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Senate Proceeding 11-13-07 on Nov 13th, 2007 :: 3:56:41 to 5:01:02
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Tom Harkin

3:56:41 to 3:56:54( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. harkin: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be dispensed. the presiding officer: withoutg objection, so ordered. mr. harkin:

Tom Harkin

3:56:41 to 5:01:02( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Tom Harkin

Tom Harkin

3:56:54 to 3:57:11( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: mr. president, it's hard to believe but we're on the farm bill. as any casual observer might notice, we're in the doing anything. we sit here with an empty chamber. the farm bill has now been on

Tom Harkin

3:57:11 to 3:57:30( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the floor for well over a week. the farm bill was laid down a week ago -- a week ago today, as a matter of fact. and nothing has happened. why hasn't anything happened? because we can't get anything from

Tom Harkin

3:57:30 to 3:57:53( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the other side.~ we wanted to ask consent to move to an amendment today, put a time limit on it and dispose of it. the other side refuses. the republican leadership refuses to move ahead on this

Tom Harkin

3:57:53 to 3:58:04( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: farm bill. i suggested earlier today we might want to at least have some amendments up and move but can't get consent on the other side. so here we sit. at this rate, we may not have a farm bill. we worked

Tom Harkin

3:58:04 to 3:58:19( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: very hard on it this year, both sides. i would say first on the other side, in the house, they worked hard, they got a farm bill passed early. we met, worked hard on it all summer long, worked

Tom Harkin

3:58:19 to 3:58:33( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: with the finance committee to get some extra funds to meet our obligations. we had a record -- i'm checking on this right now, but i believe we had a record movement of a farm bill through our committee this

Tom Harkin

3:58:33 to 3:58:44( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: year: a day and a half. a short day and a half. we got the farm bill through. now, this is my seventh farm bill. i've never -- i've never seen anything move that fast. but it was the result of weeks

Tom Harkin

3:58:44 to 3:58:58( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks, months of working with the other side, everybody working together, hammering out agreements before we brought it to the committee. and i think that's a good

Tom Harkin

3:58:58 to 3:59:10( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: way of doing things around here. established relationships, figure out what people need to make sure they take care of their constituents. and so we had a good farm bill. we came out of committee, not one

Tom Harkin

3:59:10 to 3:59:29( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: vote against it. not one vote. now, that's never happened before either, at least to the best of my memory, that's never happened in committee. we always have a split vote coming out of the committee

Tom Harkin

3:59:29 to 3:59:39( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: on the farm bill. so a day and a hal got it out, republicans, democrats. i commend my ranking member, senator chambliss. worked very hard on his side to pull things together. i don't know. i don't even

Tom Harkin

3:59:39 to 3:59:59( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: know how many amendments we had in that day and a half, four, five, six -- i don't know. not very many. we disposed of them one way or the other. they were either adopted or not adopted. but when

Tom Harkin

3:59:59 to 4:00:12( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: we voted the bill out, we didn't have one dissenting vote. so you would think a bill like that coming to the floor could be handled expeditiously, rapidly. but then we got here, we wanted to move

Tom Harkin

4:00:12 to 4:00:27( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: it so our leader on this side, the majority leader, exercising his right as the majority leader, said, look, what we'll do is we'll do this bill and we'll do germane amendments. if it's germane to

Tom Harkin

4:00:27 to 4:00:42( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the farm bill, we'll talk all comers. bring them on. sounds good to me. open debate, open amendment. anybody got an amendment to the farm bill, bring it on. but the other side said no, they might

Tom Harkin

4:00:42 to 4:00:56( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: have some extraneous amendments dealing with the children's health care, dealing with estate taxes, dealing with i don't know what. now, we may have had some on this side too, but we were agreeing

Tom Harkin

4:00:56 to 4:01:12( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: that we would not take any germane amendments, whether they were democrats or republicans. i thought that's a pretty good way to proceed. we'll just focus on the farm bill. the republican side

Tom Harkin

4:01:12 to 4:01:35( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: said no. and we have been locked here for over a week. i say to all my friends in f farm country, my farmers, my ranchers, agribusiness, the suppliers, the wholesalers, the retailers, the shippers, the

Tom Harkin

4:01:35 to 4:01:49( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: suppliers -- everyone -- those who sell seed, the elevator operators, fertilizer dealers, those in the livestock industry who want to know what the farm bill is like so they can plan ahead on whether

