Conservation is in the balance

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Conservation is in the balance

Postby feathhd » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:15 pm

Protect Iowa's Soil and Water in the Farm Bill
Restore the Conservation Compliance Covenant Take Action!

Calls and emails needed by Tuesday Nov. 1

US lawmakers are currently proposing major changes to the Farm Bill—the primary driver of U.S. farm policy—that will impact our state’s agricultural industry and natural resources for many years to come. Unlike in previous years, the Super Committee will be holding their meetings in private once they receive budget-cutting recommendations from the US Senate & House Agriculture Committees on November 1. Because the ultimate decision regarding farm policy could be made behind closed doors, there is only a small window of time for you to give your input to Ag Committee members who represent Iowa. Voice your opinion NOW to ensure that the Ag Committees submit recommendations to the Super Committee that promote basic conservation practices on farms.

What is at stake?

Congress must restore the covenant between famers and the public that link conservation compliance with taxpayer subsidized risk management programs (i.e. crop and revenue insurance). Risk management programs don’t just provide relief after weather disasters, but ensure farm profits do not fall below a set average due to commodity prices or other non-weather factors. Compliance provisions require taxpayer-subsidized farmers to agree to farm in a way that prevents excessive soil loss on highly erodible land, prevents destruction of wetlands on farmland, and protects other environmental resources.

The link between crop insurance and conservation was part of the 1985 Farm Bill but was removed in the 1996 Farm Bill to encourage farmers to switch from direct payments to crop insurance programs. Today, federal crop insurance covers over 80% of all commodity crops grown and is the primary manner in which ag producers receive subsidies, making up the second biggest portion of the entire Farm Bill budget.

In order to ensure that the agricultural safety net works in harmony with conservation programs, conservation compliance provisions should be strengthened – and enforced. Without the link between crop insurance and conservation compliance, subsidized insurance can provide an incentive for farmers to convert marginal lands to crops because they don’t shoulder the risk of failure.
F/H/D
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Re: Conservation is in the balance

Postby DuckNightmare » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:03 pm

So why are all these insurance companies paying for the crop loss not investigating the farmers in question? You think they would be the people out there enforcing this to make sure farmers are not planting crops where they know are more likley to get damaged. It would be in these companies best intrest to enforce it to up their profit!! I hope I am understanding what you are trying to say? You are correct. A harsh penalty should be applied to farmers who plant where they shouldn't have. Maybe it would lead to little more habbitat.

Just to throw this out there. I notice every year more and more farmers who rip up fence lines along roads and are now planting corn/beans/hay right up to the roadside. They just squeeze every ounce they can out of the land. That extra 15 feet width of ditch though use to house pheasants, rabbits, and quail. There is just less and less cover for everything. Also another thing I don't understand is a farmer will plant his corn around a waterway. Right before they run the combine through if you look up the water way it is full of cane,weeds, and brush taller than me and I'm 6'4''. When that combine gets in the field though instead of just going around the water ways to get to the other side; like they did when they planted it; (or finishing one side of the field before hopping across) they just mow right on through the ditch. Ends up when they are done the water way is cut down to the level of the corn stubble. It wouldn't cost the farmer anything extra (time or money) to just leave it! And they probably get paid for having those water ways in the fields! It would just help out every animal around if they would leave it. You would really start to see pheasants and small game animals increase if they did this. Out in SD ALL the farmers leave these ditches go wild and don't cut them down and look how good the hunting is!
shhh...don't tell the warden
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