Washington, D.C., September 12, 2012 –At today’s “Farm Bill Now” rally in Washington, D.C., American Farmland Trust President Jon Scholl said passage of a new, comprehensive, five-year new farm bill before the current bill expires on Sept. 30 is imperative because farmers and ranchers rely on farm bill conservation programs to be good stewards of our natural resources and the environment.
Scholl said this year’s drought, which has affected every sector of agriculture, makes it especially important that farmers have access to short-term and long-term farm bill conservation programs to protect fragile soils, restore wetlands and conserve precious water.
“This year’s drought has affected every sector of agriculture. More than 1,800 counties in 38 states have been declared natural disaster areas. There are both immediate and long-term impacts from this drought, and we need the right policy in place to address those impacts—especially those on the landscape,” he said.
“The drought and the wildfires across the country make millions of acres vulnerable to other weather events, such as fall rainstorms or snowmelt runoff in the spring. The farm bill offers ways now to begin protecting these vulnerable acres.”
Scholl was one of the featured speakers at the “Farm Bill Now,” rally co-hosted by the National Farmers Union and the American Farm Bureau Federation, with the support of a broad coalition of approximately 80 leading farm, conservation, energy, consumer and nutrition groups.
“Farmers and ranchers need to be able to plan ahead. The risk of inaction on a five-year farm bill could impede their recovery and disrupt their ability to prepare for what we hope will be a better season next year,” said Scholl.
Additional information about this initiative can be found at www.farmbillnow.com.