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NMPF Files Comments to Conservation Stewardship Program Docket

February 4, 2020

NMPF filed comments Jan. 10 to a USDA docket on its Conservation Stewardship Program, emphasizing that while this program helps dairy farmers, the department’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) needs to work with the dairy industry to embrace new technology and approaches to conservation.

Dairy farmers have a history of using conservation programs, including CSP, despite outdated statutory restrictions related to animal waste storage or treatment facilities and waste transport or transfer devices for animal feeding operations. New technology and innovation in manure, feed, and silage management offer new opportunities to improve air, water and soil quality, with the help of the Conservation Stewardship program.

As the U.S. dairy industry considers plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, programs like CSP will be essential to lower the cost of effective new technologies for farmers. “U.S. dairy producers are looking to be global leaders who are economically viable and environmentally sustainable while providing the highest-quality animal care,” NMPF wrote in its comments.

CSP was developed to encourage producers to address priority resource concerns and conserve the quality and condition of the natural resources available by pursuing or building upon conservation practices already in place at their business. CSP provides financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve soil, water, air and other related natural resources. The program was updated in the 2018 Farm Bill, potentially expanding the enhancements it covers for dairy farmers. Our comments can be found  here.