- Category: Home
ARCF applications are now being accepted year round with projects being funded as funds become available.
Tennessee NRCS Offers $2 Million Additional EQIP Assistance for Flood-Damaged Agriculture and Forest
For more information contact: Mark Roberts, District Conservationist 731-412-3106 or 3111
NASHVILLE, JULY 1, 2019 – The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service in Tennessee recently announced that an additional $2 million in assistance is being made available to eligible Tennessee farmers and forestland owners who suffered damage to working lands due to flooding events that occurred from February 19 – March 30. The application cutoff deadline is July 31, 2019.
“Our customers are our priority and we recognize the devastation and negative impact that has occurred throughout Tennessee’s farming community due to the recent floods,” said State Conservationist Sheldon Hightower. “NRCS stands ready to assist, and we encourage producers who were affected to contact their local USDA Service Center to apply for assistance by the July 31 deadline.
NRCS will utilize the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for this special disaster recovery sign-up. EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that helps agricultural producers protect the environment while promoting agricultural production. It also aims to protect affected land from erosion, support disaster recovery and repair, and can help mitigate loss from exceptional storm events in the future. This program is NOT for general flood debris cleanup, but for installing conservation practices to solve natural resource concerns created by the flooding. Some of the 19 eligible conservation practices are: Grade Stabilization Structure, Streambank Stabilization, Critical Area Seeding, and Clearing and Snagging.
Agricultural producers and non-industrial forest landowners interested in applying for EQIP Disaster Recovery Assistance should contact their local USDA service center to see if their land is eligible. More information is available online at the Tennessee NRCS website at www.tn.nrcs.usda.gov
# # # USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users). HELPING PEOPLE HELP THE LAND
Despite Elevated Loss Rate Since 2006, U.S. Honeybee Colonies are Stable
In 2006, large and mysterious losses of honey bee colonies led entomologists to classify a set of diagnostic symptoms as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and spurred major efforts to measure, quantify, and understand pollinator loss. New data show that between 2007 and 2013, winter colony loss rates in the U.S. averaged 30 percent, which is approximately double the loss rate of 15 percent previously thought to be normal. Although average loss rates fell to 24 percent between 2014 and 2017 and CCD symptoms are less frequently associated with colony losses, colony health remains a concern. High loss rates understandably raised fears that yields for crops that depend on honey bees might fall if pollination services become unavailable. In the 2 years preceding CCD’s identification, average pollination service fees had risen from $82 to $195 per colony (in 2016 dollars). New USDA research on pollination service fees shows that the large jumps in average pollination fees were primarily driven by demand from producers of almonds, a crop with a large pollination service requirement that has experienced high acreage growth and now accounts for 82 percent of all paid pollination service fees. Elevated winter colony losses, however, have not resulted in enduring declines in colony numbers. Instead, the number of honey bee colonies in the U.S. is either stable or growing depending on the dataset being considered.
Although beekeepers sometimes purchase colonies, their primary means of replacing losses is by regularly splitting their colonies in the spring. In this process, the beekeeper divides a parent colony into two or three colonies that each becomes functional for pollination services within 6 weeks. Skilled beekeepers can perform multiple splits in an hour and may also purchase fertilized queens at a cost of $20 to $30 to hasten the colony’s brood formation. Because splitting is seasonal, unexpectedly high losses may be especially disruptive to beekeepers contracted to pollinated almonds, which bloom before splitting can typically occur.
The stability of colony numbers and pollination services fees, however, suggests that beekeepers have, in aggregate, adjusted to elevated rates of colony loss. Since 2006, almond pollination fees have dropped slightly from earlier highs despite ongoing growth in almond acreage. At the State level, loss rates are statistically uncorrelated with year-to-year changes in the number of colonies, suggesting that beekeepers are able to replace lost colonies within the course of a calendar year.
Horse Creek Days 2019
By: Elizabeth Gibbs
The Hardin County Soil Conservation District was proud to be part of Horse Creek Days held at the beautiful Horse Creek Wildlife Refuge on Horse Creek in Savannah, Tennessee. The event invites all Hardin County 4th grade students to attend a day of education and fun. The “Water Quality Station” was manned by Elizabeth Gibbs of the Hardin County Soil Conservation District who demonstrated the Enviroscape model to help students to understand the ways in which communities contribute to the quality of their water. Jared Kelley and Martha Griffin of the Natural Resource Conservation Service engaged the students in lessons about erosion, water quality and the diversity of life in and around Horse Creek. Chis King, technician at the McNairy County Soil Conservation and Wildlife Habitat Biologist Chris Hunter of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency provided live examples of life found in and around the creek. Mr. Hunter invited students to explore the environment as he spoke on specimens found by the students. Mr. King spoke to the students about conservation and what they can do to help preserve our natural resources. Thanks to our partner agencies; the TWRA, McNairy Co. SCD and the NRCS for making such an impression on these Hardin Co. students. The staff and students had a great time on Horse Creek.
Five Questions Non-Operator Landowners Should Ask Their Farmers about Soil Health
More than half of all cropland in the United States is rented . This means the person who owns the land – a non-operator landowner – is often separate from the farmer making daily management decisions that have long-term impacts on the land.
If you are one of those landowners, you may not be thinking about your soil and how it is managed. Your soil is your most valuable asset, and building soil health is a capital improvement. It is an investment – in your land’s long-term productivity and resiliency.
How can non-operator landowners and tenant farmers work together to build land that’s healthy, resilient, and productive?
Barry Fisher, an Indiana farmer and nationally-recognized soil health specialist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, recommends that non-operator landowners ask their farming partners these five questions.