Tom Harkin

4:01:49 to 4:02:04( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: they're going to milk more cows or less cows, will they milk go to class-a or class-b, what will it do? will they -- will we feed more cattle or will we shift the hogs a little bit? what's the --

Tom Harkin

4:02:04 to 4:02:20( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: what's the lay of the land going to be? they need a little bit of some certainty. the livestock market as volatile as it is, but they need some certainty as what we're going to do here. and so that's

Tom Harkin

4:02:20 to 4:02:30( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: why we worked very hard to get this bill done hopefully by -- by december, which is not unusual. except for the last farm bill when i was chairman at that time and the house was in republican hands,

Tom Harkin

4:02:30 to 4:02:44( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the senate was democratic democratic, on the last farm bill, we actually got it through ahead of schedule. but for that one exception, every farm bill i've ever worked in comes in late. that's just the

Tom Harkin

4:02:44 to 4:02:55( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: nature of things around here i guess. but we usually get it done by december. so the present farm bill has expired. we're now in a continuing resolution. i say to all my friends out there in farm

Tom Harkin

4:02:55 to 4:03:12( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: country and ranch country, they ought to be calling up the minority leadership here and saying we've got to get this farm bill through. i want to get it through. we've got to get it through. but if we

Tom Harkin

4:03:12 to 4:03:25( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: don't move soon, i say to my friends, if we don't move soon, we will have an extension of the present farm bill. we'll just extend it. and all the work we've done this year will be for naught. and

Tom Harkin

4:03:25 to 4:03:39( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: we'll just have to pick it up again some other time. but that may be what happens. that may be -- maybe because of the fact that we can't get an agreement to move ahead and we're stuck here 6:20 in

Tom Harkin

4:03:39 to 4:03:53( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the evening. and as i said, we've been on this bill one week and not one amendment. not one amendment. we're stuck. all we ask is for the other side to bring forth amendments. we'll get our amendments.

Tom Harkin

4:03:53 to 4:04:02( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: we'll start moving. i'd like to have a time agreement. i'd like to -- i'd like to offer a unanimous consent agreement that all amendments have to be in by -- i said earlier today by 6:00 tonight. it's too

Tom Harkin

4:04:02 to 4:04:16( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: late for that. even by 9:00 tonight. but i respect -- i respect the right of the minority to be here. i wouldn't do that without the minority being here, of course. i know things are ting to be

Tom Harkin

4:04:16 to 4:04:28( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: worked out, but after awhile, you know, your patience kind of runs out. we have next week is thanksgiving. people want to leave here and go home for thanksgiving. if we don't finish this bill this

Tom Harkin

4:04:28 to 4:04:41( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: week, if we don't finish the farm bill this week, it's going to be hard to have a farm bill done before we go home for christmas. now, i know what it's like when we come back here afterer thanksgiving.

Tom Harkin

4:04:41 to 4:04:54( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: we've got three weeks. we've got three weeks. we've got all our appropriations bill. and i'm chairman of one of those appropriations committopees. we've got all that to do. we've got the iraq war funding,

Tom Harkin

4:04:54 to 4:05:09( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: however that may go, som,e tax bills and everybody's going to want to get out of here task go home for christmas -- here to go home for christmas. so i say to all those who are watching, if we don't

Tom Harkin

4:05:09 to 4:05:19( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: get a farm bill done this week, it will be pretty darn hard to get one done this year. maybe we'll have to go into next year sometime and get it done. i hope that doesn't happen. bu here we sit with

Tom Harkin

4:05:19 to 4:05:33( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: no action and there's going to be a lot of other things that are going to be brought up this week like conference reports and other things. so it's very depressing that we can't get something done

Tom Harkin

4:05:33 to 4:05:43( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: here on the floor when it passed the committee unanimously. i'd understand it if it passed on a split vote, 12-11 or something like that. i can understand things maybe would be slowed down a little

Tom Harkin

4:05:43 to 4:05:57( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: bit. but if you don't have one negative vote in the committee, you begin to wonder why we're playing games with it here on the floor of the senate. so here we sit. i hope we can reach some agreement

Tom Harkin

4:05:57 to 4:06:12( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and move ahead with it rapidly, but if we don't, then it looks like we may be in for a long continuing resolution on the farm bill either into next year or beyond. i don't know when we can finally get it

