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Published on December 30, 2007

Author: Cuthbert

Source: authorstream.com

Capturing New Opportunities For Conservation In The Next Farm Bill :  On-Farm Network Conference Ames, Iowa February 21, 2007 Roger Wolf, Iowa Soybean Association Capturing New Opportunities For Conservation In The Next Farm Bill Overview:  Overview A Look Back - Farm Bill History Iowa Ag – Conservation Perspectives A Look Forward Farm Bill:  Farm Bill Omnibus legislation every five or six years by U.S. House and Senate Agriculture Committees Current farm bill effective through 2007 crop year Appears that congress will attempt to write and pass a new farm bill by October 2007 Farm Bill History & Structure:  Farm Bill History & Structure First farm bill was produced by Henry A. Wallace, U. S. Secretary of Agriculture in 1933 Foundation for current farm policy was one of first pieces of New Deal – Depression era Farm Bill History & Structure:  Farm Bill History & Structure Agricultural Adjustment Act (PL 73-10) Income transfer payments to agricultural producers and land owners based on production or historical production Supply Control Management – key feature Direct payments not an option – viewed as socialistic Program financed by levying a processing tax on commodities – passed on to consumers Farm Bill History & Structure:  Farm Bill History & Structure 1936 tax declared unconstitutional This setback led to first conservation initiatives Congress needed to infuse cash into rural areas Farm Bill History & Structure:  Farm Bill History & Structure 1936 – Passage of The Soil Conservation Act Compelling tax payer investment Dust Bowl Era Support Rural Communities Farm Bill History & Structure:  Farm Bill History & Structure 1940’s - Wartime Ag and National Security 1950’s - Dealing with Surpluses Emergence of the Soil Bank Farm Bill History & Structure:  Farm Bill History & Structure 1960’s – Targeting Surpluses and Commodities Improving productivity with drainage and fertilizer 1970’s – Fence Row to Fence Row Trade and globalization Farm Bill History & Structure:  Farm Bill History & Structure 1980’s – Conservation Policy with Teeth Environmental lobby First specific Conservation Title Conservation Compliance Farm Bill History & Structure:  Farm Bill History & Structure 1990’s – Expanded Conservation Beginning to address environmental quality outcomes – new expectations Looking at farms and rural landscapes as systems Changing role of USDA Farm Bill History & Structure:  Farm Bill History & Structure 2000’s – Working lands and Non-Working Lands – Going Green (Box) Paying for producing clean water, wildlife habitat Rewarding farmers for existing conservation Increased funding 8X 1996 levels - $17.1 B Funding limitations – disaster, homeland security World Trade Agreements Bang for the buck? Farm Bill History & Structure:  Farm Bill History & Structure 2000’s – Working lands and Non-Working Lands – Going Green (Box) Paying for producing clean water, wildlife habitat Rewarding farmers for existing conservation Increased funding 8X 1996 levels - $17.1 B Funding limitations – disaster, homeland security World Trade Agreements Bang for the buck? Overview:  Overview A Look Back - Farm Bill History Iowa Ag – Conservation Perspectives A Look Forward Iowa Progress - State & Federal Conservation Programs:  Iowa Progress - State & Federal Conservation Programs Soil erosion cut by nearly 50% since 1982 rates in 1997 were 5.3 tons per acre, down from 10.4 tons per acre in 1982 1.5 million acres of conservation buffers enrolled in CRP 100,000 acres to voluntary wetland restoration through WRP, EWRP State – Federal Partnership :  State – Federal Partnership Total Federal soil & water conservation funding (CRP, EQIP, WHIP, CSP, WRP) in FY 05-06 was $313.7 million. Total state conservation funding was $18.9 million. Iowa Ag - Conservation Infrastructure:  Iowa Ag - Conservation Infrastructure Conservation Practices in Iowa: Historical Investment, Water Quality and Gaps Study conducted by CARD at ISU and coordinated by Iowa Farm Bureau Federation with support from Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association and Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Iowa Ag - Conservation Infrastructure:  Iowa Ag - Conservation Infrastructure Three key questions: What conservation practices are currently in place in Iowa, what is their coverage, and what is the cost of these practices? What are (and have been) the effects of these practices on water quality? What would it take to improve water quality to obtain specific standards? Iowa Ag - Conservation Infrastructure:  Iowa Ag - Conservation Infrastructure Preliminary Findings: Statewide cumulative annual cost was about $435 million for seven major conservation practices. Iowa Ag - Conservation Infrastructure:  Iowa Ag - Conservation Infrastructure $435 million = $37 million for terraces and grass waterways and $397 million for other five practices. Iowa Ag - Conservation Infrastructure:  Iowa Ag - Conservation Infrastructure For this annual investment – Q. #2. Nitrate reductions were greater than 10% for nine watersheds. The estimated reductions for organic N, organic P, and mineral P were much greater. The range of total nitrogen reductions in 13 watersheds representing the majority of Iowa was 11 to 38 percent. Nitrate reductions ranged from 6 to 28 percent. Total phosphorus reductions were 25-58 percent. Meeting Demand for Conservation Support:  Meeting Demand for Conservation Support Contracts on Iowa’s working land increased from 461 in 2002 to 3,531 in 2005. 