USDA report

USDA Report Indicates Advancing Conservation Trends

Dan Conservation, Environment, USDA-NRCS

USDA report

We told you back in March that a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report showed the use of no-till, crop rotations, more efficient irrigation methods and advanced technologies have climbed in recent years.

The report is from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and it shows how progress was made through voluntary conservation over a 10-year period.

The report was developed by USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). It found significant gains for soil health and soil carbon storage, while also identifying areas where additional and targeted nutrient management strategies are needed.

The report also revealed that cropping patterns have changed over the years in response to climate, policy, trade, renewable energy and prices, thus presenting a nutrient management challenge.

But some wonder what this actually means going forward. NRCS notes improving the timing and application method of nutrients can allow production demands to be met while reducing the impacts of crop production on the environment. So, they plan to continue focusing on nutrient management conservation practices and strategies with vigorous outreach efforts to farmers and further engagement with partner groups to adjust to these changing trends.