Farm Policy News

Farmers face risk when adopting new practices to improve water quality

Water quality is a contentious issue across the country. For example, in Iowa, continued high nitrogen, phosphorous, bacteria, and sediment levels in surface waters threaten public health and outdoor recreation. 

In 2012, the state released a strategy to reduce nutrient and sediment loading in surface waters. However, the best plan forward remains uncertain. This lack of clarity leaves farmers feeling frustrated.

Tiresome abuse of farm program payment dollars

Congress has created a strong safety net for farmers through commodity, price support, disaster assistance, and conservation programs. These dollars are important to farms across America, as they give farmers some stability in a volatile agricultural landscape.

Farmers face exceedingly high input costs, depressed commodity prices, and weather extremes, but they continue to spend countless hours working to grow viable crops, year after year.

We surveyed farmers: conservation is important

Many farmers and ranchers value the opportunity the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) offers to enhance their existing conservation efforts, according to a survey we completed last year. Eighty-seven percent of respondents, all living in an area with a strong agricultural presence, stated CSP should be supported as a priority in the farm bill.

Senate farm bill, unpacked

The Senate passed its version of the farm bill last week, by a vote of 86 to 11. The bill included a very important improvement with the inclusion of Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) proposals to make farm program payments fairer and close loopholes in the definition of “actively engaged in farming.” Here, we explain where we are with the farm bill and what it means for rural America.

Iowa candidates field questions on water, health care, immigration, and more

Water quality and Medicaid were a few of the most talked about issues at a candidate forum recently held by the Center for Rural Affairs and the League of Women Voters of Ames and Story County. Voters were given the opportunity to ask questions in an open forum setting in Nevada, Iowa.

Candidates for the election of Iowa state Senate District 25, Chad Buss, of Parkersburg, and Annette Sweeney, of Alden, answered questions from district residents. Issues were raised such as farm conservation, clean energy, health care, clean water, and local infrastructure.

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