September 10, 2012
Last week, the National Farmers Union (NFU) released a poll confirming that farmers believe conservation programs are vital in helping to deal with drought. Two research firms (one Democratic and one Republican) polled 502 farmers across 13 states in the American Heartland and found that an overwhelming 79 percent of respondents view conservation programs as critical to mitigating the impacts of drought conditions.
The survey also found that 71 percent of farmers in the Plains States and Midwest rejected a proposal to pay for short-term drought relief by cutting long-term conservation program funding. In early August, the House passed a disaster relief bill that did just that. Elsewhere we have reported on the huge negative ramifications that that bill would have.
Congress returns to Washington, D.C. this week to consider a number of options relating to disaster relief and the farm bill. As debate continues, members of Congress should keep in mind the importance that their farmer constituents place on conservation programs.
To read more about farmer views on conservation policy and program funding, see our previous post on an earlier survey conducted by the same groups.