Ducks Unlimited ‘disappointed’ in Farm Bureau stance on swampbuster legislation

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — Ducks Unlimited, the nonprofit group that supports wetlands and waterfowl, is “disappointed” that delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation voted to urge Congress to repeal legislation that makes farmers who convert wetlands to cropland use ineligible for crop subsidies and crop insurance premium subsidies, Kellis Moss, director of public policy for the group said here Monday.

Moss made the statement in response to a question from The Hagstrom Report.

These Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Compliance provisions, known colloquially as swampbuster, have been a part of farm bills since 1985.

Ducks Unlimited and other conservation and environmental groups have supported crop insurance in exchange for farm group support for conservation compliance.

Appearing on a panel with representatives of commodity groups, Moss said the Farm Bureau vote at its convention in January indicated that Ducks Unlimited needs to engage in more farmer education “to let them know how important that conservation compliance provision is.”

Moss said Ducks Unlimited has informed congressional staff of the importance of the provision, but said “we need to remind partner organizations outside Congress.”

Scott Graves, the executive director of the American Association of Crop Insurers who moderated the panel, said “there is a reason Kellis is here every year.”

Ducks Unlimited members, Graves said, “have been heroes in the conservation space.”

–The Hagstrom Report