Fighting for Sound Conservation Practices in South Dakota

South Dakota has 954,000 Acres Enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which Helps Support South Dakota’s $250 million Annual Pheasant Hunting Revenue

Through his involvement in drafting three farm bills over 12 years, Sen. Thune has fought for improvements to CRP and other federal conservation programs and initiatives.

Highlights of Sen. Thune’s Commitment to Conservation:

  • Authored Sodsaver Provisions in 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills:
    • Sodsaver provides common-sense reform to crop insurance loopholes by removing the policy that allows insured crops planted on newly converted native sod to receive the same crop insurance coverage as crops on the farm that are planted on less-productive land.
    • In the 2008 farm bill, sodsaver was authorized only as an option to a governor of a state and limited to the Prairie Pothole Region.
    • In the 2014 farm bill, Sen. Thune was able to make sodsaver mandatory in all Prairie Pothole States.
  • Reauthorizing and Improving CRP:
    • Fought for reauthorization of CRP in 2002, 2008, 2014 farm bills.
    • Authored provision in 2014 farm bill that allows residue and cover from CRP to be used for livestock and not burned at taxpayers’ expense.
    • Sent letters to USDA Secretary requesting additional State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) and a general CRP signup – both requests were granted.
  • Conservation Compliance Linkage to Crop Insurance Premium Subsidy Eligibility:
    • Upon the request of South Dakota and national commodity, crop insurance, and conservation and wildlife groups, Sen. Thune worked diligently to help draft a common-sense policy that links conservation compliance requirements to crop insurance premium subsidy eligibility.