MASWCD AWARDS Continued from Page 1 . . . . . .

Nominations are due to either your Area Director or the MASWCD Office by October 1, 2008,
except Grassland Farmer nominations are due to your Area Director by August 1, 2008. 
The Grassland Farmer nomination form is available on the MASWCD web site as well.

More information can be found at:

www.maswcd.net/awards.htm

 

 

 

2008 Farm Bill  Continued from Page 1 . . . . . .

 

Conservation Title

Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008

 

Overview

 

A new Farm Bill law was critical to the continuation of many conservation programs.

Several expired when the 2002 Farm Bill expired on September 30, 2007. Minimal

operations were extended for weeks at a time. This bill provides certainly for programs

to continue, expansion of many programs, and creates some new programs.

 

The 2008 Farm Bill provides an addition $4 billion in conservation program funding. It

also redirects another $2.5 billion in conservation spending from the Conservation

Reserve Program (CRP) to other working lands and easement programs.

The cap on the CRP program is lowered to 32 million acres, but as a result of recent

market prices and re-enrollment offers. This cap will be met with expiring acres in the

current CRP program and will go into effect in 2010. Continuous sign-up will continue.

 

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program and

Farmland Protection Program are provided additional financial resources. It includes a

new program for the Chesapeake Bay and additional provisions for forestry practices in

CRP and expanded eligibility for nonindustrial private forest land in other programs.

Rewrites and streamlines the Conservation Stewardship Program (formerly the

Conservation Security Program) to allow for nationwide participation. The elimination of

the tier structure should ease program delivery and understanding by producers. New

enrollment based on acreage providing for an annual enrollment of almost 13 million

acres.

 

With the additional funds provided in this bill, the Wetlands Reserve Program and the

Grasslands Reserve Program will continue. Their future was in jeopardy without new

funding for conservation. The bill addresses the WRP appraisal problems with the

“yellow book” by allowing other appraisal methods.

 

The new Farm Bill also includes important provisions on technical assistance by

clarifying definitions, including outreach efforts, and the importance of conservation

effects assessments to quantify the work that we do. It provides for technical assistance

only contracts under the conservation programs for producers that do not seek financial

assistance. It also adds planning as an eligible activity to several programs.

 

Section by Section Review on Page 3

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