Tag Archives: USDA

USDA Announces New Grants for Funding Water Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will make $6 million in grants available this year, and up to $30 million total over the next five years as part of a new initiative to provide solutions to agricultural water challenges. The grants will be used to develop management practices, technologies, [...]

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Source Water Collaborative Releases Partnership Building Toolkit

In mid-January, the Source Water Collaborative — a group of 25 national organizations united in protecting America’s drinking water at the source — released a new online toolkit. The guide helps to “facilitate partnerships to protect drinking water sources through agriculture, conservation practices, stormwater and forest management.” With the toolkit, users can obtain guidance on [...]

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WRI Assesses Mississippi River Basin Initiative

On Jan. 7, the World Resources Institute (WRI) released the first in a three-part series of reports focused on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Conservation Service (NRCS) Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI). The report provides an assessment of the program, which started in 2009. The program is still in its initial implementation phase, so [...]

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EPA and USDA Partner to Support Water Quality Trading

On Dec. 3, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a partnership to further water quality trading. Their goal is to improve water quality through a market-driven approach that provides a cost-effective means for complying with Clean Water Act requirements. Trading allows regulated entities to purchase and use pollutant [...]

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Conservation Practices Make Significant Contributions to Mississippi River Water Quality

On July 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) released information on its Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative. During the last 4 years, NRCS has devoted $341 million to 640 small priority watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin. With financial and technical assistance from NRCS, farmers have built conservation practices [...]

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NRCS Offers $35 Million in Assistance for National Water Quality Initiative

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is releasing nearly $35 million in financial assistance to farmers and ranchers as part of its second year of funding for the National Water Quality Initiative. The funds will be available in 164 priority watersheds, targeting conservation practices that reduce the delivery of nutrients, sediments, [...]

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Check it Out: USDA Releases Water Quality Index

On April 25, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service released a Web tool that can help farmers determine runoff quality on a 10-point ranking scale. The Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff (WQIag) takes into account such factors as nutrient management, soil type, conservation practices, and slope. Farmers can use the tool [...]

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WEF Joins Others To Oppose Cuts in Farm Conservation Programs

In a Feb. 28 letter to the chairs and ranking members of the U.S. Senate and House appropriation committees, the Water Environment Federation joined 27 other water and conservation organizations in opposing cuts to Farm Bill agricultural conservation programs from remaining fiscal year 2013 appropriations. Cuts could affect the level of U.S. Department of Agriculture [...]

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Conservation Agency Provides Funds for Agricultural Conservation Practices

In mid-December, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service announced it would provide $20 million in assistance to qualified farmers, ranchers, and private forest owners for agricultural conservation practices that reduce nutrients and sediment delivery to the Chesapeake Bay. Funding for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. More funding [...]

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U.S. NRCS Releases Lessons Learned Report on Improving Water Quality Via Agricultural Conservation Practices

In the most recent assessment of U.S. waterbodies, agricultural runoff was listed as the leading source of water quality impairment in rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. In August, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service released several resources synthesizing lessons learned from 13 agricultural conservation practices aimed at improving water quality. This project and others [...]

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