5 Aug 2010. The tool has been updated.
USDA has a new tool that lets you download soil and pasture rental rates (for CRP and other uses) in a variety of ways. Also has an EI caclulator.
The National Association of Conservation Districts tells us about the USDA Farm Bill: What’s in It for Woodland Owners? The Farm Bill’s conservation programs are not just for rowcrop systems. There are lots of opportunities to help improve your woodland acres, too.
I just thought it looked cool. Make your own at wordle.net.
The U.S. NABCI Committee and the Intermountain West Joint Venture have produced a Field Guide to the 2008 Farm Bill for Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
USDA’s Conservation Assessment Effects Project has just released two extensive reviews of the effects of agricultural conservation practices – like those used in CRP and other conservation programs (public announcement here). Part A addresses terrestrial habitats and Part B addresses aquatic habitats. Even better is the dynamic bibliography.
Missouri Extension has published a great guide for installing field borders (herbaceous strips of vegetation replacing crops at field edges) entitled Field borders for agronomic, economic and wildlife benefits. The document illustrates some important principles of corridor design that we focus on in my course, but that are not incorporated (intentionally!) into farm plans nearly enough. The document is b/w, but color versions of the pictures can be viewed on the html version HERE.
USDA Economic Research Service has posted a detailed, side-by-side comparison of the 2008 Farm Bill to previous versions. Here is a direct link to the Conservation Title comparison.
More responses to the Farm Bill:
The Comprehensive Review of Farm Bill Benefits to Wildlife reviews the impacts of USDA Conservation Programs on wildlife habitat and populations from 1885-2000. Much of the document focuses on grassland birds because the vast majority of the enrolled acres are in grass practices, and most of the available research is on birds. There are chapters specifically on waterfowl & CRP, grassland birds & CRP, and grassland birds & buffer practices. The Southeast and Midwest each get their own chapter. There are chapters on Swampbuster, WRP, WHIP and EQUIP. The list of authors is impressive – Pete Heard, Douglas Johnson, Louis Best, just to name a few. The highlight of the document is an extensive annotated bibliography. Fifteen years of ag-wildlife research in one volume. The individual chapters are available HERE. The chapters by Burger, Ryan, and Best are central texts in my Ag-Wildlife course.
In 2005, the NRCS in conjunction with the Wildlife Society produced two additional reviews.
The first one – Fish & Wildlife Benefits of Farm Bill Conservation Programs – covers the first half of this decade. Some chapters from the 1985-2000 document are present in revised form (e.g., Johnson, Grassland Bird Use of CRP in the Great Plains; Burger, The CRP in the Southeast; Reynolds, The CRP and Duck Production in the US Prairie Pothole region). There are also several new chapters on the CREP, the Grassland Reserve Program, and the Conservation Security Program. This update lacks the annotated bibliography of the first document. Individual chapters are available HERE. Hard copy can be be purchased from the Wildlife Society.
The second one – Fish & Wildlife Benefits of Farm Bill Conservation Practices – organizes the reviews by particular types of conservation practices, which can be useful from an objective-oriented planning perspective. Chapters include ones on cropland conservation practices, grassland establishment, agricultural buffers, grassland conservation practices, wetland establishment practices, and effects of conservation practices on aquatic habitats and fauna. The final chapter summarizes ways of “Using Adaptive Management to Meet Conservation Goals.” Individual chapters are available HERE. Hard copy can be be purchased from the Wildlife Society.