides Premium Discounts for Qualified Operations

USDA Announces Support for Renewable Biomass Energy

Biomass Producers and Energy Facilities Soon Can Apply for Qualification in Renewed Biomass Crop Assistance Program

Yearly Survey Shows Better Results for Pollinators, but Losses Remain Significant

USDA Announces Fall Summit on Bee Nutrition and Forage; Launches "Bee Watch" Website to Broadcast Bee Activity and Increase Public Awareness of the Role of Pollinators in Crop Production
 

Cost of Fighting Wildfires in 2014 Projected to be Hundreds of Millions of Dollars over Amount Available

The US Forest Service estimates that it will be short about $470 million to fight wildfires this year.

A Peaceable Solution for the Range War Over Grazing Rights

PERC released an article on how free market environmentalism has been used to avoid situations like those with Cliven Bundy.

Secretary Jewell Releases Landscape-Scale Mitigation Strategy to Encourage Dual Objectives of Smart Development and Conservation

Strategy seeks to provide clarity and consistency to more effectively avoid, minimize and compensate for impacts on public lands.

USDA Announces 2014 Cotton Loan Rate Differentials

Obama Administration Outlines New Strategy to Better Protect Communities, Businesses and Public and Private Lands from the Threat of Wildland Fire Ahead of 2014 Fire Season

The National Cohesive Wildlife Fire Management Strategy, developed by federal, state, tribal, and local community partners and public stakeholders, outlines new approaches to coordinate and integrate efforts to restore and maintain healthy landscapes, prepare communities for fire season, and better address the nation's wildland fire threats.

USDA Officially Announces Sign-Up Date for Farmer and Rancher Disaster Assistance Programs

Sign-Up Begins April 15 for Livestock, Honeybee, Fruit Grower Programs

Estimated ACRE Payments for 2013

This article by Gary Schnitkey from the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois predicts ACRE payments for the 2013 crop year.

USDA Announces the Extension of the Milk Income Loss Contract Program for 2014

The MILC program has been extended- protecting diary farmers enrolled in the program against income loss through Sept. 1 2014.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Increased Opportunity for Producers as part of New Farm Bill

Farm Loan Program Modifications Create Flexibility for New and Existing Farmers and Ranchers Alike

Agribusiness Friendliness Index

The Agribusiness Friendliness Index represents an attempt to quantify the various factors that influence the business climate for agribusinesses in each state.

New subsurface poultry litter works for no-till corn

A new poultry litter application method injects dry litter directly into the soil by using a subsurface litter application implement developed by USDA-ARS.

Net Farm Income Forecast To Fall in 2014

The ERS report forecasts a decline in net farm income in 2014.

USDA Announces Efforts to Expand Support for Small and Mid-Sized Farmers and Ranchers

The recent Census of Agriculture shows that there is tremendous growth potential for small and mid-sized producers in the American agricultural landscape. The USDA is taking a hard look at existing resources to ensure that they work for producers of all sizes, adjusting policies, strengthening programs and intensifing outreach to meet the needs of small and mid-sized producers.

State Wildlife Directors Approve NBCI Implementation Plan for State-Level Bobwhite Restoration

 ‘Most ambitious collaboration in bobwhite conservation history’ provides specific guidance for states to show sustainable success in 5-10 years'

Prairie strips aid production, conservation

Photographs, infographics and interviews paint a full-color big picture view of prairie strips in a new publication from Iowa State University’s STRIPS team and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Conservation Agriculture: A powerful tool for the future

Conservation agriculture offers a powerful option for meeting future food demands while also contributing to sustainable agriculture and rural development. CA methods can improve the efficiency of input, increase farm income, improve or sustain crop yields and protect and revitalise soil, biodiversity and the natural resource base.

Comparison of 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has produced an easy to navigate, side-by-side comparision of 2008 and 2014 Farm Bill Programs.

Climate Change and Agriculture in the Northwest: Challenges and Opportunities

Climate change impacts to agriculture in the Pacific Northwest are detailed in the recent report, Climate Change in the Northwest: Implications for Our Landscapes, Waters, and Communities.

USDA Announces New Grants to Help Communities Meet Water Challenges in Coming Years

$6 Million in Fiscal Year 2014, Up to $30 Million Over Next Five Years Available

USDA Announces 2014 Upland Cotton Marketing Assistance Loan Rate

Commodity Credit Corporation Executive Vice President Juan M. Garcia today announced the marketing assistance loan rate for 2014-crop base quality upland cotton.

The USDA Released Agricultural Projections to 2022

The USDA has provided longrun projections for the farm sector for the next 10 years.

