Notes from the most recent NSAC Weekly Roundup:
Welcome to the NSAC Weekly Roundup!
FARM BILL NEWS
Clock Ticking on Farm Bill and Budget Deals
Next week is the last week the House and Senate will both be in session at the same time for the rest of the year. That means it’s now or never on announcing a farm bill deal and a fiscal year 2014 government budget deal. We currently expect both announcements early next week, assuming the basic frameworks have been agreed to by then. We also currently expect that there will be no conclusive action on such frameworks next week, but rather that final details will be put together in time for votes by mid-January. Read more…
What’s At Stake? Water, Soil, Wildlife Conservation
Wetlands and grasslands are some of the most ecologically important and sensitive lands in the world. Several programs that have proven tremendously important in conserving and enhancing these environmental and economic resources have been unfortunate casualties of Congress’s inability to pass a new farm bill. Four programs—the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), Grassland Reserve Program (GRP), Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and Chesapeake Bay Conservation Initiative (CBWI)—were frozen in place when the 2008 Farm Bill extension expired on October 1. Read more…
Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up Begins – Farmer Applications Due by January 17
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the start of the 2014 enrollment process for farmers and ranchers who want to participate in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Producers interested in enrolling in CSP for the 2014 fiscal year must submit their initial applications to NRCS by January 17, 2014. Read more…
New Report Examines Impacts of Farm-based Conservation on Chesapeake Bay
On Thursday, December 5, USDA released an updated Assessment of the Impacts of Conservation Adoption on Cultivated Acres of Cropland in the Chesapeake Bay Region. The report is part of the USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). By combining edge-of-field and in-stream modeling along with farmer surveying, the report examines the impact that conservation practices such as cover cropping, crop rotation, and buffers are having on a variety of resource concerns in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Read more…
Lessons Learned from the Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center
Yesterday, NSAC member group the Wallace Center announced the release of a new report, Innovations in Local Food Enterprise: Fresh Ideas for a Just and Profitable Food System, which distills lessons learned from the Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center (HUFED), a project managed by the Wallace Center and funded by USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture. Read more…
Read the latest edition of NESAWG's Potluck News!
> Federal Policy, Regional Impact. The House-Senate conference worked on the Farm Bill this month, many regional journalists debated the issues. The Brattleboro Reformer applauded the Farm Bill's funds for rural housing that are already benefiting Vermonters in the Northeast section of the state, The Daily Review published an Op-Ed on the impact of proposed SNAP cuts on Pennsylvania's neediest, and The New York Times explored the controversy over changing SNAP to promote healthier foods.