NASF comments on USDA’s Agricultural Innovation Agenda

Today, the National Association of State Foresters submitted comments on the USDA’s Agricultural Innovation Agenda: Research, Education, and Economics.

NASF is pleased to provide comments on the Agriculture Innovation Agenda and the role of forestry in bringing transformational innovation for the next era of American agriculture productivity and environmental conservation.

Forestry offers many opportunities for innovative applications which have a direct benefit to agriculture. Additionally, forestry practices can help in achieving environmental benefits, and reducing environmental impacts associated with increased agricultural production. For this reason, forestry should play a prominent role in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture Innovation Agenda (AIA), serving to provide a proven and measurable environmental “offset” in achieving the goal of increasing conservation and reducing environmental impacts while increasing agriculture production to meet the increasing demands for food and fiber.

Some forestry practices, although innovative, are not new yet are seldom discussed in the context of agricultural impact. Linkages exist between these practices and improved agriculture production, including environmental benefits for agricultural production, and environmentally sustainable economic opportunities for both private forest landowners and agriculture producers. Agroforestry practices, including but not limited to windbreaks, multi-cropping, shelterbelts and particularly, stream restoration and enhancement done in proximity to agricultural areas serve to enhance agricultural production. However, many of these types of forestry practices are not measured or reported as agricultural improvements. Further measurement and reporting of these forestry practices with linkages to agricultural production could help advance the goals of this agenda. As research priorities and policy recommendations are identified for this initiative, we offer the following recommendations.

For the full comments and supporting materials, click the links below.

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