Conservationists Worry about Farm Bill Failure

Conservationists and environmentalists are worried about the recent failure of the farm bill and hope to continue to urge lawmakers to protect conservation funding during the upcoming lame duck session of Congress.

With the House and Senate adjourned until after the 2012 election, progress on the farm bill has come to a screeching halt. The current bill expires at the end of September and Congress currently has no plans for a temporary extension or passage of a new five-year bill. While most farm programs will be funded until the end of 2012, if Congress can’t agree on farm legislation after the election, farmers across the country may be in for a rough spring.

Conservationists, as well as farmers, are worried about the potential fallout of the farm bill failure.

If a new farm bill is not passed, current conservation funding could be put in danger in 2013. Over the past several years, increased conservation funding has helped clean up polluted and degraded ecosystems across the country, ranging from the Great Lakes the Mississippi River tributaries.

While the bipartisan Senate farm bill contained new funding provisions for conservation programs, the House’s failure to approve this bill, or pass their own, could endanger up to 90 percent of conservation mandates and U.S. Department of Agriculture programs.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer