Farm Bill Headed to President’s Desk Thanks to Senate Passage
After being passed by the House last week, today the Senate approved the Agricultural Act of 2014, commonly known as the farm bill. The legislation is now headed to President Obama’s desk.
If signed into law by the president, the bill would:
- Reauthorize the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), including a change to the program that will allow for the enrollment of up to 2 million grassland acres with no cropping history that have never been eligible for CRP enrollment historically.
- Re-link conservation compliance to crop insurance, deterring wetland drainage.
- Create a regional “Sodsaver” to protect our country’s last remaining native prairies where it is most threatened – South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Montana and Nebraska.
- Approve $40 million in funding for Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Programs (VPA-HIP). Commonly referred to as “Open Fields,” this funding would improve sportsmen’s access while helping improve wildlife conservation efforts.
- Allocate more than $1 billion allocated for a new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, including provisions targeting wetlands and grasslands.
- Consolidate U.S. Department of Agriculture programs from 23 to 13, improving delivery of these programs to interested landowners.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever urge the president to sign the bill, and look forward to using these new tools to create wildlife habitat.
The D.C. Minute is written by Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Vice President of Government Relations.
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