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USDA Seeks Public Comments on Conservation Practice Standard Updates

NRCS is seeking public comments on 13 conservation practice standards. Through posting on the Federal Register, NRCS will gather feedback on 94 practices over the coming months per direction of the 2018 Farm Bill. The following 13 practice standards provide guidelines for planning, designing, installing, operating, and maintaining conservation practices. Comments are due by Thursday, November 21, 2019.

  • Contour Buffer Strips (Code 332)
  • Dam, Diversion (Code 348)
  • Deep Tillage (Code 324)
  • Irrigation and Drainage Tailwater Recovery (Code 447)
  • Irrigation Canal or Lateral (Code 320)
  • Irrigation Ditch Lining (Code 428)
  • Irrigation Field Ditch (Code 388)
  • Irrigation Reservoir (Code 436)
  • Land Clearing (Code 460)
  • Obstruction Removal (Code 500)
  • Surface Roughening (Code 609)
  • Waste Treatment (Code 629)
  • Waterspreading (Code 640)

NRCS enlisted the public’s help and comments on how to improve conservation practice standards this past March. These current updates are based on that valuable feedback and NRCS’s efforts to improve the standards. Improvements include expanding and updating the scope for new technology and increasing opportunities to establish or improve on habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects. Revisions also involve formatting and writing style updates to meet current agency requirements and editing text to improve clarity.

Submitting Comments

Copies of the proposed revised standards are available through http://www.regulations.gov by accessing Docket No. NRCS-2019-0011. Alternatively, the proposed revised standards can be downloaded or printed from http://go.usa.gov/TXye

When submitting comments, please include the volume, date, and page number of the appropriate issue of the Federal Register. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal:  Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for docket ID NRCS-2019-0011.  Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Mail, or Hand Delivery: Mr. Bill Reck, National Environmental Engineer, Conservation Engineering Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture, NRCS, 1400 Independence Avenue, South Building, Room 6136, Washington, D.C. 20250.
 

More Information 

On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides income support, certainty, and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers, and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs, and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation. 

NRCS is using comments as part of updating standards. For more information on how NRCS is implementing the Farm Bill, visit NRCS’ Federal Register Notices webpage or farmers.gov/farmbill.