Agriculture is a great example of how government and programs get out of hand.
Water quality is a major issue and should be. We need quality water. I dont think anyone disagrees
In the west, salmon and trout drive many decisions. What does that have to do with ag? Ag includes timber as well as crops and grazing.
Siltation impacts spawning and the salmon people and truot people want to improve spawing habitat
That drives a need to create less siltation. Invasive species that create more siltation are things like star thistle or russian or spotted knapweed. All three invade forest as well as grazing lands
So there are programs to spray invasive species. But those are highly opposed by other groups who oppose pesticides. The time and money spent by BLM, Park Service, and forest service on the paperwork is mindboggeling
In the plains we have native grasslands as well as tame grass pastures. We want clean water for drinking and recreation. This a non ag need drives an ag program to create buffer strips that redduce siltation. Those buffer strips remove land from crop production and require native grasses. Is that a good investment of tax dollars? Who knows. But cleaner water is the result
The idea that great number of grassland acres will be converted to corn or soybeans is a bit off track. First, those acres are very marginal crop production potential and many are in areas that would require irrigation. The cost to convert dryland grass to irrigated crop is huge
Second is productive potential. You can have great pasture land that wont grow corn or beans at an economic level
Bottom line is that non ag demands often drive a political agenda or a special interest group desire. Lots lead to unintended consequences
As our beef herd continues to decline we have less need for grazing land and orher uses will evolve. When demand for beef grows, grass will be planted to support beef. Currently we are in a major contraction of cattle numbers. Grassland has a cost and owners have to cover that cost
Frazod to KC Nitwit..."Hey, I saw a picture of some dumpy bitch with a horrible ****tarded giant back tattoo and couldn't help but think of you." Simple, Pure, Perfect. 7/31/2013