Tuesday, October 22, 2013

American Farmland Trust: Keep Conservation Compliance In The Farm Bill

After the failure of Congress to pass a new Farm Bill before it expired on September 30 and a turbulent fall on Capitol Hill, the federal Farm Bill is finally taking the stage.
House and Senate negotiators have begun work to reconcile their different versions of the Farm Bill. This legislation represents the nation’s largest investment in private lands conservation.
Sound conservation programs are vital to farmers and ranchers to ensure long-term economic stability and helps agriculture reduce their environmental footprint.
The American Farmland Trust and its partners were successful in amending the Senate bill to require compliance with USDA conservation standards before a farm can receive taxpayer subsidized crop insurance. The House, unfortunately, did not include this provision.
“The Senate proposal would provide taxpayers with the assurance that their money is not used to drain wetlands or erode soils,” said American Farmland Trust president and CEO Andrew McElwaine. “This is one of the critical issues in the 2013 Farm Bill.”
AFT is working with agricultural and conservation partners to urge Congress to re-link conservation compliance to crop insurance premium subsidies. Doing so would protect against soil erosion, preserve important wetlands and protect taxpayers' investments in sound agricultural and conservation policy.
Conservation compliance--
-- Keeps 295 million tons of soil annually from eroding on highly-erodible land;
-- Protects nearly 3.3 million acres of critical wetland habitat; and
-- Helps farmers maintain basic conservation standards on millions of acres of farmland.
Urge Congress to keep conservation compliance in the Farm Bill.  
Click Here to contact your Senators and Representative so they understand the importance of conservation compliance in the Farm Bill.
Links: Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Federal Farm Bill Funding Conservation That Counts

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