"Soil and water conservation topics will be prominent in the 110th Congress, especially as it considers policy options for the next farm bill. Conservation proposals introduced late in the 109th Congress (H.R. 6064 and H.R. 6193) are expected to be reintroduced, and many interest groups continue to offer policy recommendations ranging from general concepts to specific legislative language. On January 31, 2007, the Administration released its farm bill recommendations. The current farm bill, enacted in 2002 and generally expiring at the end of FY2007, increased spending and expanded the scope of the conservation effort by reauthorizing and amending many U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conservation programs and enacting new ones. An example of increased spending is the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (from $200 million annually before FY2002 to $1.3 billion in FY2007); and an example of a raised enrollment ceiling is the Wetlands Reserve Program (from 1,075,000 acres to 2,275,000 acres). Several new programs also expanded the scope of conservation. For example, the Conservation Security Program (CSP) provides payments to producers who address natural resource concerns as part of their farm operation on so-called "working lands." Other new programs were created to conserve grasslands, address surface and ground water conservation needs, permit approved third parties to provide conservation assistance, and encourage use of innovative conservation technologies."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33556
National Agricultural Law Center http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/crs/