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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO commented on the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) interpretation of the Food Security Act's wetlands provision. GAO noted that: (1) under the act, the draining or filling of wetlands and converted wetlands, which were cultivated naturally before the act's passage, could cause program participants to lose federal farm benefits; and (2) a congressional committee report urging restraint in applying a provision allowing program participation when agricultural production would have a minimal effect on wetlands was not binding on USDA.