Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren wants to put the federal government back in the business of managing commodity supplies in order to guarantee that farmers won’t lose money on their crops.
While many farmers and ranchers have been successful in reducing their carbon footprint, making significant new progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions will require government assistance and new financial incentives, especially now that farmers are struggling to cope with depressed commodity prices, senators were told Tuesday.
Farmers have until May 10 to apply for funding under the Conservation Stewardship Program, the largest working lands conservation program in the country, the Natural Resources Conservation Service announced Friday.
The Conservation Stewardship Program has survived and grown despite repeated attacks by critics in Congress and in some administrations, but one of those critics, Texas GOP Rep. Mike Conaway, believes he has finally succeeded in pushing CSP toward the door.
The new farm bill largely preserves the commodity and conservation programs but it includes some significant improvements for dairy producers and also would raise price floors for sugar and other commodities.
The average farmer probably won’t notice anytime soon that the 2014 farm bill has expired, but producers who try to sign up for some conservation programs could be turned away, and some commodity groups will have to go without some trade promotion funding on which they have counted.
The strained farm bill negotiations have erupted in partisan bickering amid darkening prospects for reaching an agreement by the end of the year to replace the 2014 law, which expires Sunday, Sept. 30.
A USDA savings account for rural electric and telephone cooperatives that allows them to earn substantially more interest than they could from private bankers has become a major source of potential funding for a new farm bill.