Leading Environmental Restoration and Mitigation Banking Firm Expands Into Conservation Banking: Lesser Prairie Chicken to Benefit

The partnership between Restoration Systems LLC and Common Ground Capital will provide the capital and strategic resources needed to enable CGC to complete execution of landscape-scale species conservation banks. These banks will compensate for the destruction of the Lesser Prairie Chicken habitat.

USDA Accepts Grant Applications for Conservation Innovation Efforts

Grant Program Links Public, Private Groups to Improve the Environment and Preserve Resources

NBCI's 2013 Almanac Examines Bobwhite Restoration Advancements
While the wild bobwhite quail population continues to struggle, the momentum to restore their populations range wide continues to grow with several important pieces falling into place over the last year, according to Don McKenzie, director of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI).

SEAFWA Endorses Full Funding for NBCI by States
The Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) has voted unanimously to endorse member states’ fully funding the core operations of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) for an initial three-year period. 

Experts: 'Something Bigger is Going on' with Wildfires
Science is connecting hotter, bigger fires and a longer, more intense fire season with changes in the climate.

Don’t plant fescue
JONESBORO – Every year about this time, hunters and private landowners begin planting fall and winter food plots for wildlife.

What Good is Dead Wood?
When you hear a barred owl calling “who cooks for you?” in your woods, chances are it’s calling from a nest cavity in the limb of a dying tree.

Current Arkansas deer harvest now available online
LITTLE ROCK –Deer hunters interested in studying the state’s deer harvest can now get real-time data on the season.

At trial, BP denies dithering during response to U.S. Gulf spill
Dithering and indecision at BP Plc delayed the capping of its Macondo well and worsened the extent of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to allegations by plaintiffs' lawyers at trial on Tuesday that the British company denied.

Outdoor recreation provides a $1.8 billion economic benefit in Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansans take The Natural State nickname to heart, and they should. Outdoors-related recreation generates more than $4.9 million a day in Arkansas.

QUWF Steps Up Support of Wild Quail Restoration
PORTLAND, OR -- The Buffalo, Missouri-based Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation (QUWF) stepped up support of national efforts to restore wild bobwhite quail populations recently, signing a formal agreement in support of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) during the annual meeting of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.

Hunting Guidebook is a helpful and handy accessory
Arkansas Outdoors Weekly Newsletter, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

How’s Your Habitat? Deer Management Cooperatives – Partnering to improve your deer herd and habitat
LITTLE ROCK – Deer management cooperatives are partnerships between neighboring landowners or deer clubs that allow the participants to manage deer more effectively.

'Licence to trash' offsetting scheme set back until Autumn
Government proposals would mean developers would have to pay compensation equal to any damage to habitats

Backyard Conservation: Bringing conservation from the countryside to your backyard
Just as they do on the farm, conservation practices on nonagricultural land can help increase food and shelter for birds and other wildlife, control soil erosion, reduce sediment in waterways, conserve water and improve water quality, inspire a stewardship ethic, and beautify the landscape.

NBTC Petitions FSA for Addition to CP33 Eligibility

Farm bill and sequestration impacting conservation programs
Farm and nutrition programs are often at the forefront of debate over a new farm bill. But conservation programs are also a vital part of the farm bill mix.

Farm bill and sequestration impacting conservation programs
Farm and nutrition programs are often at the forefront of debate over a new farm bill. But conservation programs are also a vital part of the farm bill mix.

Commission's hotline updated with hunting information
LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has a toll free number targeting those outdoorsmen specifically interested in the state’s wildlife.

How’s Your Habitat: Cool Season Food Plots for Deer
Fall food plots are great for increasing deer sightings, allowing hunters to harvest deer, and supplementing the natural vegetation that is available for deer and minimizing the effects of nutritionally stressful winter periods.

Texas Quail Group Supports NBCI Ag Policy Efforts with $75,000 Grant
The Dallas-based, non-profit Park Cities Quail (PCQ) organization has awarded the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) $75,000 to support its efforts to educate federal agriculture policymakers in the nation’s capital regarding farm policy impacts on bobwhite quail and other wildlife species.

Hunters, taxidermists and meat processors asked to help in keeping Arkansas CWD free
LITTLE ROCK – Wildlife biologists with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have implemented new rules in an effort to increase Arkansas’s defenses against chronic wasting disease. This disease is more commonly known as CWD.

Food plots out-perform corn feeders for deer
LITTLE ROCK – Like elevated stands, corn feeders are now prevalent in Arkansas deer hunting.

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