Tom Harkin

4:06:12 to 4:06:21( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: done. but it's -- it's kind of too important i think to -- to just leave it go. we'd like to get it done. now, there are -- is there everything in the farm bill that i would have wished? no. i'm sure

Tom Harkin

4:06:21 to 4:06:32( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: that senator chambliss can say the same thing. and so can every other member of the committee. but that's the art of compromise compromise. that's why i feel good about this bill, it is a good

Tom Harkin

4:06:32 to 4:06:52( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: compromise between all the regions of the country. so i hope we can move ahead on this. now, mr. president, i want to take this time to t talk a little bit about one area of the farm bill in which

Tom Harkin

4:06:52 to 4:07:11( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: i feel very passionate, about the fact that even though we have done somee good things, we haven't done as much as we need to do confronted with the enormity -- the enormity -- of what confronts

Tom Harkin

4:07:11 to 4:07:26( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: us in terms of the loss of our soil soil, the polluti of our water and waterways and the degradation of whole areas of this country because of intensive cropping or lack of good practices. and we

Tom Harkin

4:07:26 to 4:07:47( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: are facing a dire circumstance in this country where we are going to lose the productivity of our soil. and it may reach a point almost like global warming. it might reach a point where the scales have

Tom Harkin

4:07:47 to 4:08:06( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: tipped so far that they get the productivity back, we clean up our waterways might be almost impossible. or it will cost so much money that we won't be able to do it. our farmers and all the farmers

Tom Harkin

4:08:06 to 4:08:21( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: i've fought for so hard over these last 32 years are what i call our first line of conservation. farmers and ranchers want to protect the soil. they want to leave it for -- better for future generations.

Tom Harkin

4:08:21 to 4:08:39( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: but you know when you're caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of all the input costs of what it costs to produce a crop, the demands on those crops and the fact that i think wenk have a

Tom Harkin

4:08:39 to 4:08:57( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: kind of a messed-up system right now in terms of how we provide government support to farming and ranching, we put all those together and there's almost a counter pressure, if you -- a counterpressure,

Tom Harkin

4:08:57 to 4:09:16( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: if you will, from the government and from society at large against a farmer being a good conservationist. we are placing tremendous demands on our food and fiber producers in this country, tremendous

Tom Harkin

4:09:16 to 4:09:32( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: demands. and with the ethanol boom and others, even more demand for the productivity of our soil. and so what's happening right now in many cases is we are pushing it to the limits and beyond

Tom Harkin

4:09:32 to 4:09:47( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the limits of what soil can carry and what our water can carry, and now we have to think about being really good conservationists, not on the individual scale of the individual farmer but on a national

Tom Harkin

4:09:47 to 4:10:06( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: scale. so, mr. president, i want tont take a few times to talk about conservation and what is happening in our country and our country at large in terms of conservation and what's happening to our soil

Tom Harkin

4:10:06 to 4:10:19( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and water in america and why we've got to do something about it. and why little measures, little steps, little things aren't going to do it. we need some big steps. we need big interventions. just

Tom Harkin

4:10:19 to 4:10:41( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: like we do on global warming. the previous two speakers talked about that. if we just tinker around the edges, it won't mean much. the same way with conservation. we just tinker around the edges, we're

Tom Harkin

4:10:41 to 4:10:54( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: not going to do much. so we need a -- really a national commitment to a conservation ethic to restore, renew, and preserve our waterways, our soil, our wildlife habitats and, yes, the source of our water.

Tom Harkin

4:10:54 to 4:11:10( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: all that needs to be preserved. i had hered some pictures i wanted to point out here, some charts to give an ideiva of what i'm talking about hlkere. now, mr. president, i'll bet you a lot of americans

Tom Harkin

4:11:10 to 4:11:24( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: have seen this picture. you see it someplace. every schoolkid has seen it in the history book it's reprinted time and time again in one of our periodical magazines talking about the great dust bowl,

Tom Harkin

4:11:24 to 4:11:40( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the dust bowl of the 1930's. and what was that dust sphwhoal well, it took place basically in the panhandles of oklahoma, texas, some in new mexico, colorado, kansas, up into nebraska and stretching

Tom Harkin

4:11:40 to 4:11:56( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: up into south dakota. and this is one of the famous pictures that was taken in simeron, oklahoma, 1936 in the did you go bowl. and you can see there's no grass, there's nothing. youan see the posts,

