Recent News

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Natural Resources Conservation Service

USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service sent this bulletin at 06/01/2021 05:55 PM EDT

 

New Mexico Banner

Natural Resources Conservation Service

100 Sun Avenue N.E., Suite 602
Albuquerque, NM  87109
Phone: (505) 761-4400

nm.nrcs.usda.gov

News Release

Contact

Alicia Rodriguez

(505) 761-4421


Hoop House

USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and

 Innovative Production

$4 million in competitive grants is available

$4 million in competitive grants is available to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov for planning and implementation projects until midnight July 30, 2021.

 

Planning Projects Planning projects initiate or expand efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools and other stakeholders in urban areas and suburbs. Projects may target areas of food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, urban agroforestry or food forests, and development of policies related to zoning and other needs of urban production.

 

Implementation Projects Implementation projects that accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers. Projects will improve local food access and collaborate with partner organizations and may support infrastructure needs, emerging technologies, educational endeavors and urban farming policy implementation.

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Natural Resources Conservation Service

Announcement - Producers with Crop Insurance to Receive Premium Benefit for Cover Crops

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service sent this bulletin at 06/01/2021 07:28 PM EDT

 

New Mexico Banner

Natural Resources Conservation Service

100 Sun Avenue N.E., Suite 602
Albuquerque, NM  87109
Phone: (505) 761-4400

nm.nrcs.usda.gov

Announcement

 Contact

Alicia Rodriguez

(505) 761-4421


Green field of cover crops

Announcement - Producers with Crop Insurance to

Receive Premium Benefit for Cover Crops

New program helps producers maintain cover crop systems

Agricultural producers who have coverage under most crop insurance policies are eligible for a premium benefit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) if they planted cover crops during this crop year. The Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), offered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), helps farmers maintain their cover crop systems, despite the financial challenges posed by the pandemic.

 

The PCCP is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, a bundle of programs to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.

 

About the Premium Benefit

 

PCCP provides premium support to producers who insured their spring crop with most insurance policies and planted a qualifying cover crop during the 2021 crop year. The premium support is $5 per acre, but no more than the full premium owed.

Illinois, Indiana and Iowa have existing programs for producers to receive a premium benefit for planting cover crops. In these states, participating producers will receive an additional benefit.

 

All cover crops reportable to FSA are eligible and include cereals and other grasses, legumes, brassicas and other non-legume broadleaves, and mixtures of two or more cover crop species planted at the same time. 

 

To receive the benefit for this program, producers must file a Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) for cover crops with USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) by June 15, 2021, which is distinct from the normal acreage reporting date. The normal acreage reporting deadline with FSA has not changed, but to receive the premium benefit, producers must file by June 15. The cover crop fields reported on the Report of Acreage form must match what the producer reported to their insurance company for crop insurance policies. To file the form, producers must contact and make an appointment with their local USDA Service Center.

 

Program Details

 

Certain policies are not eligible because they have underlying coverage, which would already receive the benefit or are not designed to be reported in a manner consistent with the Report of Acreage form (FSA-578). PCCP is not available for Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, Enhanced Coverage Option, Hurricane Insurance Protection – Wind Index, and Supplemental Coverage Option. Stacked Income Protection (STAX) and Margin Protection (MP) policies are only eligible for PCCP when insured as a standalone policy. STAX and MP endorsements to underlying policies are not eligible for PCCP.

 

PCCP does not change acreage reporting dates, reporting requirements, or any other terms of the crop insurance policy.

 

Cover Crop Conservation Practice Standard

 

Meanwhile, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has made the determination not to update its conservation practice standard for cover crops. NRCS originally proposed restricting mechanical harvest of cover crops, but after reviewing input from agricultural producers and groups, NRCS recognizes this could present challenges for producers who use this important conservation practice. The latest version of the conservation practice standard can be found in the Field Office Technical Guide under Section IV, Conservation Practices and Supporting Documents, by State.

 

More Information

 

Notice of Funding Availability was posted on the Federal Register today. Additional information on PCCP, including frequently asked questions, can be found at farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/cover-crops.

