Senators ask USDA to launch National Water Quality Initiative

A bipartisan group of senators is asking the USDA to prioritize conservation measures in the 2018 Farm Bill by creating a department-wide National Water Quality Initiative

In a letter to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, the senators say the initiative would build off an existing initiative at the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

They say it would allow improved coordination between conservation programs and better customer service and outreach to producers.

The senators are also asking the USDA to identify critical watersheds where USDA conservation investments can make the biggest impact on reducing nutrient loss, improving soil health and water quality.

Eight senators signed the letter including Democrats Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Tom Carper of Delaware, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, and Republicans Joni Ernst of Iowa, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Mike Braun of Indiana, and Dick Durban of Illinois.

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