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To read the full letter to USDA Chief of Natural Resources Conservation Service Terry Cosby, download a PDF of the letter

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on a number of revisions to conservation practice standards. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, cares deeply about access to federal programs that make daily life better for farmers while helping them be more resilient against the effects of climate change. We were formed in the wake of the 1980’s farm crisis and aim to provide policy solutions that prevent another crisis from happening. We engage in local, state-level, national, and international policy and participate in Minnesota’s NRCS State Technical Advisory Committee to advocate for equitable farmer-focused programs.

Attached are our comments on Federal Register, Vol. 87, Pages 2746-2747, Docket No. NRCS-2022-00853 the following revised conservation practice standards: 327 Conservation Cover, 329 Residue and Tillage Management/No-till, 345 Residue and Tillage Management/Reduced Till, 368 Emergency Animal Mortality Management, and 379 Forest Farming.

We are encouraged by ways in which the proposed revisions provide more clarity and specificity, making these practices more accessible. We also believe that climate mitigation through greenhouse gas emission reduction should remain a priority for NRCS and should be emphasized as much as possible, not removed from CPS language. While we believe there are ways these practices can be improved, more than anything we appreciate NRCS’s willingness to make them better.

To continue reading, please download a PDF of the letter