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.
Monday, 16 June 2014 00:00
By Julie Cart – Los Angeles Times – June 15, 2014
There's not much anyone can tell Barry Sorensen about Idaho's Big Desert that he doesn't know. Sorensen, 72, and his brother have been running cattle in this sere landscape all their lives, and they've weathered every calamity man and nature have thrown at them — until this drought came along. Sitting recently in a rustic cabin where he spends many months looking after his cattle, Sorensen's voice was tinged with defeat. "To be honest with you," he said, "I think our way of life is pretty much going to be over in 10 years." Years-long drought has pummeled millions of acres of federal rangeland in the West into dust, leaving a devastating swath from the Rockies to the Pacific. Add to that climate change, invasive plants and wildfire seasons that are longer and more severe, and conditions have reached a breaking point in many Western regions. The land can no longer support both livestock and wildlife. For full story, click here.
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 18:27
Contact: Sarah Maxwell – USDA – May 20, 2014
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that $15 million in targeted assistance will be provided to help farmers, ranchers and private forest owners in rural areas of 20 states that experience “persistent poverty.” The funding, part of USDA’s StrikeForce initiative, was announced on the Secretary’s behalf by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller during a visit to predominantly Native American and Hispanic American communities in New Mexico. For full story, click here.
Monday, 21 April 2014 13:10
By Jim Lundstrom – Peninsula Pulse – April 11, 2014
Professor Robert Lawrence is in a select company of researchers.
"I think the only other group of scientists who probably are more frustrated than we are are the climate scientists," Lawrence said in a recent telephone call.
Monday, 21 April 2014 13:09
Science Codex – April 9, 2014
By changing row-crop management practices in economically and environmentally stable ways, US farms could contribute to improved water quality, biological diversity, pest suppression, and soil fertility while helping to stabilize the climate, according to an article in the May issue ofBioScience. The article, based on research conducted over 25 years at the Kellogg Biological Station in southwest Michigan, further reports that Midwest farmers, especially those with large farms, appear willing to change their farming practices to provide these ecosystem services in exchange for payments. And a previously published survey showed that citizens are willing to make such payments for environmental services such as cleaner lakes. For full story, click here.
Monday, 21 April 2014 13:08
By Annie Snider– E & E Publishing, LLC – April 7, 2014
Today, farmers and ranchers can freely do any number of things on their property affecting rivers, creeks and wetlands that no other sector could undertake without going to the federal government for permission. Agriculture is different, Congress decided when passing the 1972 Clean Water Act. For the most part, the people who grow the country's food can plow their fields, build roads, spread fertilizer and drain water off their crops without needing a permit for filling in wetlands or washing pollutants into streams. For full story, click here.