New farm bill is good news for conservation in Nebraska

The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, more widely known as the Farm Bill, will increase overall funding for conservation programs in Nebraska.
    “In Nebraska, almost all wildlife habitat – and therefore almost all habitat improvement work – is located on privately owned lands,” said Jim Douglas, director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “The Agricultural Improvement Act will help us do even more work with landowners, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency, and our partner organizations to provide habitat essential for maintaining healthy wildlife populations in Nebraska.”
    The act, which was passed by Congress earlier this month and was signed by President Donald Trump on Dec. 20, includes the following provisions that will help Game and Parks and partner organizations implement programs working with USDA and private landowners to benefit wildlife conservation:
    — Increases the cap for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) from 24 million to 27 million acres nationwide. The Conservation Reserve Program pays landowners in exchange for planting perennial cover on environmentally sensitive cropland. Pheasants, quail, deer, wild turkey, grassland songbirds and pollinators all rely on the valuable grassland habitat that the CRP ensures remains part of the Nebraska landscape.

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