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Groups Call for Conservation Compliance Compromise

WASHINGTON, D.C.--May 6, 2013--   The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and a group of major agricultural, environmental and conservation groups have joined together in support of a non-partisan agreement to provide a common-sense farm and natural resource safety net through relinking crop insurance premium assistance to conservation compliance. The recommendations were submitted to Senate Agriculture Committee Leadership earlier today.    

“We are pleased to join with agriculture and environmental groups in a common-sense, non-partisan agreement to ensure the equitable implementation of conservation compliance tied to crop insurance,” said NACD President Earl Garber. “This agreement will further the conservation of natural resources, while protecting producers’ bottom line.”  

The groups do not support changes to current conservation compliance requirements. Instead, the recommendations would be applicable only to the linkage of conservation compliance and crop insurance premium assistance or availability. In turn, none of the recommendations make changes in any means testing or payment limit provisions currently in place. Under the recommendations, crop insurance would continue to be available to all, but premium assistance would be eliminated when certain circumstances occur.   

The recommendations represent a compromise position that supports the linking of conservation compliance with crop insurance premium assistance, and opposes means testing, payment limitations or premium subsidy reductions for the crop insurance program.  

The full text of the letter is as follows:

 

May 6, 2013

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
Chairwoman Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
328-A Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Thad Cochran
Ranking Member Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
328-A Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Cochran:

The undersigned organizations are writing to share a position paper we drafted to provide an effective farm and natural resource safety net. The draft is a good compromise position supporting linking conservation compliance with crop insurance premium assistance and opposing means testing, payment limitations or premium subsidy reductions for the crop insurance program.

In the spirit of compromise and in the interest of completing a 2013 Farm Bill this year, each of the groups has committed to not support amendments beyond this compromise that might weaken the crop insurance program or amendments that might not link conservation compliance with crop insurance premium assistance.

We would appreciate the opportunity to review draft language on this issue or to be helpful to you in any way you deem appropriate.

The position paper can be found here.

Sincerely,

American Association of Crop Insurers

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Farmland Trust

American Society of Agronomy

American Soybean Association

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Audubon Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau

Crop Science Society of America

Ducks Unlimited

Environmental Defense Fund

Land Improvement Contractors of America

National Association of State Conservation Agencies

National Association of Conservation Districts

National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils

National Conservation District Employees Association

National Corn Growers Association

National Cotton Council

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

National Farmers Union

National Wildlife Federation

Pheasants Forever

Pollinator Partnership

Quail Forever

Soil and Water Conservation Society

Soil Science Society of America

Southern Peanut Farmers Federation

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

The Nature Conservancy

USA Rice Federation

Wildlife Mississippi

World Wildlife Fund

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