A new IWLA report highlights the benefits of focusing federal, state, and local conservation dollars on farm and ranch practices that help solve multiple problems facing rural areas.
“Leveraging Conservation Dollars: Agricultural Practices that Deliver Water Quality, Wildlife Habitat, and Soil Health” assesses five conservation strategies that reduce polluted runoff, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, improve soil health, and address climate change.
Congress is writing a new Farm Bill; states are working to reduce excess nutrients, pesticides, and bacteria in our waters; and federal, state, and local agencies are seeking cost-effective solutions to natural resource problems. Prioritizing practices that address more than one natural resource will produce the most conservation “bang” for our taxpayer bucks.
While use of the five conservation practices covered in the report is growing, none are in place on more than one-third of America’s farm and ranch lands. There is clearly room for improvement.
Each of these conservation practices benefits water quality, wildlife, and soil health, and each can help store substantially more carbon in the soil. When these practices are used in combination, the benefits multiply and can supercharge the regeneration of healthy soils.