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Public Statements

Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MORAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment because it would improve the Environmental Quality Incentives Program by targeting support for the smaller and midsize farms where the investment will buy a bigger bang for the buck.

Just 1 percent of agribusinesses get more than 20 percent of EQIP payments, and about 70 percent of that funding is used to build structures to store manure and lay irrigation pipeline, purchase sprinkler systems and other equipment.

This amendment doesn't do anything to prohibit or restrict large farming operations. In fact, the limits in this amendment would have impacted less than half a percent of all EQIP contracts between 1997 and 2010, where we have statistics.

Our limited Federal funding, I think, would be better targeted by helping small and midsize farms engage in more sustainable practices, such as transitioning to farming methods that use fewer antibiotics and pesticides.

I think it makes sense to target where we can get the biggest bang for the buck because more intensive production practices, if not properly managed and mitigated, contaminate our drinking water, pollute the air, and diminish the quality of the soil, placing future production yields at risk.

And it seems to me in austere budget times we ought not cut or do away with conservation incentives but, instead, make them more efficient. And that's what the gentleman's amendment would do, so I rise in support of it. I think it's a good amendment. It helps small and medium-sized farms.

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