Farm Bill Draft Makes Changes to Conservation Funds

An early draft of the farm bill conservation title would cut $1.1 billion from the Conservation Security Program, but the money would likely go to other conservation programs.

Published on: May 21, 2007

House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson, D-Minn., says he is planning to release an early, bipartisan draft of the 2007 Farm Bill's conservation title. The Senate Ag Committee Chair, Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, isn't entirely pleased with the content of that title.

That's because the draft includes $1.1 billion in cuts to the Conservation Security Program - which Harkin created in the 2002 Farm Bill.

Expanding acres under conservation programs including CSP "is more necessary than ever given the demands placed on conservation by the record planting this season and the need to produce more biofuels for national energy security," Harkin says.

"The House bill perpetuates the damage to conservation and the environment caused by the previous two Congresses and the Bush administration. Farmers need more conservation funding on agricultural land, yet the House bill doesn't provide it."

The funds taken from CSP would likely go towards other conservation programs, Peterson says. For instance, the money might go towards adding 1.5 million acres to the Wetlands Reserve Program.

The House Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research Subcommittee will mark up the draft on Tuesday.