Conservation Compliance Changes in the 2014 Farm Bill

Jul 23, 2014

By Jean-Paul McDonald,

American farmers and ranchers are reminded that changes made to the 2014 Farm Bill require them to have a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification on record. The farm law ties the highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation compliance with producers’ eligibility for the federal crop insurance program. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement today.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture urges farmers to take the right steps to complete the forms and file at their local Farm Service Agency office. Failure to do so will result in them no longer being eligible for crop insurance support. According to the USDA, most Natural Resource Conservation programs already have this item listed as a requirement, but if producers have not filed yet, they must do so no later than June 1, 2015.

When farmers file their forms, government staff will advise them of any additional actions that they must take in order to comply with the rules. The USDA clarifies that since 1985, eligibility for most commodity, disaster and conservation programs are connected with the Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation program requirements. The 2014 rules continue the requirement, but it also includes the new price and revenue production programs, in addition to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program.

The USDA says it will publish a rule later this year that will outline the details about the connection of the conservation compliance with the crop insurance premium support. The revised form can be obtained at USDA Service locations or online at