House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson and Ranking Member Michael Conaway were skeptical about the Trump Administration’s implementation of conservation programs during a subcommittee hearing last week.
The Ag Committee’s Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee hearing on the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill conservation provisions got a little testy. Natural Resources Conservation Chief Matthew Lohr says his agency launched the Conservation Assistance Ranking Tool (CART) to help farmers figure out which conservation programs work best for them. “Overall, the improvements through the CART program will enhance customer experience and save 200,000 hours of staff time every year,” Lohr said during testimony.
Peterson wasn’t happy, saying that Lohr hadn’t told him about it in a meeting they had, and he believes CART amounts to “more damn crazy regulations as a ‘top-down’ deal.” Conaway told Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce that his farmers were “back home scratching their heads” over differences in rental rates for the land-idling Conservation Reserve Program in neighboring counties. “There shouldn’t be marked differences in neighboring counties,” Conaway said to Fordyce.