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USDA Seeks Comment on Conservation Practice Revisions
On March 27, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is seeking comment on proposed revisions to 49 natural resource conservation practices. The 2018 Farm Bill required the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to evaluate all 169 conservation practices in order to increase flexibility and ensure that they are consistent with new technologies. The proposed changes released last month would affect standards for 12 agronomic practices for water quality and erosion control, two aquaculture practices, three forestry practices, six practices affecting waterways, five drainage-related practices, seven livestock-related practices, three energy and air quality practices, eight water conservation practices, and three farm traffic-related practices. Last October, NRCS announced proposed revisions to 13 other practices, and additional conservation practice revisions are expected to be released throughout the year.
“NRCS is committed to efficiently and effectively implementing the Farm Bill and delivering on our promise to America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said. “We are taking a close look at our conservation practice standards to make sure they make sense – both for farmers and for natural resources.”
Copies of the proposed revisions to the 49 conservation practice standards are available through http://regulations.gov by accessing docket number NRCS-2020-0001. Comments will be accepted through April 23, and NRCS asks commenters include the volume, date and page number of the issue of the Federal Register.