IFB submits public comments on NRCS conservation practice standards

By Ashley Rice

Illinois Farm Bureau recently submitted public comment on National Conservation Practices Standards under review by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

A total of 39 standards were up for review, with 23 being applicable to Illinois. Standards that warranted comment from IFB included well decommissioning, dams, streambank and shoreline protection, terraces, underground outlets and grassed waterways.

“This requirement for NRCS to review all of their Conservation Practice Standards originates from the 2018 farm bill,” explained Lauren Lurkins, IFB director of environmental policy. “We know from previous surveys of our membership that the NRCS Conservation Practice Standards are a source of frustration for many. We submitted public comment about a year ago on a first phase and took advantage of this opportunity as well. The mowing of grassed waterways is a particular issue for our members, so we certainly included that in the comment.”

IFB offered their concerns and recommendations regarding this standard:

“The byproduct of a vegetated waterway may be wildlife habitat, but it is not an area where we should encourage wildlife habitat, as the conservation practice prime purpose is water conveyance. We recommend not letting financial assistance programs dictate the operation of proper maintenance of erosion control and water quality practices.”

This story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.