Farm Policy Roundup – August 23, 2013

Rancher with lassoHave You Written Your Congressman? There’s Still Time to Take Action on the Farm Bill

Congress returns to Capitol Hill in just a couple of weeks and there will be only nine legislative days and a full plate of issues that need to be addressed before September 30. Passage of the farm bill is vitally important for continued protection of our nation’s farmland, opportunities for beginning farmers, and access to fresh, local food. American Farmland Trust President Andrew McElwaine takes a larger view on why the Farm Bill needs to be finished  in the Denver Post.

Join the over 14,000 voices that have already taken action and tell your members of Congress to finish the Farm Bill when they return to Washington, DC.

Farm Bill Conservation Program Helped Farmers and Ranchers During Historic Drought

The 2012 drought affected every sector of agriculture. Farmers and ranchers benefited from access to Farm Bill conservation programs to protect fragile soils, restore wetlands and conserve precious water but also, as recently revealed by USDA, to help overcome cattle grazing challenges. Land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a Farm Bill program that has been providing benefits to soil, water and wildlife across the country for more than 25 years, was used for emergency haying and grazing when livestock feed was scarce. According to USDA, the emergency practice, which can also improve the environmental value of the CRP acres, was conducted on almost 2.8 million acres and managed haying and grazing on another 700,000 acres. About 27 million acres of farmland were enrolled in the program as of June 2013.

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  • Random Quote

    Changes in the 2012 Farm Bill appear both likely and may be significant, if not radical. Our country’s economic situation will be the most significant driver and agent of change in the 2012 Farm Bill. — Jon Scholl, President, American Farmland Trust