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The Impacts of the 2007 Farm Bill on Agriculture Waste Treatment

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The WEF Government Affairs Committee (GAC) is engaged in a process to develop policy recommendations for re-authorization of the 2002 Farm Bill, which Congress is expected to consider next year. The Farm Bill authorizes funding for agricultural commodity programs, agricultural conservation programs, rural development programs and food and nutrition programs. In 2002, the Farm Bill authorized over 180 billion during ten years in support of agriculture-related support programs. The programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

USDA has posed four alternatives in regard to conservation and the environment to help focus public discussion. It should be noted these are not specific proposals that are being advocated by USDA. They are as follows:

Improve existing conservation programs

Provide “green payments” to enhance environmental benefits and provide income support.

Encourage private sector markets for environmental service.

Expand conservation compliance or establish a standard core.

One of the key issues for the development of new programs and the revitalization of existing programs is funding. This presents a need for the development of more efficient and economical means of delivering and developing these programs. Along with the limitations of funding comes the need for balance between economic viability and environmental quality. There is also concern as related to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the achievement of “green box” status. These concerns along with the emphasis WEF places on water quality provide an opportunity to continue making progress in implementing agriculture conservation best management practices that improve water quality, and provide an opportunity to foster greater collaboration between the municipal and agricultural communities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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