As you read this edition of E-Tip today, Barack Obama has been re-elected, Republicans still control the U.S. House, and a tough road lies ahead for various conservation programs you've become familiar with.
The Farm Bill — which, among other things, authorizes spending for CSP, EQIP and federal crop-insurance programs — expired on Sept. 30. Although the U.S. Senate and the House ag committee passed their own versions, the bill hasn’t advanced beyond that point, even as a historic drought crippled the U.S.
Some lawmakers have promised, if Obama was re-elected, to take up the Farm Bill during the lame-duck sessions later this year, but Kansas State University ag economist Barry Flinchbaugh believes gridlock among lawmakers over legislative items is likely to continue into spring and may delay the Farm Bill until April.
The Farm Bill version passed by the Senate last spring would trim spending by $23.6 billion over 10 years, and the House Ag Committee version passed last summer trims $35 billion.
It’s possible the cuts will be even deeper if the Farm Bill debate goes into next year. Conservation programs like CSP and EQIP will likely face the chopping block over the next decade, and now it's just a matter of how much they'll be cut.
An intense debate will continue in Washington and across the U.S. about the role government should play in health care, the economy and now even in farming. As you’ll read in a couple of articles below, some believe the government should enact stronger laws to encourage more adoption of conservation practices such as no-till.
What role do you think the government should play in encouraging no-till adoption? Click here and tell us what you think.