Farm Bureau supports conservation compliance reform bill


Farm Bureau supports conservation compliance reform bill

The American Farm Bureau supports a bill introduced in the Senate that it says will bring much-needed reform to the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service compliance program.

The bill introduced by South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds would require the NRCS to provide more evidence to determine wetlands and allow farmers more rights in the appeals process.

Farm Bureau president Zippy Duvall says farmers have been treated unfairly by NRCS when trying to be good stewards of the land, often subjected to repeated, unjustified and costly decisions by the agency.

Farm Bureau says USDA’s Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation final rule did not fix the problems and that’s why legislation is needed.

Last year, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rebuked NRCS conservation program enforcement in the case of Indiana farmer David Boucher.  Farm Bureau cites the cases of other farmers who fought wetlands determinations including Kurt Wilke of Illinois and Brad Smith of Michigan.

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