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:
2008 Farm Bill Continued from Page 1 . . . . . .
Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008
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
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