Farm-only Farm Bill Bad Precedent and Fails Soil, Water and Wildlife

“This is the worst farm bill for soil, water and wildlife in at least 25 years.”

07-11-2013 // Julie Sibbing

Irrigated field

Today the House of Representatives took the unprecedented step of passing, without any additional chance for amendment, an agriculture-only Farm Bill, breaking the longstanding linkage between nutrition and farm programs.

The bill also eliminates the longstanding provision of the law that forces Congress to resolve their differences and come together to pass or extend farm bills to avoid a reversion to 1949 permanent law, which does not work well in today’s agricultural economy. The bill also includes deep cuts to conservation programs, seriously weakens and creates a loophole in a 25-year requirement that those receiving federal agricultural subsidies must refrain from draining wetlands and prevent excess erosion.

"This is the worst farm bill for soil, water and wildlife in at least 25 years,” said Larry Schweiger,president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “It would cut conservation funding, allow the destruction of hundreds of thousands of acres of wetlands, exempt pesticides used in our nation’s waters from the Clean Water Act, allow continued incentives for destroying native prairies, and allow for greatly increased soil erosion.”

"This is an incredibly disappointing day for our soil, water and wildlife,” Schweiger added. “The National Wildlife Federation strongly believes that we need a full 5-year farm bill that protects natural resources and taxpayers, but this is not the right bill and this is not the right process.”

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