U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) sent a letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees urging them to maintain a provision in the 2018 Farm Bill conference report that would allow new poultry farmers to access conservation funds through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). After hearing concerns from poultry farmers in Delaware, they proposed this provision, included in the Senate Farm Bill, to revise previous EQIP language stating that only farmers with an “existing resource concern” could apply for conservation funds. The proposed provision would include language that would require EQIP to provide funding for “identified, new, or expected resource concerns,” so that farmers can access these critical funds before they have birds on their farms.

“The State of Delaware is home to a vibrant and thriving poultry industry,” the Senators and Representative wrote. “Many of our farmers utilize EQIP cost share assistance for best management practices that benefit the environment, including manure storage and composting facilities. As we have all visited with poultry growers in our state, we have heard a common problem that is resolved by this provision in the Senate Farm Bill.”

The letter is copied below and is available here.