 

RMA is authorizing additional flexibilities due to coronavirus while continuing to support producers, working through AIPs to deliver services, including processing policies, claims and agreements. RMA staff are working with AIPs and other customers by phone, mail and electronically to continue supporting crop insurance coverage for producers. Farmers with crop insurance questions or needs should continue to contact their insurance agents about conducting business remotely (by telephone or email). More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

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Restoring Migration Corridors for Pronghorn Antelope in Southeast NM 
The article is posted below in its entirety.  It will appear in the BLM Daily soon.


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What is Sustainable Agriculture?

What is Sustainable Agriculture Episode 1

Farmers and researchers are working together to develop and implement agricultural practices that increase profitability, quality of life and environmental stewardship. SARE’s new series of short animated videos illustrate how producers can improve the success and health of their farms by implementing sustainable practices. The eight “What is Sustainable Agriculture?” videos are useful and engaging for audiences with a variety of educational backgrounds and complement other educational resources well.

For more information click on this link:  

https://www.sare.org/news/what-is-sustainable-agriculture/

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Construction in progress for new San Juan SWCD office



ABOVE: San Juan SWCD board members, staff, and recently retired State Representative Paul Bandy officially break ground on the new building site January 6, 2021. From left to right: Board member Leo Pacheco, Paul Bandy, District Manager Melissa May, Board Chair John Arrington, Board Vice Chair DeAnne McKee, Board Treasurer Ralph Fenton, and Watershed Coordinator Alyssa Richmond. Photo taken by Assistant District Manager Andy Bleckinger.  For the full story, click here:  San Juan SWCD Newsletter
 
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USDA Invests More than $46 Million to Protect Communities from Wildfires, Restore Forest Ecosystems and Improve Drinking Water

Sierra Blanca Restoration Partnership – One of 8 new Partnerships


   

 

USDA Invests More than $46 Million to Protect Communities from Wildfires, Restore Forest Ecosystems and Improve Drinking Water

New trees

USDA Invests More than $46 Million to Protect Communities from Wildfires, Restore Forest Ecosystems and Improve Drinking Water

Albuquerque N.M., April 6, 2021 � The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest more than $46 million this year through the Joint Chiefs� Landscape Restoration Partnership for projects that mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality, and restore healthy forest ecosystems on public and private lands. One of the eight new projects announced will be The Sierra Blanca Restoration Partnership in New Mexico.

To read the full news release, click here.�

The Sierra Blanca Restoration Partnership, in New Mexico, is one of eight new projects.

Total FY21 Funding Request: $567,612 (NRCS $238,112 and USFS $329,500)
NRCS Application Deadline:� May 7, 2021
NRCS Ranking Deadline: June 25, 2021
NRCS Obligation deadline:� July 30, 2021

Project description: Located near the picturesque Sierra Blanca Mountain, this project sits in the southern half of Lincoln County and the northern portion of Otero County. Heavy fuel loadings of Pinon-Juniper, Ponderosa Pine, and Mixed Conifer forest contribute to high risk of uncharacteristic wildfire and significant threat to local communities, infrastructure, two adjacent wilderness areas, source water for community water supplies, as well as the congressionally designated Snowy River Cave System. This project will provide for treatment on a combination of private, Tribal, municipal, Federal lands, and New Mexico state lands. Project activities will focus on mechanical fuels reduction, prescribed burning, riparian area restoration, to include mastication in Pinon-Juniper areas with minimal understory. Desired landscape outcomes are improved resilience of firesheds and watersheds, and increased water quality and supply. Ancillary benefits of these outcomes will be enhanced wildlife habitat for several threatened and endangered (T&E) species, and ability to reintroduce native Cutthroat Trout into the local watersheds. Benefits to the community include lowered risk for wildfire, efficiencies and strategic security for water quality/supply, and stimulation of the local economy via enhanced tourism opportunities.

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    The 74th NMACD Annual Conference hosted by Region V was held virtually Tuesday, November 10th, with 130 registered.  For the Outstanding Award winners for this year's NMACD Awards, click on State under News and Events.

    Each year NMACD honors all those conservation partners and friends who have left us during the year.  The Memorial presentation is at the bottom of this page for you to access.  Please join us in remembering them.

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NMACD Admin,
Nov 16, 2020, 10:40 PM