Tom Harkin

4:11:56 to 4:12:13( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: almost the top of the posts are covered with dust. and there's a farmer and his kids running to take shelter from yet another one of the -- of the dust storms. that was in simeron county, and that

Tom Harkin

4:12:13 to 4:12:35( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: year -- the year before that, in 1935, under franklin roosevelt, the soil conservation act passed and the soil conservation service began providing help and service to farmers on conservation.~ here's

Tom Harkin

4:12:35 to 4:12:56( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: what happened that year. 1935, this is another famous picture. this is a dust cloud. this is -- this was taken in kansas. this dust storm -- this is called black sunday, april 14, 1935, a dust storm

Tom Harkin

4:12:56 to 4:13:06( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: started in eastern montana, western north dakota, rumbled through south dakota into nebraska across kansas, into oklahoma and into texas. the biggest dust storm ever. in fact, it was -- preceded

Tom Harkin

4:13:06 to 4:13:27( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: earlier by a dust storm from east to west that dumped dust on new york city. new york city got so dark it turned on the lights. ships at sea could not dock in new york city because they didment know

Tom Harkin

4:13:27 to 4:13:43( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: what was going on. and this dust storm -- this is black sunday, april 14th, 1935. mr. president, there's a wonderful book that i recommend here. this book was written by timothy eagen called "the

Tom Harkin

4:13:43 to 4:14:00( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: worst hard time." it just came out. came out in 2006, "the worst hard time," the untold story of those who survived the great american dust bowl. i recommend this book. first of all, it's a great read.

Tom Harkin

4:14:00 to 4:14:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: he does a wonderful story about the dust bowl. he does the history of the whole area and what happened in that area in the 1890's and the 1900's, 1910's, 1920's, up to the 30's. here's what he said:

Tom Harkin

4:14:18 to 4:14:38( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: "by some estimates, more than 80 million acres in the southern plains were stripped of top soil," 80 million acres in less than 20 years. "a rich cover that had taken several thousand years to

Tom Harkin

4:14:38 to 4:14:54( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: develop was disappearing day by day." 80 million acres of grassland turned over, grassland that he says in the become was laid down almost 20,000 years ago. as he said, what -- buffalo could not herd,

Tom Harkin

4:14:54 to 4:15:07( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the tornados, the fires, the floods, and everything else, the grasslands sted. and it came back year after year after year. but then there was a land rush. that area opened up to hempsteading. this came

Tom Harkin

4:15:07 to 4:15:20( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: in with plows and new equipment and plowed it up and turned it over. and one person said in the book, there's something wrong here, the wrong side is up. the dirt's up and the grass is down. and the winds

Tom Harkin

4:15:20 to 4:15:35( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: started blowing. and that came to black sunday, april 14th, the worst dust storm in the history -- in recorded history; i don't mean in this country, i mean in recorded history, the worst dust

Tom Harkin

4:15:35 to 4:15:54( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: storm ever. now, again, when people look at that and they read about black sunday, they, think, oh, well, that's all over with. we took care of that. look at this. dust storm. same thing as you saw before

Tom Harkin

4:15:54 to 4:16:12( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: but only this time we have color photography. that's a dust storm. same area. in kansas. taken last year. last year! look at this, last year. same huge dust storms rumbling through the plains. because,

Tom Harkin

4:16:12 to 4:16:23( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: once again, we stripped the soil bear, turned the wrong side up. and we lack good conservation practices. well, here's another picture here. this one was talk ---it could have been in the 30's like that

Tom Harkin

4:16:23 to 4:16:39( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: first picture. it was taken in south dakota last year. here's the fence. you can barely see it. well, the top of the finance is almost covered and it stretches almost as far as the eye can see. that's

Tom Harkin

4:16:39 to 4:16:55( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: just dust. a few tumbleweeds. south dakota. last year. so, i hope we can recall the lessons of the 1930's and what putting marginal crop land into production will really cost us. now, this farm bill

Tom Harkin

4:16:55 to 4:17:07( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: we have would prohibit allowing newly broken native sod into the crop insurance program. that's vitally important because the disaster provisions of this farm bill to pay for disaster provisions, you

Tom Harkin

4:17:07 to 4:17:24( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: can't get it unless you buy crop insurance so if you turn over native sod you can't get crop insurance and you won't get the disaster payment programs and you will not be eligible, then, for all the

Tom Harkin

4:17:24 to 4:17:43( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: other programs. so, it's a strong provision in this bill, at least to save some of the native sod that we already have out there. because history can and will and does repeat itself, as we've just shown.

