Report Highlights Benefits of Conservation Practices Made Possible by Farm Bill

A new report released Thursday shows voluntary conservation practices adopted by Chesapeake Bay farmers since 2006 have significantly reduced the amount of nitrogen, sediment and phosphorus leaving cultivated croplands. The report is part of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Effects Assessment Project. It estimates that - since 2006 - conservation practices applied by farmers and landowners are reducing nitrogen leaving fields by 26-percent or 48.6-million pounds a year; and reducing phosphorus by 46-percent or 7.1-million pounds. These practices have also lowered the estimated average edge-of-field losses of sediment by about 60-percent or 15.1-million tons a year. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the report demonstrates that voluntary conservation practices made possible through the farm bill can have a substantial impact on limiting nutrient and sediment runoff from farms. He says these conservation efforts help clean our soil and water, boost outdoor recreation that adds more than 640-billion dollars to the economy and ensure agriculture has the tools to remain productive in the years to come. There is still more that needs to be done - according to Vilsack. He says that's why it's critical for Congress to act now to pass a farm bill that provides the full array of programs and incentives to build on these efforts.

For the full report - visit www dot nrcs dot usda dot gov (www.nrcs.usda.gov).

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