It’s probably no surprise, but most no-tillers we polled recently think farmers asking for federal crop insurance should show they’re being environmentally responsible. 

With almost 300 votes, 68% of respondents say eligibility for federal crop insurance should be tied to conservation compliance. About 28% say “no,” this shouldn’t be required, with the rest saying they’re not sure.

This issue should be interesting to watch as the 5-year Farm Bill, which expired on Oct. 1, continues to be debated in Washington behind closed doors amid greater concerns about the so-called Fiscal Cliff.

Some farm and environmental groups want language added to the bill linking conservation compliance to farm subsidies.

“Connecting conservation compliance to crop insurance would only apply to the taxpayers' share of paying crop-insurance premiums, and it would not prevent farmers from buying insurance without taxpayer support,” said Ralph Rosenberg, executive director of the Iowa Environmental Council on Dec. 1.

But several weeks ago, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said he doesn’t think this requirement will surface.  

 What do you think about this issue? Send us an e-mail and give us your thoughts.