Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cover Crops

I feels as if I've mentioned this before, but anyway.

Tamar Haspel has an article in the Post on changes in "big ag", which affect the environment, such as "no-till". She focuses on cover crops, noting that sometimes they pay off financially, but often they don't. Also, farmers who rent are less motivated to use cover crops on the rented ground.

I'll quote my comment:

"Once upon a time, there was a program called the Agricultural Conservation Program. It included cost sharing for various conservation practices, including winter cover crops. Then into this idyllic picture came a President, elected by the people. This President refused to spend the money Congress appropriated for the program, thinking it was a waste of money. After much toing and froing, and a few lawsuits IIRC, Congress and the President compromise by calling the program a new name and by killing some of the conservation practices, including the cover crop practice." 

The toing and froing was partly over whether the President had the authority not to spend the money.  IIRC the Supreme Court eventually said no.

The President was Nixon.

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