Agricultural News


ASWM is keeping an eye on the development of the 2012 Farm Bill. On this page you can find updates on the Farm Bill as well as agricultural news in the context of wetlands and related issues. For Farm Bill 2012 resources on the web, click here.

Saline soils, plant growth problems linked to tillage practices

Manitoba Co-Operator – November 4, 2014

The discovery provides insight into the health of a forest. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for plant growth and productivity, but in streams, it can be a pollutant. In many places in the basin, however, farmers are noticing areas of fields not producing well in recent years. For full story, click here.

USDA Seeks Comments on New Conservation Stewardship Rule

Contact: Sylvia Rainford – USDA – November 5, 2014

As the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rapid implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill continues, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced proposed changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), one of USDA's largest conservation programs for working agricultural lands. "Farmers, ranchers, and non-industrial forestland owners enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program are our nation's conservation leaders as they go the extra mile to conserve our natural resources," Vilsack said. "This program continues to enable owners and managers of private lands to reach the next level of conservation." The rule also establishes the role of CSP as one of the programs to help the Regional Conservation Partnership Program accomplish its purposes. Vilsack said participants will be delivering more conservation benefits than ever under the revised program rules. USDA published an interim final rule containing the statutory changes to CSP in the Federal Register today. USDA is seeking public comment on the rule through Jan. 5, 2015. The public comments will be used to finalize the interim final rule. The CSP interim final rule can be viewed at nrcs.usda.gov and the Federal Register. For full news release, click here.

Six Reasons to Consider Wetlands for Nitrate Removal

By Lynn Betts – Farm Futures – September 2, 2014

There was a time when farmers considered natural wetlands to be wasted land, since they couldn’t be farmed. That’s not the case anymore, with all the emphasis on nutrient reduction in water that leaves the farm. In fact, as farmers, conservationists, and concerned groups continue to look for ways to make water cleaner before it leaves the farm, they’re actually creating wetlands where they fit the landscape. For full story, click here

Expert: Drone technology a game-changer in agriculture

By April Van Buren – Great Lakes Echo – October 16, 2014

We were first introduced to drones by the United States military, which has been using them, controversially, it must be pointed out, for years in places like Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and Yemen. But like many other technologies that have been pioneered by the military, such as computers, duct tape and GPS, drones have numerous commercial applications. And one of the biggest sectors where drones could become a game-changer is in agriculture. For full story, click here.

Corporate farms get blame as key water-pollution culprit

By Tom Henry – The Blade – August 31, 2014

Perhaps former President Theodore Roosevelt said it best when he addressed a Buffalo audience in 1910, most likely in his trademark fist-pounding, cantankerous style. “Civilized people,” Mr. Roosevelt said, “should be able to dispose of sewage in a better way than by putting it into drinking water.” Hailed by historians as a key ally of naturalist John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club, during the fledgling days of the American conservation movement, Mr. Roosevelt was no doubt using that upstate New York event as his bully pulpit to campaign for better Great Lakes protections. But what has changed in the 104 years since the horse-and-buggy era faded into the sunset, and the Great Lakes region — with its rich soil and Internet-savvy modern farming techniques — became increasingly counted on to grow food for a world of 7.2 billion people that has more than quadrupled in size from the global population of 1.75 billion in 1910? For full story, click here.