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Areas of Focus

Areas of Focus

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Will agriculture be America’s leading source of greenhouse gas emissions?

Agriculture could produce more than a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Here’s why: Every other sector of the economy, especially transportation and energy, is expected to reduce...

Major USDA conservation program must change to prioritize climate stewardship

The federal Conservation Stewardship Program, or CSP, spends little of its billions in funding on practices and enhancements that reduce farming’s greenhouse gas emissions. But Congress could reform...

How to make climate change a priority in the next farm bill

Next year, Congress will renew the farm bill, which provides funding to our farmers and ranchers. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, annual spending by the Department of Agriculture on farm...

We must expand – and reform – the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program

It’s good news the Inflation Reduction Act will invest $20 billion to reward farmers when they take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

USDA Conservation Stewardship Program could do more to tackle climate emergency

The Senate is considering a budget reconciliation bill this week to increase “climate-smart” spending on farm conservation efforts by $20 billion over five years, including over $4 billion in new...

Climate change isn’t high priority for $1.2 billion USDA farm stewardship program

One of the Department of Agriculture’s largest farm stewardship programs doesn’t make a big enough priority of helping farmers reduce greenhouse gases – even though food and farming emissions keep...

It’s time to reform the Conservation Reserve Program – but not for the reason you might think

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was right to reject efforts this week to allow farmers to plow up lands enrolled in the Agriculture Department’s Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, to grow more...

Should Secretary Vilsack speak to the Farm Bureau?

You might be surprised to find out a member of President Biden’s cabinet was addressing an organization that opposes gay marriage, supports making English our official language, opposes the removal of...

Tackling food, farming emissions key to avoiding climate catastrophe

Even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today, greenhouse gas emissions from food and farming could make a climate catastrophe unavoidable.

Growing farm conservation backlog shows need for Congress to spend smarter

Despite billions of dollars in federal spending, the U.S. has a growing backlog of farmers seeking assistance for conservation efforts that can protect drinking water supplies. It’s time for Congress...

Federal crop insurance reform vital for incentivizing climate adaptation on farms

New research proves the climate crisis is costing taxpayers billions of dollars in federal crop insurance payouts for losses due to rising temperatures, underscoring the urgent need for insurance...

Interview: Lack of ‘conservation compliance’ highlights need for stricter federal oversight

Farmers are failing to comply with federal “conservation compliance” requirements designed to protect wetlands and soil, according to University of Iowa Associate Professor Silvia Secchi, who says the...

How Cover Crops Can Help Farmers, Protect Drinking Water and Fight Climate Change

As farmers struggle with a plummeting farm economy in the wake of President Trump's trade war, the administration is rushing to send a second round of cash payments – reportedly totaling $15 billion...

Farm Conservation on the Rise, But Also Threats to Drinking Water and Climate

The latest federal Census of Agriculture shows that more farms are adopting conservation practices that can help keep drinking water clean and slow climate change, but it also shows that much more...

The Farm Bill Should Better Protect America’s Drinking Water

America's drinking water is under threat from a formidable foe: polluted farm runoff, which contaminates the tap water supplies for millions of people, especially in rural areas.

8 Reasons Senate Farm Bill Is Better Than House Bill

It's not hard to see the differences between the terrible, partisan House farm bill and the bipartisan Senate farm bill

The Greenest Farm Bill Ever?

Almost a year ago, we identified six steps Congress could take to address the serious public health threats posed by farm pollution. Since then, the pollution problems posed by agriculture – including...

6 Ways the House Farm Bill Betrays Perdue’s Principles

The farm bill produced by the House Agriculture Committee violates many of the principles developed by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

6 Strikes Against the House Farm Bill

Every federal farm bill is a chance to feed hungry Americans, build healthier diets, support family farmers and reduce farm pollution

Senate Bill Would Improve Water Quality in Critical Watersheds Nationwide

As Congress continues to craft the next farm bill, two critical conservation challenges need to be addressed.
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