The 1985 farm bill instituted compliance with "sodbuster/swampbuster" provisions as a prerequisite for earning certain farm bill payments. This was a major wrench for the USDA agencies, particularly the Soil Conservation Service (as NRCS was then called). SCS was used to being the farmer's friend and educator, helping install farm ponds and contour cropping trips. Sod/swamp moved them more into the policeman role, determining what the farmer had to do to comply. An interesting history could be written of the next 23 years, as farm groups lobbied for changes, conservation groups fought back, SCS and FSA felt caught in the middle.
Now we can anticipate other changes. As my right-wing friends might say, an ever-encroaching government bureaucracy taking away farmers' freedoms. Here's an piece in Mulch, on the problems of controlling run-off pollution in watersheds (a problem already faced in the New York City watershed). The writer struggles to plot a course between purely "voluntary" conservation measures, which aren't that effective, and alternatives, trying to identify alternatives which aren't oppressive. For an old cynic, the struggle is most interesting.