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Re: news of Farm Bill?

The Senate Ag. Committee approved a bill yesterday.  The bill, S1628, is the Sen. Harkin bill but it had to be modified in the process to gain enough support.  

Not surprisingly, the major controversy was over whether the bill contained sufficient spending on the commodity side.  Most (maybe all) of the non-commodity titles had to be reduced to make room for commodity spending.

Regarding the Conservation Title, the original bill came in at $23 billion over 5 years and was approved by the committee at $20 billion over 5 years (a $3 billion loss for conservation).  The bill includes the following:  Lifts the CRP cap from 36.4 million acres to 40 million acres; increases the WRP cap by 1.25 million acres; includes $360 million for WHIP and 1 million acres for the Grassland Reserve Program.  EQIP is still in there as a mega-program and the Conservation Security Program is there but it has been tweaked to reduce spending.

There may be other changes or ommissions in the text of the bill (an 800 page document) that were made.  The bill, when available, needs to be studied carefully.

The next step is deliberation on the floor of the Senate, conference committee (to reconcile with the House bill) after that, back to the House and Senate for a final nod and then on to the President.  There are still several places where change can, and will, be made.

Bill McGuire
Private Land Programs Supervisor
Missouri Department of Conservation
P.O. Box 180
Jefferson City, MO  65102

Phone:  573/751-4115 (x3148)
Fax:  573/522-1791

>>> leeprairie@austin.rr.com 11/16/01 02:45AM >>>
Anyone care to update us on the latest news on the Farm Bill?  How fare the
grassland conservation portions?

lee stone
Bastrop, TX 
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