URGENT ACTION TO SUPPORT CONSERVATION ON WORKING FARMS AND RANCHES
Ask Your Senators to Support the Grassley-Dorgan Farm Program Reform and Ag Conservation Funding Restoration Amendment
Please Call Today. Vote is Thursday, Nov. 3
The Senate is considering its FY 2006 Budget Reconciliation bill, which includes $1.1 billion in cuts that could cripple conservation programs over the next five years. New enrollments to the Conservation Security Program (CSP), an innovative, non-trade distorting program to reward farmers and ranchers for stewardship, would end after 2006. These shortsighted cuts come at a time when 3 out of 4 farmers and ranchers who apply for conservation cost-share programs are denied due to lack of adequate funding.
This Thursday, November 3, the Senate votes on the Grassley-Dorgan Farm Program Reform and Ag Conservation Funding Restoration Amendment. The amendment would cap farm program payments at $250,000 for farms with two actively engaged spouses or farming partners. The amendment would make the cuts to agriculture programs more equitable and would restore valuable conservation funding resulting in cleaner water, more wildlife habitat and less soil erosion.
Identify your senator. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senator�s office. Once connected, ask to speak with the legislative assistant who covers agricultural issues. If they are not available, leave a clear and concise message with the receptionist.
* You are a constituent and are urging the Senator to vote for the Grassley-Dorgan Payment Limitation and Agricultural Conservation Amendment to the Budget Reconciliation bill.
* The amendment restores funding for important conservation programs like the Conservation Security Program and Conservation Reserve Program that help to protect valuable wildlife habitat and provide clean air and water to residents of their state.
The Senate is voting this week on a FY 06 Budget Reconciliation bill that would cut conservation programs by $1 billion over the next five years. The bill would reduce funding for the CSP, the nation�s first comprehensive stewardship program for farmers and ranchers, by $821 million. These cuts would effectively close the program to new participants after the FY 06 sign-up period. Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage would be cut from 39.2 million acres to 36.4 million acres. This reduction is expected to impact the ability of several states to implement the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) in which federal and state funding is used to address high priority conservation issues of both local and national importance. The bill would also limit funding for the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to $1.185 billion annually, a total reduction of $135 million over five years.
The Grassley-Dorgan Payment Limitation and Agricultural Conservation Amendment would provide additional savings by limiting to $250,000 the value of farm program payments that farms with two actively engaged spouses or partners can receive. The savings brought about by the payment limitation amendment would allow the Senate to restore some of the funding originally slated for conservation programs.