Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current, February 28, 1980, ANNUAL REPORT 1979, Page Page Four, Image 20

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    Rage Four
Conservation program identifies objectives
The resources Conservation Act of 1977 directs that the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's soil and water
conservation programs be responsive to the long-term needs
of the nation. USDA has addressed this requirement by
appraising the soil, water and related resources and
identifying seven resource areas of concern and the
associated objectives. These are as follows:
Sot! Resource Quantity and Quality
Reduce soil erosion on agricultural land
Retain prime and unique farmland
Maintain soil quality
Improve the condition ot rangeland
Water Quality
Reduce the levels of toxic pollutants and dissolved solids
Minimize pollution from nutrients and organic wastes
Reduce sediment
Water Supply and Conservation
Increase the efficienty of water use in agriculture
Increase agricultural water supplies
Fish and Wildlife Habitat
Reduce the loss of wetlands
Increase instream water flow
Improve upland wildlife habitat
Upstream Flood Damages
'educe upstream flood damages
develop new technology to reduce damages
'revent loss of wetlands and prime agricultural land
Energy Conservation and Production
Reduce energy use in agriculture
Increase energy production on agricultural land
Related Natural Resources
increase the use of organic wastes
Reduce downstream flood losses and sediment from
construction sites
Reduce the loss of prime and unique farmland to urban uses
To address the resource areas of concern, seven board
strategies for program development are proposed for public
consideration. These strategies represent a range of
approaches to a soil and water conservation program. The
approach USDA ultimately recommends may be one of these
strategies or some combination of strategies. These are as
Redirect Present Programs
USDA would continue its 34 existing conservation
programs, but it would redirect funds and personnel toward
new national objectives for conservation.
Cross Compliance
Farmers and ranchers would be required to solve
conservation problems in order to receive assistance under
certain USDA farm programs.
Regional Resource Projects
USDA programs would be directed toward urgent and
chronic regional resource problems of national importance.
Project plans would be the basis for USDA assistance.
State Leadership
State governments would develop their own conservation
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programs. After approval by USDA states could receive
grants to ensure achievement of national conservation
Local, state, and national regulations would be coupled
with financial and technical assistance to solve conservation
problems according to USDA standards.
Conservation Performance Bonus
Bonus benefits would be paid to farmers and ranchers
who voluntarily solve conservation problems on their land.
Bonuses cold take the form of higher support payments, cost
sharing, or favorable interest rates on loans.
Natural Resource Contracts
Farmers and ranchers would receive annual payments
for reducing erosion, conserving water, and applying other
conservation measures.
The RCA analysis indicated that an effective soil and
water conservation program is essential to prevent
continued degradation of the nation's resources. Comments
regarding the RCA must be received by March 28. For more
information contact the SCS office in Heppner.
save water
(Continued from Page 3)
due increases the erosion
hazard decreases. Another
consideration and a major one
is contour farming, parallel to
the terraces within the sys
tem. The maximum benefit to the
terrace system would include
all of the above practices. In
addition, use of chemicals to
control vegetation and reduce
tillage operations would be
highly beneficial. The highest
compliment to the terrace
structure is to provide the best
management system avail
able to a farming operation.
New hybird characterized as 'breakthrough9
Of the introduced range
plants available, very few can
be characterized as a "break
through." Thus, when a
new range plant or an old
plant with improved charac
teristics comes along, it is
worth mentioning. One hybrid
which looks as though it might
have real promise as a range
plant is a cross between
bluebunch wheatgrass (Agro
pyron spicatum) and quack
grass (Agropyron repens).
In a recent article, the
results of a field trial were
released. The hybrid was
grown side by side with both of
its parents. Several para
meters were measured with
the performance of the hybrid
having some strikingly super
ior characteristics. Of major
importance the hybrid out
produced its bluebunch wheat
grass parent remarkably
(3x). Digestibility estimates
show the hybrid to be quite
comparable to its parents. In
crude protein, the hybrid
showed greater amounts.
Studies are currently being
conducted on drier sites (17.5
inches on original trial). If
similar relative performance
was" to occur the future for
range forage improvement
could be exerting.
(Condensation by John
Nordheim of article by
Thomas E. Bedell in the
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Condon 384-2356