Tom Harkin

4:17:43 to 4:17:59( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: now, that's the dust. here's the water. this is a cornfield in my part of the country. you can see that it has rained and there's water running off of it and it's running into, probably, a ditch.

Tom Harkin

4:17:59 to 4:18:20( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: that ditch drains into, probably, a small stream. that small stream runs into a bigger river. that river goes into either the missouri or the mississippi river. and what happens when this runs off it

Tom Harkin

4:18:20 to 4:18:41( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: is taken with it phosphorous, taking with it nitrogen, and washing down into the river. and what happened to it? well, when it goes down river it winds up down south of new orleans and the red yawr

Tom Harkin

4:18:41 to 4:18:59( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: here -- all that red area is called hypoxy area, the dead zone in the mouth of the mississippi taken by satellite this year. that area in red is now the size of new jersey. these nutritionents are

Tom Harkin

4:18:59 to 4:19:13( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: so high it kills all the oxygen levels, all marine life dies. no crabs, no slich, no shrimp, no nothing. so again, the water that we saw running off of these fields goes into the mississippi and

Tom Harkin

4:19:13 to 4:19:30( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: this is what happens to it. well, what can be done about it? well, there are things that can be done about it. right here is one. i showed you a picture a little bit ago of the water running off the

Tom Harkin

4:19:30 to 4:19:45( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: field. that would nop happen here. as you can see this is a river, the boone river, hamilton county, iowa, you see bump are strips along the centrals. -- along the streams so if there is a heavy

Tom Harkin

4:19:45 to 4:19:56( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: rain, any run off from there is trapped by the trees and the grasslands and stuff in between. quite frankly the nutritionents are pretty good for trees. but ought keeps it from going in the water. no you

Tom Harkin

4:19:56 to 4:20:16( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: practices like this are promoted by several conservation programs, the conservation stewardship program, the equip program, the environmental quality incentives program and the conservation reserve program

Tom Harkin

4:20:16 to 4:20:33( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: which especially the continuous signup. what's so important to note here is that with these strips, these are incentives paid to farmers it do that. you might say, why won't farmer dozen do thaton their

Tom Harkin

4:20:33 to 4:20:47( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: own? why? because of economics. the senator was present today when i mentioned earlier today about my own backyard. i happen to be one of a few people who actually lives in the house in which he

Tom Harkin

4:20:47 to 4:21:01( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: was born. not many people can say that. i aually live in the house in which i was born. now, a lot of people, well, say, harkin i live in the house i grew up in. and i say, that's not what i said. i

Tom Harkin

4:21:01 to 4:21:17( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: said, i live in the house in which i was born. i wasn't born in a hospital, i was born in a house, as were all my five siblings. lived in a small town, rural iowa, didn't have doctors or hospitals

Tom Harkin

4:21:17 to 4:21:31( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: in those days but in my backyard -- i have a nice backyard. fruit trees, my wife has planted a nice garden out there and ever since i was a kid i thought i knew where the end of our garden was --

Tom Harkin

4:21:31 to 4:21:50( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: east. and there's always been a field there, about 140-acre field, corn, beans. buildly it has been corn and beans most of the time. once in a while, alfalfa. well, because of the high price of corn

Tom Harkin

4:21:50 to 4:22:06( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and the high price of beans, the owner of that property now sent a notice to all of us who live around it saying, i just had it resurveyed and my property is about six feet more into your property than what

Tom Harkin

4:22:06 to 4:22:21( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: you think. well, he's got his rights. obviously, but no one ever bothered to think about it in the past. we had our grden there, we had -- garden there, we had our trees. so as a consequence i

Tom Harkin

4:22:21 to 4:22:31( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: have to have bushes and trees taken out and move the line back. i guess i mind it a little bit but the guy is within his rights. but you think, what does six feet mean? until now, six feet never

Tom Harkin

4:22:31 to 4:22:46( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: meant a hoot to any farmer who has farmed that land and it has gone through three or four different hands. no one cared about it. because the demaps are so high now, the owner of that property -- and i'm

Tom Harkin

4:22:46 to 4:23:04( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: sure the farmer who farms it -- says, you know, that extra six feet, i can grow a few morrows of morrow -- a few more rows of corn in there. so next year we move everything back and they get another

Tom Harkin

4:23:04 to 4:23:17( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: sucks feet in another-another six feet in there. i tell you that story to demonstrate the pressures that farmers are under to plant up to the fence row. i don't know this farmer at all. but i can

Tom Harkin

4:23:17 to 4:23:35( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: tell you his economic pressures are to plant right up to the screen. get rid of all that and plant right up to the stream. why doesn't he? because he has a conservation program that'siving him incentives,

Tom Harkin

4:23:35 to 4:23:47( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: payments, to provide a continuous strip through there. now he might have made a little bit more money if he planted right up to it but he has probably a c.r.p. agreement for 10 years -- maybe a c.s.p.

