Agriculture and Food:

Protect Tomorrow's Food Supply, Soil Conservation Needs Priority Attention

CED-77-30: Published: Feb 14, 1977. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 1977.


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There are three major Department of Agriculture programs to assist farmers in establishing enduring soil conservation practices to control erosion and preserve the topsoil necessary for crop production. The Conservation Operations Program provides technical assistance to help farmers develop conservation plans and apply conservation measures. The Agricultural Conservation Program channels Federal money to farmers and ranchers to share the costs of carrying out conservation practices on their land. The Great Plains program is a special Federal effort to help combat the unique climatic hazards in the Great Plains by technically and financially helping farmers and ranchers to change crop systems and land uses to conserve soil and water.

Much of the money is not being spent on critically needed soil conservation practices having the best payoffs for reducing erosion. In addition, the programs tend to be oriented to individual farmers who seek advice or volunteer to participate in programs.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendation for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Department of Agriculture should seek out and offer assistance to farmers who have the most severe erosion problems, and should give assistance priority to erosion control measures that provide critically needed, enduring soil conservation benefits.

    Agency Affected:

    Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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