Please consider signing your organization on to support conservation in the 2012 Farm Bill
As the 2012 Farm Bill process moves forward next month, we are at great risk of losing what many argue is the most effective natural resource conservation program in our conservation toolbox.
Since 1985, basic soil and wetland conservation requirements have been attached to most farm subsidies, including direct commodity payments. One major farm subsidy program, federal crop insurance, has been exempted from these conservation requirements since 1996. At that time, crop insurance was a relatively small program. Now, however, it is the largest farm program by far and it continues to grow as the centerpiece of the farm safety net.
The 2012 Farm Bill that is currently being considered in Congress will accelerate the shift toward a crop insurance-based safety net by eliminating the direct payment program. The attached letter thanks Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for reattaching soil and wetlands conservation requirements to federal crop insurance premium subsidies in the Senate version of the Farm Bill, and urges her to work with House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas (R- OK) to ensure that the provision is included in the final bill.
If we do not close this loophole, crop insurance will continue to incentivize agricultural production on highly erodible lands and wetlands, costing taxpayers over $9 billion per year.
Please sign on by filling out the following form: http://bit.ly/fbconservation by Friday, August 17th at 10 am and share with your networks. We would like to limit this letter to organizations, affiliates, and chapters within Michigan.