90% denied access to the program The FY 2006 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in Iowa funded slightly over 1,500 contracts. Meeting Demand for Conservation Support:  Meeting Demand for Conservation Support Iowa NRCS has a backlog of 1,500 applications from farmers who want to apply practices but will not be funded. Nationwide - Three out of four farmers who apply for conservation funding are turned down (151,000 unfunded to 52,000 funded applications) Source: American Farmland Trust Overview:  Overview A Look Back - Farm Bill History Iowa Ag – Conservation Perspectives A Look Forward Vision for Future Farm Bill :  Vision for Future Farm Bill Continue to provide farmers the opportunity to become better stewards of the land, water and air … producing food, fiber and fuel … while providing a safety net. 2007 Farm Bill Setting:  2007 Farm Bill Setting New Congress Iowa and Minnesota leadership on Ag Committees Short on “new” money – Budget Baseline? Short on time Bio – Energy High commodity prices Working land interests Conservation and sportsman interest Expanding the traditional Ag family to include – fruits and vegetable growers 2007 Farm Bill Setting:  2007 Farm Bill Setting Administration Farm Bill Proposal Recognition of the importance of conservation 2007 Farm Bill Setting:  2007 Farm Bill Setting Key highlights: Adding Conservation Enhanced Payment Option in Commodity Title I Title II Conservation: Consolidating and reforming programs EQIP, WHIP, CSP, many others Within EQIP Create A Regional Water Enhancement Program With An Additional $4.2 Billion In Funding Reauthorize CRP and WRP Solving Problems & Meeting Future Goals :  Solving Problems & Meeting Future Goals Related Federal Policy Clean Water Act Clean Air Act Endangered Species Act Reducing dependence on foreign fuel Securing nutritious, safe, stable and affordable food supply Supporting vibrant rural economies Meeting Future Water Quality Goals:  Meeting Future Water Quality Goals New Water Quality Standards Slide31:  Management Approach: …a 30% reduction (from the average discharge in the 1980-1996 time frame) in nitrogen discharges to the Gulf (on a 5-year running average)… Ecosystem Goal: By the year 2015, subject to the availability of additional resources, reduce the 5-year running average areal extent of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone to less than 5,000 square kilometers Meeting Future Water Quality Goals :  Meeting Future Water Quality Goals Meeting Future Water Quality Goals:  Meeting Future Water Quality Goals Principles for Conservation in Next Farm Bill:  Principles for Conservation in Next Farm Bill Equitable and Fair Must address the farmers accessibility paradox Universal access (the masses) vs. targeting efficiency and effectiveness Transparent with clear enrollment criteria Requires a level of certainty given time and finance investment Principles for Conservation in Next Farm Bill:  Principles for Conservation in Next Farm Bill Account for the full costs to participate Planning Design (Technical Assistance -TA) Implementation (Financial Assistance - FA) Evaluation (new TA with FA ) Follow-up and certification Principles for Conservation in Next Farm Bill:  Principles for Conservation in Next Farm Bill Transitional program options Commodity Title and Conservation Title Support continuous sign-up Support multi-year agreements Complementary with other programs Manage to sync with other state and federal policies Bolster capacity and capability with private sector leadership Conceptual Farm Bill Idea:  Conceptual Farm Bill Idea Productive Capability Contract Option Addresses Principles Progressive Continuum Index Cost recovery “+” Supports local priorities Resource Centric – Leverages Investment and Leadership Slide38:  Conceptual Farm Bill Idea Slide39:  Conceptual Farm Bill Idea Slide40:  Conceptual Farm Bill Idea Closing:  Closing Farmers and public have demonstrated commitment to act and support Performance is achievable with applied science and technology Innovation and “political will” will be the key forward Closing:  Closing We have a rich history of Farm Bills addressing problems and uncovering new ones. We are smarter now – challenges are large. Now is the time to make this happen. What is your expectation? Thank you.

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