Tom Harkin

4:23:47 to 4:24:01( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: contract, i don't know what all is involved here but he has enough to give him incentives to have that buffer strip. and you know something? i know a lot of farmers like this in iowa. i don't know if i know

Tom Harkin

4:24:01 to 4:24:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: this one, i don't think i do. but i know a lot of farmers in iowa who is drop this. this -- who have done this and they feel better about it. they feel better about it because they know they are helping

Tom Harkin

4:24:18 to 4:24:30( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: keep the water clean. they're farming for the way nature meant for them to farm but because of economic pressures, they need help. that's what this familiar bill does, it provides some help and support.

Tom Harkin

4:24:30 to 4:24:49( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: they get a benefit. i can tell you, he probably would make more money if he plowed right up to the stream. he would probably make more money. but he is willing to give up a little bit as long as

Tom Harkin

4:24:49 to 4:25:10( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: he gets some help from the g to the government to put this in. he feels better. what do we get out of it? cleaner water. fish. not hypoxy down in the gulf of mexico. it cleans up our waterways

Tom Harkin

4:25:10 to 4:25:23( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and preserves our soil for future generations. that's wt's in this farm bill. to help them continue to do that: and i talked about the midwest but how about the east? here's a farm in pennsylvania

Tom Harkin

4:25:23 to 4:25:40( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: that uses many of our conservation practices. you see strip cropping. i'm not certain what all the crops are. looks like maybe beans here or something. i don't know. maybe some small are grains or oil seeds.

Tom Harkin

4:25:40 to 4:25:59( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: he has some corn. maybe some alfalfa in there, i don't know, for livestock. but it looks like he has a good rotation practice going. but there's one on thing here. you see the city out here? it's getting

Tom Harkin

4:25:59 to 4:26:14( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: into his farmland. getting into the familiar land. well, there's a program called the farmland protection program which buys easements on land. lifetime easements. 99-year easements on this land so that

Tom Harkin

4:26:14 to 4:26:30( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: that land cannot be converted to development. it has to stay as farmland. so, again, here's a farmer. he's probably getting, he could be getting c.s.p., a conservation stewardship program. he

Tom Harkin

4:26:30 to 4:26:45( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: may have gotten some eke clip money and -- equip money. but there is much involved in preserving. you can see the strip cropping on the hillside, too, and the contour plowing of the contours. that's

Tom Harkin

4:26:45 to 4:27:00( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: what he has done here, also, the whole back of the water. again, that is part of our farm bill, to provide money for the farmland protection program. here's something a little bit closer to home

Tom Harkin

4:27:00 to 4:27:14( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: to where we are. many of us who have been around this area for any time know that the chesapeake bay is polluted. it's just down right polluted. now, not all of that can be blamed on farmland. i want

Tom Harkin

4:27:14 to 4:27:26( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: to be the first to say the chesapeake bay pollution is not just because of farmland. there is a lot of industrial waste coming from factories and from other places up-and-down -- plants, and people

Tom Harkin

4:27:26 to 4:27:41( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: just dumping stuff out into the chesapeake bay. that's got to be stopped also.~ but a big part of the chesapeake bay problem again is the nutrients and stuff that are coming off of a lot of our land,

Tom Harkin

4:27:41 to 4:27:56( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: a lot of it livestock waste. but it comes from the whole chesapeake bay watershed, which extends all the way into new york state. from new york state, new jersey, pennsylvania, delaware, maryland maryland,

Tom Harkin

4:27:56 to 4:28:07( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: a little bit of west virginia. all that water dumps into the chesapeake bay eventually. and here's a -- a farm in new castle county, delaware. now, again, this is a prime example of conservation in the cheese

Tom Harkin

4:28:07 to 4:28:20( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: peek bay watershed. -- in the chesapeake bay watershed. prior to this picture being taken -- it doesn't really show much -- but you see some water here and a farm field in the background. where that

