Farm groups want lawmakers to spend more on conservation

By Marc Heller | 04/01/2024 04:02 PM EDT

A coalition of groups urged congressional appropriators to boost funding in fiscal 2025 for technical assistance to farmers.

Rep. Andy Harris testifies before the House Rules Committee.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Agriculture Department. Francis Chung/POLITICO

A coalition of farm and environmental groups is pressing Congress to boost funding for land conservation in the next fiscal year, after seeing those programs take a hit in the current fiscal year.

The National Association of Conservation Districts, the National Farmers Union and others urged lawmakers Friday to provide at least $1.2 billion for conservation operations at the Natural Resources Conservation Service, up from $915 million in the recently enacted fiscal 2024 packages.

Fiscal 2025 begins Oct. 1. The Biden administration requested $985 million for conservation operations in its budget plan released last month.


Most of the money in question goes to technical assistance for farmers and other landowners, for which the administration requested $869 million.