Conservation Should Be Incentives Based, Not Mandated
Climate change as an issue in the next farm bill is already causing temperatures to rise in the nation’s capital. But if there’s anything farm leaders agree on, it’s conservation incentives, not dictates.
“Let the innovators compete, let them go after it and do what they want, it’s not ‘one size fits all,’ it gives them a shot to do it," said former Farm Service Agency chief, Jonathan Coppess. "We’re not going to, sort of, shoehorn a set of policies across the entire space. What we’re talking about, is really the option at the farm level. And if you want to chase a climate market, here’s a backstop to help you do so.”
The Inflation Reduction Act has some $16 billion for conservation programs like EQIP, CSP and RCCP, but Coppess said it’s not free money.
“This would require eliminating some of the spending from the Inflation Reduction Act, as an offset, because we increased spending somewhere else.”
But Coppess admits the final decision is up to the Congressional Budget Office, while Connor predicts a “heavy, heavy lift” for the next Farm Bill, even without the climate debate.
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