In other news, American Farmland Trust (AFT) is bucking against a provision included in the budget deal just brokered between the House and Senate.

In a statement, AFT said it will oppose “the agreement authorizing the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to charge farmers up to $150 to help them prepare farm conservation plans.”

Andrew McElwaine, AFT president, said, “Reducing nutrients from farm runoff costs almost 60 percent less than the same reduction from a sewage treatment plant. We should be rewarding farmers who voluntarily put conservation plans in place. Instead we’re going to charge them.

“Conservation plans are a fundamental first step farmers take to reduce erosion and keep sediment and nutrients from running off their land.  Without this plan, those reductions won’t take place and instead taxpayers will have to pay to upgrade local water and sewer systems.”