Weekly Column

Take Advantage of Extended Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Deadline

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently extended the application deadline for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) until Friday, June 14, 2013 for farmers and ranchers who hope to apply for the CSP for next year but needed additional time to complete applications. To sign up, producers should visit their local NRCS office.

Cap Subsidies to Mega Farms

The debate over the 2013 Farm Bill has begun on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The draft Farm Bill that emerged from the Senate Agriculture Committee would level the playing field for farm families by establishing meaningful payment limitations on traditional farm programs for the nation’s largest and wealthiest farms - up to a grand total of $125,000 ($250,000 per couple), thanks to the tireless work of Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD).

Farm Program Integrity Act is a Step in the Right Direction

Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) recently introduced legislation to tighten payment limits on federal farm programs and close loopholes mega-farms use to evade those limits. Mega-farms use unlimited farm program payments to bid up land costs, thereby driving smaller, family farmers out of business and barring beginning farmers from ever getting started.

Bucking the Trend ... and Going Rural

I recently read an article discussing how younger, college-educated people are drawn to life in a city. One source pondered, “Why wouldn’t a college grad be drawn by the allure of life in a big city?” He assumes there are few rural opportunities for young people and that nothing can change that.

Sodsaver Bill Introduced in Senate

Last week, Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Senator Amy Klobuchar lead a bipartisan group of senators in introducing legislation that would modify crop insurance premium subsidies for insured crops grown on native sod converted to cropland.

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