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Conservation

Climate Hubs and 4-H: Partnering with Tomorrow's Leaders to Sustain Agriculture Today

Agriculture in the United States faces significant challenges in the years ahead, perhaps none greater than the projection of approximately 9 billion people worldwide to feed by mid-century. Meeting this challenge will require an estimated increase in agricultural production of more than 70%. This increase that will need to occur over an ever-declining land base and one that will necessitate a paradigm shift in agricultural equivalent to that of the green revolution.

USDA Supporting the National Native Seed Strategy

The use of native plant material in conservation, restoration and land management results in healthy ecosystems countering the effects of invasive plant species, altered wildfire regimes, extreme weather events and human-caused events. The National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration 2015-2020 (PDF, 12MB) promotes the use of native plant materials to restore plant communities and support healthy ecosystems. The National Seed Strategy, a collaboration between 12 federal agencies and over 300 non-federal partners associated with the Plant Conservation Alliance and led by the Bureau of Land Management, facilitates coordination among tribal, state, federal, local and private entities, including commercial growers.

Drought Conditions at Lowest Point since Autumn 2010

Nationally, we are seeing extreme to exceptional (D3 to D4) drought conditions fall to their lowest point in more than 6 years. Nowhere is that change more dramatic than in California. The current (February 21, 2017) Drought Monitor for California notes the disappearance of D3/D4 from California. At the California drought’s peak from August-October 2014, that percentage was nearly 82 percent. As recently as early-December 2016, coverage of D3/D4 in California stood at 43 percent.

Tornado Devastates NFC Building, But Not NFC Workers

Within minutes of being notified of an impending storm, the employees of the US Department of Agriculture’s National Finance Center (NFC) in New Orleans felt the devastating impact of the EF-3 tornado that descend upon the two-story building with enough force to tear away whole sections of the brick façade in eight places and leave portions of its interior exposed to the elements.

“I could see it coming,” said Tara Gilliam, chief of Human Resources Management Staff. “It swallowed the building in a matter of seconds.”

Five Signs You Might Be the Perfect 'Soil Mate'

The hope in healthy soil is taking root across America.

Farmers, ranchers, researchers, conservationists, non-profit organizations, foodies and others are all working to help regenerate our working lands by improving the health of function of our nation’s soil. So inspired by what they’re learning about the hope in healthy soil, there’s a whole new generation of “soil mates” working to unlock the secrets in the soil.

In Texas, Tradition and Innovation are "Continuing Resolutions" between Tribe and NRCS

This year, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will continue its resolution to build on its partnerships with Indian Country by supporting sustainably-managed crops and innovative ways to produce crops that are compatible with tribal cultures.

An example of these efforts is the relationship between the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribe, located near El Paso, Texas, and NRCS. Working with NRCS, the Tribe constructed a seasonal high tunnel system at the Pueblo Education Center during a two-day workshop. The system provides an opportunity for Native youth to grow crops and take home fresh produce for healthy meals.