May 24, 2024

Kansas farmers urge Senate to fund conservation in the farm bill

RENO COUNTY, KANSAS – Nearly 50 Kansas farmers, in support of conservation and crop insurance practices in the 2018 farm bill, recently signed and sent a letter to Sen. Pat Roberts who chairs the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

“As farmers and ranchers in Kansas, we write to you with concerns about the future of conservation programs authorized in Title II of the Farm Bill,” the letter began. “The recent version of this omnibus legislation that came out of the House Agriculture Committee strikes a serious blow to working lands conservation programs.”

The farmers wrote they “know from experience that conservation practices reduce on-farm risk and enhance profitability.” Planting cover crops, engaging in no-till, and rotational grazing help build soil health, lessen disease pressure, and improve resiliency of rangeland. They said farmers and ranchers identify risk as a major barrier in adopting conservation practices.

“Therefore, incentives for innovation and investment are vital to build and maintain a resilient agriculture – particularly in the face of volatile weather, adapting pests, and increased demand for food,” the letter states.

The letter asks the Senate to protect the funding and programs in the Conservation Title of the farm bill, especially working lands programs such as the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

“Strong support for conservation, especially working lands programs, not only improves agriculture, benefits taxpayers, and protects resources, but also it is vital for our long-term national security,” they wrote. “Furthermore, protecting the future productivity and health of our soil, water, and air strengthens the future of a healthy and well-fed America.”

By county, the signers are: Barton: Troy Schroeder; Brown: Laura and Doug Fortmeyer of Jubilee Farm; Cheyenne: Ron Brown; Ellis: Allen Roth and Travis Groff; Gray: Myron Schmidt; Greenwood: Dale and Nancy Kirkham; Harper: Todd Miller; Hodgeman: Brit Hayes and C. Brian Hastings; Kearny: Bill Simshauser, Erika Jaeger of 4F Farms, and Titus Jaeger of Jaeger Family Farms; Kingman: Gene Albers; Lane: Don Hineman; Logan and Thomas: Michael and Melinda Moeder; McPherson: Fred and Connie Neufeld; Nemaha: Ed Reznicek and Mary Fund; Pawnee: Felix Revello; Phillips: Forrest and Marlene Peters; Pottawatomie: Donn Teske; Reno: Cameron Peirce, Chad Basinger, C.J. Blew, Colby Harner of Sugar Creek Ranch, Darrin Unruh, Derek Zongker, James Funke and Christine Terrill, Jerry Clasen, Jim and Lisa French, Marion Krehbiel, and Sam Sanders; Rice: Kendall Hodgson and Ted Worl; Russell: Larry Hickman; Saline: Tom Holmquist; Sherman: Luke Jaeger of Trifecta Farms and Matthew Jaeger of Trifecta Farms; Scott: Alan Williams; and Washington: Brigham Stewart.