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Conserve Bee County: 2014 Farm Bill updates and streamlines popular USDA conservation programs
by Matthew Dorsett District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS Beeville
Jun 19, 2014 | 136 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The 2014 Farm Bill recently became law, providing funding for the nation’s major conservation programs.

As the federal government’s primary agricultural and food policy tool, the Farm Bill supports many USDA programs, including the conservation programs that provide farmers, ranchers and forest landowners with technical and financial assistance to address resource concerns on their land.

Assistance includes both technical expertise and funding to help put conservation practices on fields and in forests in Texas and across the country.

For example, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service helps farmers conserve water with more efficient irrigation systems and improve soil health with cover crops. NRCS works with ranchers to install rotational grazing systems, enabling pastures to grow better food for livestock while keeping grass in place to prevent soil erosion. NRCS also helps landowners replant trees and use prescribed burning to enhance habitat for wildlife, including many at-risk species.

All of this assistance is made available through a variety of conservation programs. The 2014 Farm Bill consolidates and expands several programs, and key changes include:

• The Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program is folded into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program;

• Three conservation easement programs are combined into one – the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program; and

• Several regional programs are combined into one – the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

The Farm Bill is investing $18.7 billion in NRCS-administered conservation programs over the next five years. It’s a good time for you to see if conservation is right for your land.

We encourage you to check into conservation and see if it’s a good fit for your land. Visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted or your local USDA service center to learn more. The Beeville service center is located at 1400 W. Corpus Christi St., Suite 16. For more information on the Farm Bill, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/FarmBill.
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