Tuesday, September 21, 2021


Thousands of U.S. immigrants and allies rallied Tuesday to demand that Congress make a pathway to citizenship; oil and gas drilling bonds could go up in Pennsylvania.


UN Secretary General calls for ban on drones; new book by Politico reports Hunter Biden emails to foreign business leaders; VP Harris condemns treatment of Haitian migrants; and Congress works to avoid a government shutdown.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Maintaining Soil Health in Volatile Weather Conditions


Tuesday, June 25, 2019   

LINCOLN, Neb. — The U.S. is coming off the wettest year on record, seen most dramatically in this spring's massive flooding. And Nebraska farmers are looking to age-old conservation practices to help them adapt.

State Sen. Tim Gragert of Creighton has more than 30 years of experience with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. He said he's optimistic the state's new Healthy Soils Task Force will come up with a strategy for keeping Nebraska's rich farmlands the best in the nation.

"Come up with a plan to use conservation practices such as irrigation-water management, nutrient management and cover crops themselves – a bunch of conservation practices that will be very useful in developing soil health and water quality,” Gragert said.

The federal government has promised financial support for farmers impacted by recent trade disputes, but to qualify, they have to plant their fields. Gragert said this could be an optimum year for cover crops, and noted any vegetation will help reduce soil erosion and could preserve moisture during periods of drought.

He added producers with land that was destroyed or unusable should visit their county tax assessor and ask for form 425 to qualify for 2019 property tax relief.

Jordan Rasmussen, policy manager at the Center for Rural Affairs, said heavy rains and flooding kept many farmers out of their fields this spring, at a time when U.S. farm income is estimated to drop 45% below a 2013 high.

She said because changes in weather patterns and rising average temperatures are here to stay, farmers need access to all possible options for maintaining soil health.

"To make sure that we are both able to continue to produce crops that are needed to feed our animals and to feed folks across the world, but also to be making sure that farming remains profitable,” Rasmussen said.

Between May 2018 and April 2019, the nation experienced the wettest single 12-month period in recorded history, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Agronomists project Nebraska's weather, which gets most of its moisture from the Gulf of Mexico jet stream, could see excess rainfall for the foreseeable future.

Disclosure: Center for Rural Affairs contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Environment, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Rural/Farming. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Food prices are rising nationwide, and the cost of a grocery store trip is up 3.5% from a year ago, according to a USDA report. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RALEIGH, N.C. -- More than $1 million in COVID-19 relief grants are helping rural organizations increase their focus on locally sourced food relief…


DES MOINES, Iowa -- This fall, the Iowa Utilities Board is hosting meetings to inform the public about a proposed underground pipeline, which would …

Social Issues

MANDAN, N.D. -- North Dakota has had nearly 18,000 job openings in recent months, with roughly 1,000 in construction. A labor leader in the trades …

Approximately 3% of the 1,500 students in Montgomery County who were screened for behavioral health indicators were found to be at risk of substance use. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DAYTON, Ohio -- An Ohio county is taking a trauma-informed approach to its work on preventing marijuana use in teens. As marijuana policy changes …

Social Issues

DENVER -- As Congress considers making significant investments in the nation's child-care system, children's advocates say now is the time to make …

This, year the theme of Sea Otter Awareness Week is the species' key role in the mosaic of the ecosystem. (Wikimedia Commons)


MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…


LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021