Updates and news from Private Landowner Network
Biomass crop production: Carbon sequestration not so simple
Findings at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are providing information about the soil carbon dynamics that play a crucial role in lifecycle assessments of bioenergy production. These studies at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA’s chief intramural scientific research agency, support the USDA priority of developing new sources of bioenergy.
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.
Livestock Producers Affected by Severe Weather Urged to Keep Good Records
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia, today repeated his appeal to livestock producers affected by natural disasters such as the drought in the West and the unexpected winter storm in the upper Midwest to keep thorough records. This includes livestock and feed losses, and any additional expenses that are a result of losses to purchased forage or feed stuff.
California's drought is not about "fish versus farmers"
The trouble with the sudden rush of national media attention is the glaring lack of context that accompanies many reports.
New Milk Campaign Stresses Active Life to Promote Dairy
Milk producers are a little sad to see the iconic Got Milk? ad campaign go.
How one family maintains a diversified, sustainable farm
Producer Annie Dee explains importance of cover crops, irrigation, soil health.
Broadcast Recording Available from National Cover Crops Conference
The conference recording features a discussion of how cover crops can improve soil health and the major barriers to their increased adoption, and was led by Buffett and fellow panelists Jason Weller, chief of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Ray Gaesser, Iowa farmer and American Soybean Association president.
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.
Water worries dominate talk at YF&R conference
Discussion of drought permeated the 2014 California Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference. The event, held in Visalia, drew record attendance of more than 200 Young Farmers and Ranchers members—farmers, ranchers and agricultural professionals ages 18 to 35.
USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for March 2014
Press Release: Wall Street Banks Eye American Farmland, Threaten Future of U.S. Agriculture
Forest Assessment After an Ice Storm
Winter Storm Pax killed three people in northern Texas and two in Mississippi, but the storm’s destructive freeze seemed to get worse for trees as it moved east the week of Feb. 9-15.
Grant Helps Farmers Sustainability Goals, Embrace New Technology
A project funded by a USDA Conservation Innovation grant is helping farmers work more sustainably while increasing yields.
Agriculture Secretary Announces $3 Million for a New Program to Improve Pollinator Health
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
California leads U.S. milk production; Ohio dairy herd numbers drop
California continues to lead the U.S. in number of milk cows and overall milk production.
Water-Cleaning Technology Could Help Farmers
The Panoche Water District and WaterFX have developed a solar thermal desalinization plant, which if proven commercially viable could relieve drought pressures on western farmers.
Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program Deadline Near
The USDA Farm Service Agency's Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) provides financial assistance similar to crop insurance to eligible producers affected by natural disasters. The upcoming deadlines to file an application for natural disaster protection under the NAP are March 1 and March 15.
Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the 2012 Census of Agriculture Preliminary Results
The Secretary reports on the preliminary results of the Census of Agriculture.
USDA Announces No Storage Deficit Areas for the 2013-Crop Cotton Marketing Assistance Loan Program
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.
Secretary Vilsack Announces Regional Hubs to Help Agriculture, Forestry Mitigate the Impacts of a Changing Climate
'Climate Hubs' will provide regional networks on climate science, forecasting impacts as part of President's Climate Action Plan
Growing Insects: Farmers Can Help to Bring Back Pollinators
Across the world there has been a notable decline in pollinators, which can have catastrophic impacts on agriculture and ecosystems.
Obama Administration Announces Additional Assistance to Californians Impacted by Drought
USDA will provide up to $100 million in livestock disaster assistance, additional $10 million for water conservation.
Delay in new rate plan could help conserve water
The California Farm Bureau Federation is working with PG&E on a request to the California Public Utilities Commission, to delay by one year the ordered March 1 termination of AG-R and AG-V agricultural electricity rate schedules.
FACT SHEET: Opportunity For All: Establishing a New "Made In Rural America" Export and Investment Initiative
Today, the President directed his Administration, working through the White House Rural Council, to lead a new 'Made in Rural America' export and investment initiative. This initiative is charged with bringing together federal resources to help rural businesses and leaders take advantage of new investment opportunities and access new customers and markets abroad.
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.
Cattle ranchers seek strategies for drought
For California cattle ranchers, making management decisions during one of the state's worst droughts has not been easy.
NRCS and Forest Service Partner to Improve Forest Health
San Bernardino and Riverside County, California Among Areas Targeted to Reduce Wildfire Risk
USDA Accepts Grant Applications for Conservation Innovation Efforts
Grant Program Links Public, Private Groups to Improve the Environment and Preserve Resources
US cattle herd at lowest number since 1951
The lingering effects of drought across the Great Plains in recent years have led to another decrease in the U.S. cattle herd.
