JOHANNS RELEASES CONSERVATION PAPER; SECOND OF 2007 FARM BILL THEME PAPERS
DES MOINES, June 8, 2006-Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today released a conservation program analysis paper authored by USDA economists. This is the second in a series of papers intended to provide factual information about specific topics and continue the national discussion about policy alternatives in preparation for the 2007 Farm Bill. Johanns discussed the paper today at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa. Johanns also announced the next subject for analysis will be rural development.
"It's important to have all the facts on the table as we continue our national conversation about future farm policy," said Johanns. "These analysis papers educate the public about how our programs operate and how they might be redesigned. The alternatives are not USDA policy proposals, rather an effort by some of the finest economists in the world to provide straightforward information. I'm confident many of our stakeholders will be as fascinated by the analysis as I have been."
At the end of March, Johanns announced the release of 41 papers summarizing the 4,000 comments received during 52 USDA Farm Bill Forums and via the Internet. In preparing for the 2007 farm bill, USDA is gathering from these papers a number of themes that warrant further analysis. The first analysis paper, released in May, focused on risk management.
The conservation paper is authored by a team led by the Office of the USDA Chief Economist with input from the Economic Research Service (ERS), the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). It contains factual, useful information for examining future farm policy directions.
The paper discusses natural resource issues, current USDA conservation programs administered by FSA and NRCS and policy alternatives. These alternatives are ideas generated by USDA's economists and are generalized approaches to addressing conservation and environmental issues on agricultural lands. They are not policy recommendations and are presented for public discussion.
The conservation paper is available at: http://www.usda.gov/farmbill. Transcripts of the Farm Bill Forums and the 41 Farm Bill comment summary papers are also posted there.