Growers, NRCS Team Up on Conservation

Ernie NeffWater

conservation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works with Florida growers, other landowners and local soil and water districts to implement conservation practices.

NRCS offers more than 170 individual practices and suites of practices that can be used to improve soil health, water quality, air quality and wildlife habitat. When planning these practices, NRCS staff helps producers maintain or improve agricultural productivity.

In Florida, nutrient management systems, erosion control, conservation tillage, pest management and conservation buffers are practices that improve water quality.

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In recognition of National Water Quality Month in August, NRCS in Florida salutes the agriculturists who do their part daily to improve water quality on their operations. The impacts of their efforts are significant and rewarding. Florida is fortunate to have clean, safe water for drinking, agriculture and recreation.

Agriculture can and does play a critical role in improving water quality and other natural resources in the state. Because 70 percent of the land is privately owned in Florida, considerable water-quality and other natural resource improvements are achieved by agriculturists as they make conservation decisions every day.

In many regions of the nation, NRCS offers technical and financial assistance in high-priority watersheds identified by local communities and applicable state agencies. In Florida, the Source Water Protection strategy leverages NRCS programs and practices to protect drinking-water sources. In 2019, NRCS established priority areas to focus program funding. This year, it is further refining those areas to identify high-priority watersheds to address threats to source water. Outreach and implementation will target these areas for practices with increased payment rates.

NRCS says it needs more producers to include conservation as part of their operation. Learn more here about NRCS conservation offerings.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service

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