The Izaak Walton League wants federal crop insurance subsidies to be re-coupled with conservation compliance. The organization and South Dakota conservation and agriculture leaders are meeting on Monday, April 29, to discuss tying federal farm payments to conservation practices. Until implementation of the 1996 Farm Bill, the provisions were linked, but the effort to get more participation resulted in them becoming decoupled.
The league’s agriculture program director, Bill Wenzel, cites for Brownfield numbers indicating that the vast majority of corn and soybean farmers already participate in conservation programs.
“We’re really not talking about bringing a lot of folks onboard,” Wenzel told Brownfield Ag News Tuesday, “and the few remaining folks that are currently not in compliance, but growing those commodity crops, would be provided five years to come into compliance, all during which time they would be able to receive federal subsidies for crop insurance.”
Keynoting the forum at the Sioux Falls Izaak Walton League Hall is former USDA Undersecretary Bruce Knight, a third-generation South Dakota farmer. Wenzel says that the former undersecretary will present the case for conservation compliance in federal crop insurance programs.
“We hope that some of the folks will come out,” said Wenzel. “We can discuss the pros and cons; what people perceive as threats and barriers to participation and hopefully we can resolve some of these problems in the countryside rather than relying on our members of Congress.”
The Sioux Falls Chapter of the Izaak Walton League is at 5000 North Oakview Place, east of Sioux Falls.