Conservation compliance compromise

Published online: May 14, 2013
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A white paper, developed by a number of agricultural, environmental and conservation groups outlining recommendations linking crop insurance premiums to conservation compliance has been sent to Senate Agriculture Committee leadership.

Earl Garber of Louisiana, President of the National Association of Conservation Districts said the non-partisan agreement addressed some of the NACD concerns.

"Conservation in relation to crop insurance premiums has to be considered differently than conservation compliance as applied to sodbuster and swamp buster," Garber said. "And I think this is what this white paper did, it addressed those concerns we had."

Based just on the number of groups coming together, Garber calls the compromise quite an accomplishment and something NACD members should take seriously and understand the work involved.

"Just have to realize there's been a lot of effort here, so let's not be critical, let's be somewhat positive about it, let's continue to bring this to the table," he said. "Hopefully it will be part of the farm bill and it will be a complete bipartisan and partner type effort when it's all said and done."

In the interest of completing a 2013 farm bill and by agreeing to the compromise, the groups are committed to not support amendments that might weaken the crop insurance program or amendments that might not link conservation compliance with crop insurance premiums.