Food Security Act Contains Conservation Provisions (Great Events from History II: Ecology and the Environment Series)
Article abstract: The Food Security Act of 1985 contained conservation provisions to reduce soil erosion, to prevent an overabundance of grain crops, and to protect wetlands.
Summary of Event
On December 23, 1985, Congress passed the Food Security Act (FSA). By passing the act, Congress recognized the value of taking erodible cropland out of production in the United States. Prior to the act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that 3.1 billion tons of soil were eroding annually on approximately 420 million acres of cropland. In addition, 3.7 million acres of land were being converted annually from pasture and wetlands to cropland. Title 12 of the FSA contained provisions to conserve natural resources throughout agricultural ecosystems.
Passage of the FSA was accomplished in part by the development of a coalition of agriculture producers and environmentalists. The agriculture community was concerned with such issues as decreasing land values, low commodity prices, and high interest rates. Environmentalists supported legislation that would be effective in diverting agricultural land into a land-retirement program, with the purpose of decreasing soil erosion, protecting wetlands, and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat.
Over the last half of the twentieth century, major shifts in agricultural land-use practices significantly affected wildlife species and the soil resources on...
(The entire section is 2218 words.)
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