If you read this post from yesterday, you know that you’re paying for a federal program that’s having a devastating impact on pheasants and other animals across the midwest. The federal Crop Insurance Program encourages farmers to plant land they used to set aside for conservation, and as more acreage goes under the plow, there are less area where wildlife can thrive.
Part four of the Capital Journal’s excellent series on habit loss in South Dakota’s talks about this program, and lays out some pretty stunning info on what lies ahead for the state.
The Crop Insurance Connection by Allison Jarrell
“When Lyle Perman was younger, in a different era in farm policy, he and his father converted some of their grassland into crops.
Perman, now a Walworth County rancher and crop insurance agent, recalls government agencies assisting them with designing drainage ditches and blowing holes in wetlands.
“You have to understand that this is the environment that a lot of us were raised in,” Perman said. “We were raised draining wetlands. Farming and erosion were just part of the business. You didn’t like it, but it was just part of what you did.”
That grassland conversion is part of what made South Dakota what it is today. But researchers, ranchers and conservation organizations have found that high commodity prices are driving today’s farmers to plow land that yesterday’s farmers deemed unsuitable for planting….”
Read the entire piece now: The Crop Insurance Connection. Then ask yourself a simple question: Is this something you and I should be paying for?