Former NRCS chiefs weigh in on conservation compliance
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WASHINGTON, May 7, 2013- A letter from six former Chiefs of the USDA Soil Conservation Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees communicated their support for linking conservation compliance provisions to all income support, including eligibility for crop and revenue insurance premium subsidies.
“Maintaining the current conservation compliance provisions, which are both effective and achievable, is essential to our efforts to maintain the conservation gains of recent decades,” the letter stated.
The chiefs also encouraged the committee leaders to provide incentives to lower the cost of crop insurance to producers who use conservation practices the Secretary determines to provide resilience to extreme weather events.
“We believe such an incentive would lead to increased adoption of conservation and result in savings to the Treasury as fewer claims would have to be paid out,” they said.
They also want crop insurance to continue to be available to all producers regardless of income “to ensure the widest participation possible.”
“Doing so will benefit farmers, the environment, and all Americans going forward,” concluded the letter, signed by former Chiefs William Richards, Paul Johnson, Pearlie Reed, Bruce Knight, Arlen Lancaster and Dave White.
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