**USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service plans to invest $10 million in the Conservation Innovation Grants program, funding conservation projects in grazing lands, organic systems and soil health.

Deputy Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Rob Johansson tells Farm Futures the CIG program plays a critical role in developing and implementing new methods to help customers conserve natural resources, strengthen local communities, and improve bottom lines.

The NRCS uses CIG to address some of the nation’s most pressing natural resource concerns.


**Wheat futures were slightly higher in early trading Wednesday, as extremely cold weather moves into the Plains, threatening the hard-red wheat crop.

According to agriculture.com, Plants that don't have a protective layer of snow are at risk as temps are expected to drop as low as 10?F. in southwestern Kansas with wind chills near -20?below.

Both growers and analysts have worries about winterkill in the crop in some Kansas and Oklahoma counties.


**The USDA says domestic red meat, beef, and pork production all hit new monthly highs in November.

Agrimarketing.com reports beef production was 2.29 billion pounds, 2% over November 2016, with a 3% increase in the slaughter to 2.761 million head cancelling out an 11-pound decrease in the average live weight.

For the first 11 months of 2017, red meat production is 47.571 billion pounds 3% ahead of 2016's record pace. Year to year, beef production is up 4% and pork production is 3% ahead of a year ago.