Dear Editor:

The time is NOW for a Farm Bill! With only nine legislative days left before the Sept. 30 deadline, time is running out for Congress to pass a five-year Farm Bill.

The House and Senate have each separately passed versions of the bill, and its fate is now in the hands of leadership who simply need to bring the two bills to conference and work out the differences.

The future of our land, air, water and other natural resources is too important to become the victim of politics.

Failure to pass a Farm Bill would mean potentially devastating cuts to conservation funding and program authorities sun-setting on the Wetlands Reserve Program, Grassland Reserve Program and Conservation Reserve Program. The loss of meaningful reform measures that would cut costs while increasing efficiencies and best management tools to care for our natural resources is a terrible consequence of partisan political posturing.

Producers deserve to have a long-term framework in place to effectively and efficiently manage their land, resources and businesses for the years ahead.

As our population continues to increase, and severe weather events are on the rise, the passage of a five-year Farm Bill has never been more critical, with far-reaching consequences on everything from our food security, to the economy and the mitigation of the impacts of natural disasters on the land, air and water we rely on every day.

Lack of action on a Farm Bill will have serious and irreversible impacts on the future of conservation in America.

Terry Poague Chairman, Elmore County Soil and Water Conservation District