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  • Utah Farmers Union: Farm Bill Delay Hurts Conservation
    by Troy Wilde
    Published - 09/23/13 - 12:43 PM | 1 1 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Photo Utah Dept of Ag
    Photo Utah Dept of Ag
    (SALT LAKE CITY, Utah) - Utah farmers and ranchers received almost $5.7 million last year for participating in programs to protect grasslands and wetlands, and to preserve the environment. However, those programs are in jeopardy as Congress continues to delay passing a new Farm Bill, according to Utah Farmers Union President Kent Bushman.

    Bushman warned that not passing a Farm Bill before the current bill expires at month's end could eliminate permanent government funding for the Conservation Reserve Program and others.

    "If they keep delaying, a lot of these programs will expire at the end of September. Then, they may never get the appropriations back to fund those programs, such as conservation programs," Bushman said.

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) subsidizes farmers to not work land that is considered environmentally sensitive. Other federally funded programs help beginning farmers and ranchers, and assist landowners in balancing agriculture practices with protecting water quality and wildlife habitat.

    After a recent visit to Washington, D.C., to discuss his group's concerns with lawmakers, Bushman said it does not appear likely that a Farm Bill will be passed any time soon.

    "Hopefully, we can get something done, but we don't know where it's going to be. Talking with members in Congress back there, they don't know where it's going to be, either," he said."

    The Utah Farmers Union and its counterparts nationwide will continue to urge Congress to pass a new Farm Bill as soon as possible, Bushman added.

    A summary of conservation program funding for Utah is available at http://farm.ewg.org.
    Comments-icon Post a Comment
    CRP not good gov't
    September 24, 2013
    Yep - pay farmers to not farm their land. CRP started in the 80s as a program to prop up commodity prices. It was hijacked in the 90s as an environmental program, but only to try to continue to justify it. It's a bad program - realistically, there should only be about 15 million acres in the program.
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