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Conservation

Saving Money, Time and Soil: The Economics of No-Till Farming

For farmers across the country, it comes as no surprise to hear that conservation tillage practices – particularly continuous no-till – can save time and money compared to conventional tillage. The potential benefits of no-till are well-documented, from improving soil health to reducing annual fuel and labor investments.

Talking Turkey: Forest Service and National Wild Turkey Federation Bringing Back Native Turkey Habitats

Did you know that the wild turkey nearly triumphed over the bald eagle as the symbol of America? Yes, it’s true. Proponents as luminous as Benjamin Franklin once advocated for the turkey to be the symbol on the Great Seal of The United States. That’s all history now, but the turkey remains of strong interest to conservationists. Progress continues on over 40 active U.S. Forest Service habitat projects in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Landowners in Deep South Protect 700,000 Acres of Wetlands with USDA Help

Private landowners in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana have protected 700,000 acres of critical wetlands in the past 25 years, which accounts for one-third of all wetlands under USDA conservation easements in the country. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and several conservation partners recently celebrated this milestone by visiting one of the landowners who used a conservation easement to restore and permanently protect the wetland.

A Million Acres Scorched by Montana Wildfires

Dry conditions plagued Montana this summer, with multiple wildfires torching over 1 million acres throughout the state. The largest fire, the Lodgepole Complex fire, impacted over 270,000 acres. Recent rain and snow, and the forecast for continued precipitation, help to suppress the fires and provide welcome relief for Montana residents.

Conservation Couple: From Bay Area Business Owners to Award-Winning, First Gen Ranchers

Byrhonda Lyons of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contributed this blog on USDA’s work in conservation partnerships.

When Mike and Kathy Landini packed their belongings into friends’ trucks and left Concord, Calif., for Elk Creek, Calif., they had no idea what their new life would bring. They were looking for a quieter place to raise their children. 

Footprints on the Range

“I don’t like crowds, and I don’t like busy highways,” says Crawford, Texas rancher Larry Mattlage. “That crazy world out there can get me frustrated and upset. This land is where I am most at ease.”

He was raised on the land his German immigrant grandfather settled on in the late 1880s. The 400 acres Mattlage now owns — High Prairie Ranch — has been in the family since 1904.

Spurring Agricultural Innovation Across the Nation

“He would often dream up new ideas and inventions that he would build in his shop and implement on his farm. Most all of them worked better than anything else available. He never faced a hill that he didn’t think could be flattened with a lot of hard work and determination, and he taught those around him to question the conventional wisdom and not be afraid to boldly seek new ways of doing things.” -from Leroy Isbell’s obituary in the Stuttgart Daily Leader, 2014

Chris Isbell didn't set out to make history. He was just following in his father's footsteps.