Published May 3, 2011

Enough Soil Erosion!

By Sarah Carlson

Think this might be a good time to cut spending on on soil conservation?

Think Again.

The New York Times recently reported that higher prices for corn and soy coupled with severe storms fueled by climate change were producing  unsustainable levels of soil erosion in Iowa and other Corn Belt states.   That same week Congress approved a budget deal that cut $500 million from the 2011 budget from programs that help farmers conserve natural resources.

The 2012 budget outlook for programs like the Conservation Stewardship Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and Wetlands Reserve Program is looking even more grim.   The President‘s 2012 budget proposes an immediate $1 billion cut, and sets the stage for permanent cuts of $5 billion to conservation in the 2012 Farm Bill.

Enough!  These are false budget savings that endanger the nation’s soil and water.  These resources form the very foundation of our rural economies.   The long-term costs of these cuts far outweigh our modest investment in soil conservation.

Congress is about to make decisions on fiscal year 2012 funding priorities.  Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman Tom Latham sit on the subcommittees that decide agricultural funding levels.  It’s important that you let them know what you think.

Pease call Senator Harkin’s office at (202) 224-3254. Ask for his aide, Richard Bender or leave your message with the receptionist.  Please also call Congressman Latham’s office at (202) 225-5476 and ask for his aide, Emily Clark.

The message is simple: Thank Senator Harkin and Congressman Latham for their prior support.  We can’t afford any more cuts to agricultural conservation programs.   The long-term costs of unsustainable soil erosion to our economy far outweigh our modest investments in conservation.   Do not cut funds authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill for conservation on farmes and ranches.


Your call is important. Thank you for making a call to protect our soil and water.

Click here to learn more about conservation programs on the NSAC website.


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