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American Farmland Trust: Final Passage Of The New Farm Bill Makes Biggest Reform In Agricultural Policy In Years

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Farmland Trust today praised final Congressional adoption of the new Farm Bill which makes the biggest reform in agricultural policy in years, according to Andrew McElwaine, President and CEO of AFT.

"The new Farm Bill requires farmers who receive crop insurance premium assistance to have a conservation plan which helps protect erodible soil and wetlands," said McElwaine.  "Conservation compliance in past has been applied to over 140 million acres helping farmers save 295 million tons of soil per year.  An estimated 1.5 million to 3.3 million acres of vulnerable wetlands have not been drained as a result of this compliance provision."

The bill includes a number of other American Farmland Trust's legislative priorities that will help preserve agricultural land, promote sound farming practices, and help keep farmers on the land, including--

-- The investment of $2 billion in conservation easements which helps limit the loss of our nation's working farms and ranch lands to non-farm uses; and

-- Priorities like Beginning Farmers and Farmers Markets with over $250 million in funding to support opportunities for farmers and consumers.

"As with any compromise there are pros and cons, but on the whole we congratulate Congress for coming together to craft a bill.  We look forward to President Obama making the bill law," said McElwaine.

The American Farmland Trust is the nation's leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land.

For more information on the policies and programs of the American Farmland Trust, visit www.farmland.org, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanFarmland or Twitter www.twitter.com/farmland.

Andrew McElwaine, President & CEO, American Farmland Trust
Phone: 202-378-1212
Jeremy Peters, Director of Federal Policy, American Farmland Trust
Phone: 202-378-1219

SOURCE American Farmland Trust

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