Washington Starts Snow Season On A Solid Note

Much to the chagrin of holiday travelers, the higher elevations of Washington have already enjoyed a healthy amount of snow, only a few weeks into the season. According to Scott Pattee with NRCS, the statewide snowpack is at 136% of average. He said it’s good for a variety of reasons to get this much snow […]

Former Obama Ag Official Looks At Potential Biden USDA

What could the USDA look like under the Biden administration? A one-time member of the Obama Administration recently offered some insight into what the Department of Ag may look like in 2021 and beyond. Phillip Karsting, is the former Administrator of the USDA’s Foreign Ag Service under President Obama, as well as the former Interim […]

NRCS Rolls Out New Conservation Practice Standards

The USDA is out with its updated national conservation practice standards.  “We have currently a 170 conservation practice standards and they frame the technical standards and the specifications for the conservation work that we do individually with producers,” said Kevin Norton acting NRCS acting chief. “It’s kinda like building a house: you know, you have […]

OSU Program Working To Help Landowners Recover From Wildfires

Oregon State University’s new Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Fire Program recently pivoted from fire prevention education to helping landowners recover from recent wildfire losses. Fire Program Manager Carrie Berger said the program shifted it’s focus because it will take years for many to sort through the rubble and rebuild. “We’ve been on the ground […]

USDA Announces Updated Conservation Practice Standards

Earlier this week, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, NRCS, published a new list of updates to its National Conservation Practice Standards. The revisions include 58 standards that have been updated or revised since August. The 2018 Farm Bill required NRCS to review all 169 of its national conservation practices to seek opportunities to increase flexibility […]

EQIP Rules Published In The Federal Register

The final rule for the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, EQIP is now published in the Federal Register. “This final rule is just really what I would call a tweaking of the wording, but not any substantially new regulation coming through the final rule than what people actually saw in the interim final rule.” Which […]

USDA Expands On-line Services

Farming is not a nine to five job. And to help producers work around their sometimes hectic scheduled, USDA has rolled out near features on-line allowing for business to be conducted around the clock. “We’ve changed the look and feel of the conservation client gate in a way that is more intuitive, more comfortable to […]

AFBF: Conservation Rule Falls Short

Ask the American Farm Bureau Federation, and they’ll tell you the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Final Rule does not remedy unfair enforcement by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, or NRCS. AFBF Senior Regulatory Relations Director, Don Parrish called the final rule problematic for farmers “If you combine bringing terms into this regulation that […]

USDA Annual Survey Seeks Feedback from Farmers

A new annual survey from the Department of Agriculture seeks feedback from farmers and ranchers. The survey will help USDA understand what it is doing well and where improvements are needed, specifically at the FSA, NRCS and RMA. A selection of 28,000 producers will receive the survey over the next few weeks, but all farmers […]

Emergency Haying, Grazing Permitted In Several Central Washington Counties

Because of the growing drought severity across Central Washington, and the fact the CRP primary nesting season ended July 1st, the Washington State FSA Committee has approved the use of emergency haying and grazing of CRP in Kittitas, Yakima, Grant and Franklin counties. Producers who are interesting in applying for this option should contact their […]