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March 2013 eNewsbyte

Conservation is a Constant, Not a Trend

The significant conservation work that Richard Swartzentruber (Swartz) implements on his organic farm might go unnoticed by the untrained passerby. The implemented practices blend naturally into his agricultural landscape, progressively improving the health of the soil, water quality, animals, and plants.

Swartz is the 4th generation owner of his family’s organic farm, Swartzentruber Homestead in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. He currently raises “custom” organic heifers and grows organic corn, alfalfa, soybeans, small grain, and pasture grasses. 

Swartz’s working relationship with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) spans 15 years and several changes. He first worked with NRCS to install a hoop structure for his poultry manure in 1998 and then a liquid manure storage tank for his commercial dairy operation in 2002. Together, these practices eliminated the potential for water to reach the manure and runoff into nearby streams.

Web Soil Survey Reports in Spanish

The Web Soil Survey now provides reports and soil map unit descriptions in Spanish. These translations are produced through scripted programming in Web Soil Survey and are available for every USDA certified soil survey in the U.S.

Translations of the reports were conducted by bilingual soil scientists across the country. The database elements were translated for both map unit description reports. The translations are available to users when they select an area of interest, click on the “soil reports” tab, and click the drop down arrow of the map descriptions column on the left.

Access the Web Soil Survey:


Applications Due Soon for Conservation Grants

USDA NRCS will provide up to $25 million in grants to help develop and demonstrate cutting-edge ideas to improve conservation on private lands, particularly for energy conservation, nutrient management, soil health, wildlife habitat and adaptive management.

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) are due Friday, March 22 and are available to state and local governments, federally recognized Indian Tribes, non-governmental and educational organizations, private businesses and individuals.    More…