Agricultural News

ASWM is keeping an eye on the development of the 2012 Farm Bill. On this page you can find updates on the Farm Bill as well as agricultural news in the context of wetlands and related issues. For Farm Bill 2012 resources on the web, click here.

Conservation is not to be forgotten in the farm bill

By Bill Wenzel – Star Tribune – November 17, 2013

In recent weeks, much attention, both in Washington and on these opinion pages, has been focused on the federal farm bill. A bipartisan conference committee, including three members of the Minnesota congressional delegation — Reps. Tim Walz and Collin Peterson and Sen. Amy Klobuchar — has started to work diligently on finalizing a compromise agreement before the end of the year. With so much focus on the commodity and nutrition portions of the farm bill, we must not lose sight of the opportunity to reinstate meaningful conservation measures in it. For full opinion, click here.

Conservation groups send request to farm bill conferees

Agri Pulse – October 29, 2013

More than 270 national, regional, and state-based organizations delivered a letter urging House and Senate farm bill conferees to reattach conservation requirements to federal subsidies for crop insurance, and to include a nationwide Sodsaver provision in the final farm bill conference report.  The letter comes as farm bill conference begins with conferees' opening remarks this Wednesday. For full story, click here.

Ag: Farm bill chugs along with passage of food stamps cut

By Amanda Peterka– EE News – September 20, 2013

The House yesterday voted 217-210, mostly along party lines, to pass a bill that would cut $40 billion from the national food stamp program over the next decade, a move that brings a five-year reauthorization of farm, conservation and energy programs one step closer to final passage. For full story, click here.

Farm talks open with optimism

By David Rogers – Politico – October 30, 2013

Ending years of painful delays, House-Senate talks began on a new farm bill Wednesday, with renewed promises to finally complete the task by the end of December. “We can do it, we have to do it,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) “There are 16 million men and women whose jobs rely on the strength of agriculture,” echoed his Senate counterpart, Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). “I am confident we won’t let them down. For full story, click here.

Minnesota wetlands losing out to framrs

By Josephine Marcotty – Star Tribune – August 2, 2013

In just five years, Minnesota has lost 312 square miles of valuable wetlands and the natural vegetation that surrounds them — an area about 5.7 times the size of Minneapolis — reducing a resource that provides vital habitat for waterfowl, minimizes floods and keeps agricultural chemicals out of rivers and streams. Between 2008 and 2012, rural landowners nationwide plowed up 11,300 square miles of wetlands and highly erodible land, most likely because of the high payouts that come with federally subsidized crop insurance, according to an analysis of land use trends released Tuesday. For full story, click here.