Legislation was recently introduced in the Senate to restructure the farm bill’s three largest conservation programs: the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program(EQIP), and Conservation Reserve Program(CRP) to focus enrollment on acres with environmental concerns. Senate Bill 2557 was introduced by several members of the of the Senate Agriculture Committee to alter CRP to prevent enrollment of entire farms and prime farmland that can be farmed with environmentally sustainable practices. The three programs combine for 90% of the conservation spending in the farm bill.
The Give Our Resources the Opportunity to Work or Grow Act would limit CRP rental rates on acreage offered under general sign up periods to 80% of the county’s average cash rental rate. The Grow Act would keep the current total acreage cap at 24 million acres and maintain the existing funding levels. The bill would focus on enrollment of highly erodible acres and direct $500 million with EQIP for protect drinking water sources with conservation practices.
GROW would target conservation funding toward partial field enrollments for working farms. The bill would bring technical and financial assistance to support landowners in their effort to protect drinking water from nutrient runoff and erosion.
For more information on conversation programs applicable to your farm, contact at 800-424-2324 or Halderman.com