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Walz-Noem Sodsaver Provision Fails to Make House Farm Bill

Earlier this year, Congresswoman Kristi Noem threw her support behind Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz's effort to expand the Sodsaver program. The Sodsaver provision of the current Farm Bill prohibits crop insurance for native grasslands that farmers plow into production, but it only applies in the Prairie Pothole National Priority Area, which includes East River South Dakota. That program was also made voluntary: states had to opt in, and none of the five governors affected, including then-Gov. M. Michael Rounds, did so, even though Sodsaver costs the states nothing and saves the feds money.

The Walz amendment would have expanded Sodsaver nationwide, but it would only have reduced crop insurance for the first four years of the pillage of native prairie. That's far from perfect—the Izaak Walton League has called for a complete prohibition on federal crop insurance and federal subsidies for such short-sighted, habitat-destroying farming—but it's better than nothing.

Senator Thune got an identical watered-down Sodsaver provision in the Senate version of the Farm Bill. But Noem couldn't get that fingerprint on the Farm Bill. She couldn't get House Ag chairman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma to sign on, and Rep. Walz had to withdraw his Sodsaver proposal.

Rep. Noem thinks the House Farm Bill is just peachy, but her failure to deliver on Sodsaver only adds to the reasons we should reject the House Farm Bill... and maybe reject Kristi Noem.

Related: Noem also had to back down on an amendment to continue USDA funding of ethanol blender pumps.

The Environmental Working Group calls the House Farm Bill a budget-buster, expanding unlimited subsidies for the richest farmers while slashing conservation programs and nutrition assistance for the poor.


  1. larry kurtz 2012.07.16

    Clearly, private ownership of heritage lands has failed.

    Noem is a minimalist: it's the least she can do. Keep the heat on the earth haters, CAH: the Dems have them on their heels.

    “Conservation easement contracts will specify perpetual protection of habitat for trust species and limits on residential, industrial, or commercial development. Contracts will prohibit alteration of the natural topography, conversion of native grassland to cropland, drainage of wetland, and establishment of game farms.”

    the US Fish and Wildlife Service is governed by the oversight of two political parties, not just one.

    rd makes the best argument for the nationalization of wildlife through the establishment of a national park from Sonora to Yukon better than any landowner has yet been able to do.

    Related: If dilution is the solution to pollution: why not neuter all the male Bison or remove them completely from mal-named Custer State Park and impregnate the cows with semen from pure Bison at Wind Cave?

    Rinse, repeat until they meet blood quanta requirements for a future set of wildlife corridors.

  2. Rorschach 2012.07.16

    Well finally Noem at least supports something good - Sodsaver.

    With blender pumps she's still shilling for more government spending and corporate welfare though. I struggle to understand why the government, rather than gas stations and ethanol producers, should pay for blender pumps.

  3. larry kurtz 2012.07.16

    The GOP is trying to cut funding for public broadcasting again. GovTrack.

    Urge your Representative to resist this latest assault on knowledge and access to the tools to understand the global community.

    Now, go send your favorite network some money.

  4. grudznick 2012.07.16

    Cut funding for PBS? Heck, eliminate the funding for PBS and let them survive on their loyal customer base like your local car dealers do. And till up Reynolds Prairie and plant some corn to feed the deer but don't plant hemp.

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