Research & Technology Briefs

Research & Technology Briefs

 


What’s Your Fieldprint?

Corn, cotton, soybean, and wheat growers now have access to a free, confidential online tool that will assess how some operational decisions affect natural resource conservation and sustainability.

The Fieldprint Calculator, available at www.fieldtomarket.org, provides an easy way to analyze and assess their current land use, energy use, water use, greenhouse gas emission, and soil loss. It also explores various scenarios that may help improve farm natural resource management and, ultimately, their operation efficiency and financial return. Click here for more information on the Fieldprint Calculator.

For more information on the Fieldprint Calculator, please visit the Field to Market website www.fieldtomarket.org or see Frequently Asked Questions.
 

Minnesota Project Releases Biofuels Study

The Minnesota Project, a nonprofit organization that promotes the sustainable production and equitable distribution of energy and food in communities across Minnesota, recently published a study about biofuels. "Transportation Biofuels in the United States: An Update" details major developments in the biofuels industry, highlights recent changes in the biofuels production process, biomass development and policies. The study focuses on four main cellulosic feedstocks, including: corn stover, miscanthus, switchgrass and wood.

The full report is available at http://www.mnproject.org/pdf/TMP_Transportation-Biofuels-Update_Aug09.pdf


USDA Announces $320 Million to Improve Mississippi River Basin Water Quality and Wildlife Habitat

In September, USDA announced the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), which will provide $80 million in each of the next four fiscal years (for a total of $320 million) for voluntary projects in priority watersheds located in 12 key states. Managed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the MRBI will help producers adopt conservation systems that have environmental benefits and maintain agricultural productivity. The states involved in the initiative are Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

MRBI funding is in addition to regular NRCS program funding, funding by other Federal agencies, States, and partners and the contributions of producers in the 12 states. To read more, click here (link to PDF), or visit the NRCS web site at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov.