A former chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service says both the House and Senate farm bills are similar when it comes to reduced funding and consolidation of conservation programs. Bruce Knight, who served as NRCS chief in the Bush administration, gave a synopsis at a Farm Foundation forum on conservation last week.
“The largest difference is whether or not to link conservation compliance to the farm bill,” he said, but he notes that compliance already is linked to shallow loss and marketing loans in both bills.
Knight thinks consolidating conservation programs is a big positive and he believes linking compliance to crop insurance may also be positive in the long run. “That linkage to crop insurance is vitally important long term for being able to defend both crop insurance and farm programs and conservation benefits,” said Knight.
Listen to Knight’s comments here: Former NRCS Chief Bruce Knight at Farm Foundation Forum