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H.R. 349 (113th): Preserving Marginal Lands and Protecting Farming Act of 2013

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 22, 2013 (Introduced).


I

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 349

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 22, 2013

(for herself, Mr. Bonner, Mr. Bachus, and Ms. Sewell of Alabama) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture

A BILL

To amend the Food Security Act of 1985 with respect to maximum enrollment and eligible land in the conservation reserve program.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Preserving Marginal Lands and Protecting Farming Act of 2013 .

2.

Maximum enrollment

Section 1231(d) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831(d)) is amended to read as follows:

(d)

Maximum enrollment

The Secretary may maintain in the conservation reserve at any 1 time, not more than—

(1)

during fiscal year 2013, 29,000,000 acres;

(2)

during fiscal year 2014, 26,000,000 acres; and

(3)

during each of fiscal years 2015 through 2018, 24,000,000 acres.

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3.

Ineligible land

Section 1231 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(j)

Ineligible land

Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Secretary may not enroll land in the conservation reserve that is classified as class I or class II land under the land capability classification system published in the National Soil Survey Handbook of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, unless such land is enrolled as a buffer, filterstrip, or strip adjacent to a riparian area.

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4.

Contract requirements

(a)

Early termination by owner or operator

Section 1235(e) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3835(e) ) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)(A)

(A)

by striking The Secretary and inserting During fiscal year 2014, the Secretary ; and

(B)

by striking before January 1, 1995,;

(2)

in paragraph (2), by striking subparagraph (C) and inserting the following:

(C)

Land devoted to hardwood trees.

(D)

Wildlife habitat, duck nesting habitat, pollinator habitat, upland bird habitat buffer, wildlife food plots, State acres for wildlife enhancement, shallow water areas for wildlife, and rare and declining habitat.

(E)

Farmable wetland and restored wetland.

(F)

Land that contains diversions, erosion control structures, flood control structures, contour grass strips, living snow fences, salinity reducing vegetation, cross wind trap strips, and sediment retention structures.

(G)

Land located within a federally-designated wellhead protection area.

(H)

Land that is covered by an easement under the conservation reserve program.

(I)

Land located within an average width, according to the applicable Natural Resources Conservation Service field office technical guide, of a perennial stream or permanent water body.

; and

(3)

in paragraph (3), by striking 60 days after the date on which the owner or operator submits the notice required under paragraph (1)(C) and inserting upon approval by the Secretary .

(b)

Transition option for certain farmers or ranchers

Section 1235(f) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3835(f)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)

(A)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking Duties and all that follows through a beginning farmer and inserting Transition to covered farmer or rancher.—In the case of a contract modification approved in order to facilitate the transfer of land subject to a contract from a retired farmer or rancher to a beginning farmer;

(B)

in subparagraph (A)(i), by inserting , including preparing to plant an agricultural crop after improvements;

(C)

in subparagraph (D), by striking the farmer or rancher and inserting the covered farmer or rancher; and

(D)

in subparagraph (E), by striking section 1001A(b)(3)(B) and inserting section 1001(a) ; and

(2)

in paragraph (2), by striking requirement of section 1231(h)(4)(B) and inserting option pursuant to section 1231(h) .

(c)

Final year contract

Section 1235 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3835) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(g)

Final year of contract

The Secretary shall not consider an owner or operator to be in violation of a term or condition of the conservation reserve contract if—

(1)

during the year prior to expiration of the contract, the land is enrolled in the conservation stewardship program; and

(2)

the activity required under the conservation stewardship program pursuant to such enrollment is consistent with this subchapter.

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