Share Your Thoughts: USDA asks for public comments on 8 changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices

Stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments by March 4, 2024, either online or by mail.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is inviting public feedback on proposed revisions to eight national conservation practice standards. These revisions aim to enhance flexibility and integrate new technologies to support farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners in conserving natural resources on their working lands.

The conservation practices being revised encompass a range of practices, including field borders, filter strips, and grazing management. Stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments by March 4, 2024, either online or by mail.

These changes represent the hard work and innovation of farmers like one from Minnesota farmer. Visiting the operation, we see the producer’s significant strides in transforming his 7,000-acre operation by prioritizing soil health and sustainability. Departing from conventional methods, he has transitioned to strip-tillage and no-tillage techniques, resulting in improved resilience, reduced erosion, and lower costs. Notably, he has leveraged manure from his cattle feedlot and assistance from USDA programs to facilitate this transition. The farmer observes that his fields are now better equipped to absorb water and withstand dry seasons, while also significantly reducing herbicide input.

This producer’s story underscores the importance of the USDA’s efforts to refine and enhance conservation practices in agriculture.

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