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USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) response to the 2018 the Farm Bill required review of all existing national conservation practice standards

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100658.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100658)
Authors:   William R Reck, Betsy S Dierberger, Clarence Prestwich
Keywords:   2018 Farm Bill, Conservation, Standards, NRCS

Abstract. The December 2018 Farm Bill required USDA‘s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to review of all existing national conservation practice standards. In 2018, NRCS provided 169 conservation practices to help agricultural producers meet their resource conservation needs on their working lands. The review focused on evaluating opportunities to increase flexibility and usage of new technologies while ensuring natural resource benefits. Additionally, NRCS was directed to seek avenues for the optimal balance between meeting site-specific conservation needs and minimizing risks of design failure and associated construction and installation costs while ensuring, to the maximum extent practicable, the completeness and relevance of the standards to local agricultural, forestry and natural resource needs, including specialty crops, native and managed pollinators, bioenergy crop production, forestry and others. This paper will detail the steps taken by NRCS to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill and prepare USDA NRCS for the next generation of conservation strategies and innovations to conserve natural resources on the farm.

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