ASA Urges Increased Funding for Conservation Technical Assistance at USDA-NRCSMon, 05 Apr 2021 09:14:25 CDT
Last week, ASA and other ag groups signed two letters requesting increased funding for USDA-NRCS’s Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA), a program vital to ensuring that producers have the technical knowledge and tools they need to implement those conservation practices that will help achieve the greatest benefits on their specific operations.
In letters delivered to both USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Congressional Appropriations Committee leadership, the groups highlight how U.S. farmers are already among the top stewards of the country’s natural resources, along with the positive impact of USDA conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)-but say more can be done to help producers reach their conservation goals.
The groups underscored the value in supporting agriculture’s role in addressing climate change-a top priority for the Biden administration-and urged increased investment to allow NRCS to add resources at the local level.
“The best conservation practices to sequester carbon, address water quality or improve wildlife habitat can change from state to state, county to county, or even from field to field, and producers need local experts at their fingertips to help them achieve these resource goals,” groups state in the letter. “It is also important that with any increased capacity at the local level, NRCS ensures newly hired staff have an appreciation for the local nuances in agriculture they are serving and understand how conservation practices can be tailored to a producer’s unique operation.” Read the full letters here
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