House Ag Committee’s missed opportunities
What grade would you give the House and Senate Ag Committees following markup of the Farm Bill?
Based on conservation and wildlife provisions included in the Senate Ag Committee Farm Bill, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) would give them an A, but Julie Sibbing, director of Agriculture and Forestry Programs for NWF, says they were disappointed in the work done by the House Agriculture Committee.
“It failed to include any provisions to re-link conservation compliance, the wetlands and soil protection provisions to crop insurance eligibility and it reduced the funding even further for wildlife programs in the House bill, I guess we would give them a “D” for their effort,” Sibbing said. “We’re happy they got a bill out of committee, but we’re not pleased with the wildlife provisions.”
Sibbing tells Brownfield they’re hopeful they’ll be able to get an amendment offered on the House floor with regard to conservation compliance, but first she says their attention will be on the full Senate.
Audio: Julie Sibbing, National Wildlife Federation (3:35 mp3)
The conservation and wildlife people got more than they deserved because CRP is still in operation. There is no other program that can campare for inefficient use of government funds. CRP has severly damaged the rural economy. So, if they want conservation compliance tied to crop insurance, they should offer a CRP roll back in trade. We need to focus CRP on the truly critical acres and let farmers plant on the acres the merely need a specialized management to prevent erosion. Besides, there is more wildlife benefit to many crop fields compared to the vast expanses of fescue found an many, many CRP acres.
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