Inside Dakota Ag

Time running out to comment on Sodsaver.

Published on: January 7, 2009

Welcome to my blog. I hope to give your some inside information on what’s happening in the agriculture in Dakotas.


Sodsaver is on my mind at the moment. The South Dakota Corn Growers Association alerted me that time is running out for farmers to make their views on this new program known. Sodsaver would prevent farmers from buying crop insurance for five years on land that is converted from native sod. It applies to the Prairie Pothole Region, which by many definitions, includes most of the eastern Dakotas.


Wildlife and conservation groups that pushed for Sodsaver want to preserve native sod and protect waterfowl nesting habitat. Both are worthy goals and I understand why members of these groups don’t want their tax dollars going to subsidize crop insurance premiums.


But an incentive program would be better than another law that restricts what farmers can do with their land.


And as far as taxes - tough farmers may not particularly like some of the state game and fish programs that their tax dollars go to, either.


Sodsaver would ultimately put Dakota farmers at a disadvantage to farmers in other states who have more flexibility to respond to market signals.


You can tell USDA what you think by sending an email to: DirectorPDD@rma.usda.gov.


You should also contact your governor, too. Each state gets to decide whether or not it will participate in the program. I’m told Gov. John Hoeven and Gov. Mike Rounds will decide what to do after USDA issues the final rule.


Contact your governor at:

·    North Dakota -- Gov. John Hoeven, Phone: 701-328-2200, Email: governor@nd.gov.

·    South Dakota -- Gov. Mike Rounds. Go to the Web site www.state.sd.us/governor to submit an email.


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