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USDA Survey to Assess Results of Conservation Efforts

The 2013 National Resources Inventory Conservation Effects Assessment Project (NRI-CEAP) will kick off in October when data will be collected from agricultural producers in the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin River, and the Tulare Lake Basin watersheds through next February.

The survey is being conducted by NASS under a cooperative agreement with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS’s project goal is to improve the effectiveness of conservation practices and programs by quantifying the effects of conservation efforts and providing the scientific basis for conservation planning and implementation as well as management and policy decisions.

NASS will provide the information collected through this survey to NRCS to assess the environmental impacts of on-farm conservation practices. Monitoring the environmental effects of conservation implementation helps policy makers and program managers evaluate and modify existing programs and design new programs that serve producers and more effectively meet the conservation goals established by Congress.

Representatives of NASS will collect data between October 2013 and February 2014 by personal interviews with approximately 1,764 operators in the California Bay-Delta Region (1,732 in California and 32 in Oregon). Enumerators collect field-level, land management data on all activities conducted during the 2011–2013 crop years. This includes such information as chemical, fertilizer and manure applications and production, irrigation practices, integrated pest management, conservation practices, and other management activities.

NRCS will combine the data with information from its field office records and hydrologic, climate, and soil databases to create a complete picture of the environmental impacts of conservation implementation and agronomic management practices for this watershed area. The report is planned for release in fall 2015. As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified by anyone or any other agency.

For more information or questions about the CEAP survey, contact your local NASS Field Office or visit the NASS website.

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