Drought parches pastures on organic dairies
Organic dairy cows feed on hay in this Sonoma County pasture. If dry conditions persist, farmers who raise organic livestock say they may not be able to meet minimum pasture requirements under the National Organic Program.
USDA Offers Hurricane Sandy Victims a New Opportunity to Enroll Land into Easements
Landowners impacted by Hurricane Sandy can enroll their property in a floodplain easement through the USDA. Deadline to apply is April 18th.
Scientists use CT scanning to study effects of soil compaction
Nordic scientists have begun studies on macropores in untilled soil and its impact on soil health.
The Scott River Water Trust: Improving Stream Flows the Easy Way
A PERC case study on the Scott River Water Trust shows how a trust has pioneered the use of low-volume, low-cost water leases to enhance environmental flows. The trust pays farmers to leave water instream for salmon and steelhead.
‘Big data’ on farm brings questions about privacy
For more than a decade, beginning with the advent of global positioning systems, the use of precision agriculture on the farm has transformed into a whole style of technology that uses computers and satellites to know where the operator is in the field and then deliver the exact inputs needed to that location. This technology helps farmers improve yields, decrease inputs and reduce costs.
Year's First National Water Forecast Predicts Limited Supply West of the Continental Divide
NRCS NWCC data predicts a limited water supply west of the Continental Divide.
Will winter freeze cut pest trouble? Opinions vary
Experts say the upcoming growing season will be challenging for all crops, but years that follow cold, dry winters often have lighter pest pressure.
Sustainable growth in the forestry economy
As urbanization increases so does the demand for timber.
EPA Proposes Updates to Air Standards for Newly Manufactured Woodstoves and Heaters
Updates would make the next generation of woodstoves and heaters significantly cleaner and more efficient
USDA Announces No Actions in early 2014 under the Feedstock Flexibility Program
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA does not expect to take any actions under the Feedstock Flexibility Program (FFP) in the first calendar quarter of 2014.
MSU releases app for beef producers
The Mississippi State University Extension Service released the MSUES Cattle Calculator on Dec. 2 for Apple devices.
How much food does rice provide for migrating waterfowl?
Mark Petrie, manager of conservation planning for Ducks Unlimited in Memphis, Tenn., discussed a study that pinpoints how much U.S. rice acres contribute to migrating waterfowl on their annual treks during a presentation at the USA Rice Federation’s Outlook Conference in St. Louis.
USDA Brings Additional Relief to Landowners Affected by Hurricane Sandy
Second Round of Conservation Easement Applications to be Accepted in 2014.
Alameda County Resource Conservation District Wildlife-friendly Pond Program
The Alameda County RCD is offering several financial incentives for restoring stock ponds, which provide essential habitat for two threatened CA amphibians, through their Wildlife-friendly Pond Program.
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.
Feds Unveil 50-Year Plan for Wetlands Restoration
A 50-year plan for the restoration of San Francisco Bay and other coastal wetlands was released Thursday by federal wildlife officials who say it's the biggest effort to save tidal marshes outside the Florida Everglades.
Experts discuss ways to boost honeybee forage
At a first-of-its-kind meeting in Sacramento, beekeepers, farmers and representatives of public and private organizations gathered to discuss how to improve honeybee populations by allowing beekeepers access to more sources of bee forage.
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.
No time to back down on pollination BMPs
Almonds are referenced in virtually every news report about bees.
'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
Bill to regulate fracking passes California state Assembly
A hotly contested bill that would impose California's first regulations on fracking and other oil production practices passed the state Assembly on Wednesday, despite opposition from environmentalists and oil companies.
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.
Federal court upholds California oyster farm closure
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a decision by former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar not to renew the lease of a popular oyster farm operating in the Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California.
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.
Low-cost compound saves crops water
RIVERSIDE — Plants use less water when given an inexpensive chemical discovered by a UC Riverside researcher, according to a new study. Products developed from this research could help farmers cope with an increasingly strained water supply, in California and worldwide.
Almond crop takes downward turn
California's almond crop, which accounts for about 80 percent of world production, is expected to come in this year at 1.85 billion pounds, down nearly 8 percent from earlier predictions, U.S. farm officials announced Monday.
USDA and DOI Highlight Successes of Protecting Bird Habitat on Private Lands
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today announced the release of the State of the Birds 2013 Report on Private Lands.
Latest Quail Research Available in New Volume
The latest in peer-reviewed quail research is now available in a 386-page volume, Quail VII: Proceedings of the Seventh National Quail Symposium.
