Posts Tagged: Farm Bill

Nitrogen Pollution’s Farm Policy Roots

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Groundwater management, Loon Commons blog, Water.

By Adam Warthesen, Land Stewardship Project Talk about ignoring the elephant in the room. When Minnesota environmental officials announced the results of a new major nitrogen pollution study on Thursday, they were surprisingly frank about how bad the problem is, but just as surprisingly hesitant to name a major underlying cause: federal farm policy. Recommend… Read more »

Minnesota Farmers: CSP is on for 2013

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog.

By Adam Warthesen, Land Stewardship Project One of the nation’s most innovative working lands farm conservation initiatives has received a financial reprieve, thanks to the continuing resolution signed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday. The continuing resolution, which was passed by Congress late last week, appropriates funds to federal government agencies through the remainder of… Read more »

The (Growing) High Price of an Unreformed Crop Insurance Program

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

By Adam Warthesen, Land Stewardship Project Just when you think the facts and figures around federal subsidized crop insurance can’t get any more outlandish, new numbers emerge exposing the out-of-control spending and lack of accountability for this area of farm policy. Earlier this month, USDA released the most recent data on crop insurance costs. It’s… Read more »

Senate Listens to Public & Makes Crop Insurance More Accountable to the Environment

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

The  U.S. Senate passed its version of the 2012 Farm Bill this week. While it’s far from perfect, specific amendments related to conservation and accountability  that were passed during the floor vote give one hope that the voices of average citizens can be heard inside the Beltway. Let’s hope this is a sign of things… Read more »

Rolling Our Land To Death

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

I sat in a farmhouse one afternoon last month as a hot wind lifted rich topsoil from surrounding fields. On the drive in, I’d noticed a surprising amount of rill erosion on newly tilled cropland—surprising because recent rains had not been all that intense and the fields were not unusually steep. Out of the blue… Read more »

Coalition to Congressional Delegation: Incorporate Minnesota principles into Farm Bill

Posted by & filed under federal government, federal policy, Loon Commons blog.

Thirty-six organizations recently sent a letter to Minnesota’s Congressional delegation asking for their support in helping Minnesota through parts of the Federal Farm Bill. Read the full letter here (pdf). Excerpt from the letter: Recommend on Facebook Share on google plus Tweet about it

Crop Insurance: A Safety Net Becomes a Threat

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

When it comes to the crop insurance sweepstakes, southwest Minnesota farmer Darwyn Bach is a winner. But he concedes that his good fortune presents a quandary, since the way the program is implemented these days creates significant losers: the soil, beginning farmers and Main Street businesses that suffer when the number of families in a… Read more »

USDA Secretary: You Can Make Conservation History

Posted by & filed under Food and Sustainable Agriculture.

An April 1 letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack from LSP Associate Director Mark Schultz: Congress and the Obama Administration are currently evaluating measures aimed at reducing federal spending for the present fiscal year and for 2012. The deficit reduction theme undoubtedly becomes more difficult in practice when actual program cuts and sacrifices are required…. Read more »

Ag Conservation’s Unfair Burden

Posted by & filed under Food and Sustainable Agriculture.

At a time when the budget mantra “we must all share in the pain” is being repeated ad nauseam, it doesn’t take much searching to find some hypocritical exceptions. Take, for example, the Congressional proposal to cut $60 billion from the federal budget: farm conservation programs are practically eviscerated, while commodity crop subsidies remain untouched…. Read more »