Environmental Conservation

How does the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Work?

The United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency oversees several voluntary conservation-related programs, including the Conservation Reserve Program. In the past, farmers have joked the CRP, “pays farmers not to farm”. But the truth is the work the farmers do with CRP has far reaching benefits. Programs like CRP work to address a large …

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5 Conservation Benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Congress created CRP in 1985 following increased concern over unacceptably high levels of soil erosion as well as other environmental concerns. The 1985 Farm Bill authorized USDA to enroll up to 45 million acres in CRP. By idling environmentally sensitive lands, the Conservation Reserve Program provides substantial conservation benefits by improving water quality, protecting soil, …

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Promoting Pollinators Besides Honeybees

Honeybees have long been the dominant pollinator in North America. Today, roughly 80% of crop pollination is performed by honeybees, with some crops relying almost exclusively on this non-native species. Due the massive decline in honeybees caused by colony collapse disorder, many are looking towards other pollinators to pick up the slack.  The question is are other pollinator species as effective as …

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Are We Facing a Soil Crisis?

The agriculture industry faces a number of growing challenges. The loss of pollinators and pollinator habitat is making it difficult to grow certain crops. Intensifying scrutiny is being placed on emissions and water pollution caused by farmers. An increasingly global economy causes unexpected demands and market price shifts. The list goes on.  But there’s one problem that poses a bigger threat any other: the loss of healthy soil.  …

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USDA Announces Expansion of CRP

The new administration continues to promote conservation initiatives across the agriculture industry. Earlier this year, the USDA announced that enrollment for general CRP in 2021 would stay open indefinitely. Now, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced plans to further expand and enhance the program moving forward.   It should come as no surprise that the administration is first …

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Implementing Sustainable Farming Practices

While modern farming provides the foods, materials, and resources that our civilization relies on, it can also negatively impact the surrounding environment in a number of ways. Practices such as excessive tillage, removing natural habitat, and planting the same crop season after season have drained soil of its nutrients and left it exposed. Excess irrigation increases …

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The Continuing Problems of Unsustainable Agriculture

As our population continues to grow, our need for resources grows with it. This ultimately means that farmers need to continue to produce more food, materials, and other goods. In order to do this, however, the agricultural industry needs to ensure that their practices are sustainable.  Unsustainable farming practices can lead to serious consequences.   During the late 1800s and early 1900s, …

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USDA Extends Enrollment for General CRP in 2021

The USDA recently announced they will be extending enrollment in general CRP for 2021. Originally, enrollment was set to close on February 12. As of now, there is no official end date set for closure, and interested parties may continue to submit bids to enter the program.  “USDA will continue to accept offers as it takes this opportunity …

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How the Paris Climate Agreement Affects Farmers

With the recent switch in US presidents, it’s natural for farmers to wonder how they will be affected over the next four years. After all, emission reduction and environmental protection are top priorities of the Biden administration. With farming’s impact on the environment becoming an increasingly popular topic, the ag industry is likely to become more eco-centric across the board.  It’s understandable that farmers might be …

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