Vilsack Outlines Vision for Agricultural Solutions to Environmental Challenges
WASHINGTON, June 5, 2013-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today said that the Federal government must increase collaboration with producers, researchers and industry to develop the next generation of solutions that will help agriculture mitigate and adapt to modern climate challenges.
PRESS ALERT: First-Ever National Ranking Shows Most Coastal States Failing to Protect Oceans
Seattle WA - Today two leading marine science and conservation organizations, the Marine Conservation Institute and Mission Blue, issued the 1st-ever quantitative, scientifically rigorous national ranking of states’ protection of their ocean waters.
Survey of Woodland Owners Reveals Major Challenges
The U.S. Forest Service regularly surveys woodland owners to get information on the land they own, why they own it, how they use it and if—and how—they manage it.
Join AFF's Free the Trees Campaign
Insects, diseases and weeds threaten the future of the woodlands we cherish. Some 58 million acres of forestland in the United States are imperiled by pests and pathogens. More than 500 tree-damaging pests from other countries have become established here, with a new threat introduced every two to three years.
Wetlands clean water, provide homes for wildlife across the nation
Wetlands play a crucial role in the world’s ecosystem by protecting and improving water quality, filtering surface water, storing floodwater and creating or enhancing wildlife habitat.
Successful Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries Conference Brings Together Diverse Voices
2013 “Waters to Watch” List Highlights Variety of Conservation Challenges
(Washington, DC) - The National Fish Habitat Partnership (www.fishhabitat.org) has unveiled its 10 “Waters to Watch” list for 2013, a collection of rivers, streams, estuaries, watershed systems and lakes that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts to protect, restore or enhance their current condition.
Honeybee woes are costly for Valley almond growers
Every January the world's biggest honeybee migration begins, as beekeepers around the country make their way to California with millions of hives to pollinate the state's vast almond orchards.
Feral Swine: Ripping and Rooting Their Way across America
Feral swine have been called the “rototillers” of nature. Their longs snouts and tusks allow them to rip and root their way across America in search of food. Unfortunately, the path they leave behind impacts ranchers, farmers, land managers, conservationists, and suburbanites alike.
As honey bee numbers drop, U.S. sees threat to food supply
Honey bees, which play a key role in pollinating a wide variety of food crops, are in sharp decline in the United States, due to parasites, disease and pesticides, said a federal report released on Thursday.
Grant helps educate tribes on drought management
With the help of a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service grant, the American Indian Inter Tribal Buffalo Council is working to make tribal lands more resilient to drought.
Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff, Streamlined and Accessible
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has developed a new web-based tool to help producers easily calculate the quality of water flowing off their fields.
Conservation and the Fiscal Cliff Deal
Enhanced Tax Incentive & Charitable Deduction Survive
Oyster Farm Caught Up in Pipeline Politics
POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE, Calif. – Seen from a nearby hilltop, the Drakes Bay Oyster Company is a cluster of shacks with faded white walls. One patched roof appears at risk of being blown away by the next Pacific squall.
Before Spring Planting Expert Says, "Dig a Little. Learn a Lot."
DAVIS, Calif., April 3, 2013—As spring temperatures go up, it’s an excellent time for farmers, ranchers and gardeners to focus their attention down to the soil below them. A spring check-up of your soil’s health gives clues of your ground’s ability to feed plants, hold water, capture carbon and more. No fancy equipment required. Just grab a spade or shovel and prepare your senses to dig a little and learn a lot.
The State of Our Rivers and Streams
A recent EPA survey shows that more than half of the nation’s rivers and stream miles are in poor condition for aquatic life.
New Bobwhite Foundation Gets $1 Million Commitment As a Challenge for Additional Contributions
A bobwhite enthusiast in Texas kicked off fundraising for the new Bobwhite Foundation this week with a $100,000 endowment … and a promise to match up to $1 million in “endowed” donations from any other source within the next two years.
Project Noah is an award-winning software platform designed to help people reconnect with the natural world.
News Release: EPA Survey Finds More Than Half of the Nation’s River and Stream Miles in Poor Condition?
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the results of the first comprehensive survey looking at the health of thousands of stream and river miles across the country, finding that more than half – 55 percent – are in poor condition for aquatic life.
Terrafirma Takes Flight
The Land Trust Alliance has created a one-of-a kind charitable risk insurance pool to defend more than 20,000 land trust properties covering 6,354,434 acres in 46 states and Washington, DC from conservation violations or legal attack by developers and other parties. Terrafirma RRG LLC is owned by 420 land trusts that now have a safety net and can keep the promise of permanence.
The Enhanced Easement Incentive: Fiscal Cliff Update
Fiscal Cliff Deal Renews Tax Incentive Through 2013