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Pair of conservation bills introduced in U.S. House

Two bills recently introduced in the U.S. House would help farmers improve conservation practices on their operations.

Congressman Zach Nunn tells Brownfield the first bill, the Conservation Innovation Act, would establish a new Office of Innovation within the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

“This is a bottom-up approach where farmers get to drive conservation practices that work and submit them forward for the USDA to make standard playbook issues versus what we currently have of a USDA that implements standards. Oftentimes they go decades before they’re updated or innovative, but they become the mandate.”

The new office would work to ensure the utilization of the most effective new technology during the revision of current conservation standards and development of new standards, Nunn said.

The Iowa Republican says the second measure, the Streamlining Conservation Practice Standards Act, would require the U.S. Ag Secretary to allow for stakeholder input on each conservation practice during a review process.

“Giving farmers really a seat at the table while the innovation is being reviewed versus just submitting it and hoping that a bureaucrat in D.C. takes them at their word.”

Nunn says he introduced the bills with Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger.

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