Updates and news from Private Landowner Network
Cows, Cooper's Hawks And Calippe Silverspot Butterflies, Oh My!
How ranches safeguard California's natural environments
Conservation Organizations Join Forces to Support Conservation in the Prairies
The Prairies Conservation Campaign aims to bring public attention to grassland and wetland conversion to cropland in the priarie pothole region.
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.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces New Report on Scientific Breakthroughs from USDA in 2013
New USDA Discoveries Led to 180 New Inventions, Include Flour that Prevents Weight Gain, Protections from Disease for U.S. Troops, Turning Grass Clippings to Energy
On Earth Day, U.S. Forest Service Seeks Applications for Wood to Energy Projects
Announces New App -- Part of the Obama Administration's "All of the Above" Energy Strategy
USDA Awards Research Grants to Address the Impact of Climate Change on U.S. Agriculture Production
Conservation efforts target women landowners
The Women, Food and Agriculture Network provides women with the information and confidence they need to take action and improve the soil and water conservation on their farmland.
USDA-APHIS declares war on national wild hog problem
The first-ever federally authorized feral swine management and control project includes the participation of local, state and federal agencies.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Additional USDA Actions to Combat Spread of Diseases Among U.S. Pork Producers
Required Reporting of Cases Latest Measure to Slow Disease Spread
Conservation easement applications for wetlands due May 15
The deadline for applying for a USDA's Wetland Reserve Easement, which is funded through the new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program is May 15!
USDA Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program-Historic Farm Bill Support Available through State Departments of Agriculture
The USDA announced its Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the availability of $66 million in grants to help support specialty crop growers.
Water supply forecast shows record snow in northern parts of West
For the second consecutive month, many snow telemetry, or SNOTEL, sites in Montana, Wyoming, and parts of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon received two to three times the normal amount of precipitation. However, far below normal streamflow is expected for southern Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico and southern Utah/western Nevada.
Shortage of Farmers Creates 'Dangerous Situation' for U.S.
According to the USDA, 15 percent of all jobs created in the U.S. between 2010 and 2015 will be in agriculture and forestry production. But the USDA expects fewer commercial farm and ranch operators to be in existence by 2015 than there are now — and a majority of jobs will be along the lines of agriculture specialists and crop management consultants.
Drought plan omits allocations for farm water
The 156-page plan, prepared jointly by state and federal agencies, addresses federal Central Valley Project and State Water Project operations, and spells out detailed approaches to balancing fisheries, habitat and human requirements in the event of a fourth dry year in 2015. But, it's striking on what the plan omits...
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.
Sens. King, Collins & Reps. Michaud, Pingree Fight USDA Plan to End Valuable Resource for Maine Farmers
The USDA has proposed to close or consolidate 250 FSA offices around the country. Legislators from rural states, including Maine, have signed a letter opposing the restructuring.
USDA Announces 2014 Cotton Loan Rate Differentials
USDA Announces Funding to Train and Educate Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers
USDA announced the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, a program that will help train, educate and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of agricultural producers. Applications due June 12.
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.
EPA Awarding Close to $13 Million to Assist Small Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems Across the United States
The EPA is awarding grants to help private well owners improve small system operations and management practices
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.
National effort to reduce damage caused by feral swine
Feral swine are in 17 to 39 states and have cost over $1.5 billion in annual damage. In response, the USDA has announced a national effort to reduce damage caused by these invasive animals.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Progress on 2014 Farm Bill Implementation
Significant Action Taken on All Bill Titles in First Eight Weeks Since Enactment
USDA Provides Farm Bill Funding for Pest and Disease Management Programs
Conservation Grant Helps Rice Growers Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
USDA is helping to provide rice growers in California and the Midsouth with new opportunities to voluntarily execute conservation practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while cultivating a new income stream.
USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for April 2014
White House looks to regulate cow flatulence as part of climate agenda
Environmentalists have been pushing the Obama administration to crack down on methane emissions for some time, arguing that they drive global warming and pollute the air and water. Now the White House has proposed to cut methane emissions from dairy, agriculture, and the oil and gas industries.
USDA Announces Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2014 Feedstock Flexibility Program Plans
The CCC announced that it will not invoke the use of the FFP at this time.
Cattle ranching critical to environment, even during drought
With the drought and its impact on agriculture in the news, Ms. Sweet a Livermore Cattle Rancher takes provides insight into California’s cattle production, its value to our environment and the state’s economy, and what ranchers are doing to conserve water not only during this severe drought, but all the time.
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.
The man who helped save a billion lives
Norman Borlaug earned the nickname “Father of the Green Revolution,” a term used to refer to changes in agricultural practices that increased food production from the 1950s forward.
Subcommittee Examines Costs Associated With Lawsuits Filed Against the U.S. Forest Service
Rep. Glenn 'GT' Thompson, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry, held a public hearing to review the impact of the Endangered Species Act and related legislation on the U.S. Forest Service.
Prime farmland in YoloCounty preserved for ag
Another Yolo County farm with agricultural value has been permanently set aside for agriculture, the Yolo Land Trust reported Thursday.
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
USDA Announces Growth of U.S. Organic Industry
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced new figures Thursday that show the organic industry continues to grow domestically and globally, with over 25,000 certified organic operations in more than 120 different countries around the world.
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.
Grow Rice, Not Methane
On Monday, regulators from California’s Air Resources Board discussed a proposed protocol that, if approved in September, would accept offsets from methane-reducing rice projects into the state’s cap-and-trade program. Voluntary standards such as the American Carbon Registry have paved the way for the protocol, and the registry just listed the first rice project – expected to reduce 1,400 cars worth of greenhouse gas emissions.
USDA Announces Support for Innovative, Sustainable Wood Building Materials to Protect Environment and Create Jobs
Secretary Vilsack: One of the world's oldest building materials is now also one of its most advanced
Pork producers blasted by new virus, PEDv
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDv, continue to slam U.S. pork producers, including Ohio farmers.
EPA Asks Americans to Join the Race to Stop Water Leaks
WaterSense celebrates Fix a Leak Week Beginning March 17
Peninsula Open Space Trust sells land to longtime Half Moon Bay farming family
Peninsula Open Space Trust recently sold a 295-acre property to the third-generation farming family that had leased the land. POST will keep a conservation easement on the land.
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.
Fast Internet in Rural America?
Google may eventually have the answer with the expansion of it's Google Fiber project.
Young Farmers Remain Concerned About Land Availability
Securing adequate land to grow crops and raise livestock was the top challenge identified again this year in the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual outlook survey of participants in the Young Farmers & Ranchers program.
Quiet business is international firm dealing in agriculture and soils
Perry Agricultural Laboratory is an international soil testing, farm consulting, agricultural law business that has been serving producers for decades.
Southwest water deficits could be Southeast agriculture’s gain
Alabama and other Southeastern states could gain an advantage by increasing their irrigation capabilities and by wisely managing their water resources.
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.
USDA Enhances Farm Storage Facility Loan Program
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.