The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has completed and published updates to its National Conservation Practice Standards. Fifty-eight standards covering a wide range of practices, from irrigation water management to composting facilities, have been updated or revised to increase flexibility and incorporate new technologies.

NRCS is also adding two new conservation practices dealing with wastewater treatment and wildlife habitat planning, along with maintaining an additional 18 interim conservation practice standards that are being tested to establish and document natural resource benefits.

NRCS Acting Chief Kevin Norton said, “NRCS is committed to efficiently and effectively implementing the Farm Bill and delivering on our promise to America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners. These practices are the building blocks of conservation, and they are science based and site specific. We took a hard look at our existing practices on the books, looking for opportunities to improve flexibility and integrate technology.”

The updated practices contribute to the USDA Agriculture Innovation Agenda’s goal of halving the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture by 2050.