Yesterday afternoon, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson released a discussion draft of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act . The bill is expected to be voted out of the full committee mark-up scheduled for Wednesday, July 11th. The bill includes many similar provisions found in the recently passed 2012 Farm Bill voted out of the Senate.
Notable items include:
- Provides strategic direction for the implementation of the FIA program
- Extends Stewardship Contracting Authority through FY17
- Caps funding for the Forest Legacy Program (at $55MM) and the Community Forest and Open Space Program (at $1.5MM)
- Extends the Good Neighbor Authority to states containing NFS land.
- Repeals the Watershed Forestry Assistance Program
- Consolidates the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)
- Clarifies that Clean Water Act NPDES permits are not required for FIFRA compliant pesticide applications.
NASF will continue to monitor consideration of the Farm Bill in the House. Watch for further developments next week.