Tom Harkin

4:28:20 to 4:28:35( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: water is crops used to grow. crops used to grow there. and what would happen is right next to chesapeake bay, so if had you nutrients that ran right off into the bay. well, through conservation programs,

Tom Harkin

4:28:35 to 4:28:50( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: this farmer has -- in the wetlands reserve program has gone back and with the help of conservation, has put this back into a wetlands. secluded off from the chesapeake bay so any runoff back here filters

Tom Harkin

4:28:50 to 4:29:05( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: through the wetlands. filters through the wetlands before it gets to the chesapeake bay. if anybody here wants to see how a wetlands work, you don't have to go more than about 15 miles from where this

Tom Harkin

4:29:05 to 4:29:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: capitol is southwest of here. there's something called the huntley meadows wetlands reserve. i recommend it highly for anyone anyone. go down there and take a stroll through the wetlands. it's wonderful.

Tom Harkin

4:29:18 to 4:29:34( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: they've done a great job. they've preserved the wetlands. and it's right in the middle of a city. all of a sudden you go from a housing -- housing developments and busy thorough fairs, route 1 down south

Tom Harkin

4:29:34 to 4:29:53( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and all of a sudden you're in a wetlands area. but a lot of the runoff from apartment houses and businesses and parking lots and everything else drains into this wetland. by the time it gets through

Tom Harkin

4:29:53 to 4:30:03( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and dumps into the potomac river, it's clean. the wetlands cleans it up. 15 miles from here, you can see it happen. huntley meadows. but anyway, this bill provides money, $165 million, for chesapeake

Tom Harkin

4:30:03 to 4:30:26( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: bay to do just this kind of work. to do just this kind of work. to back up into the farmlands and stuff and to help farmers build the structures and do the things to clean up chesapeake bay. we

Tom Harkin

4:30:26 to 4:30:42( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: can do it. this farmer did it in delaware. now, this photo is from georgia. well, you can't see much except that what it tries to show is this is a pine land. these are all pine trees back there, unmanaged

Tom Harkin

4:30:42 to 4:30:51( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: pine land. but there's open areas where probably in the past it was logged, stripped clean and so they provided for some wildlife cover in that area. one of senator chambliss's priorities was to

Tom Harkin

4:30:51 to 4:31:02( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: add a feech to her the conservation reserve program -- a feature to the conservation reserve program that would result in better management of soft wood pine stands that are currently enrolled

Tom Harkin

4:31:02 to 4:31:25( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: in the c.r.p. the senate bill invests $84 million in this effort. again, just showing the breadth and the depth of what we're doing on conservation. in forested areas in the south, making sure that

Tom Harkin

4:31:25 to 4:31:38( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: we have good conservation at work there also. and lest we forget about the west, here's the west. this is arizona. arizona. and this is well-managed grazing land for ranchers, the conserve a stewardship

Tom Harkin

4:31:38 to 4:31:51( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: program provides incentives to increase current conservation, better management practices like rotational grazing that better utilizes the base -- a resource base increases the wildlife habitat. the

Tom Harkin

4:31:51 to 4:32:05( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: senate bill continues to devote 60% -- 60% of the environmental quality incentives program goes to livestock needs. goes to livestock needs. and again, it's hard to see here but what we're trying to

Tom Harkin

4:32:05 to 4:32:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: show in this is that with fences, with rotational grazing, you don't beat down all the grass, you don't provide for areas where the wind blows, blows all the dust, or if they have a heavy rain, runs all

Tom Harkin

4:32:18 to 4:32:33( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: of it off. this is just good conservation practice and rotational grazing, where you graze for awhile, then you move them on. but in order to do that, you obviously need some fences. fences cost

Tom Harkin

4:32:33 to 4:32:47( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: money. and so we provide that kind of help. if a rancher wants to get involved in good conservation practices on rotational grazing, we help with that. we help with that. so even in -- even in the

Tom Harkin

4:32:47 to 4:33:00( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: arizona southwest, we can make a difference. well, now you might wonder about this picture. actually it's -- turn it the other way. it's actually kind of supposed to go that way, i guess. well, we're

Tom Harkin

4:33:00 to 4:33:13( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: all familiar with the problems affecting honey bees and other pollinating species. we made in this farm bill we, made strategic changes to help with this issue. in the conservation reserve program, the conservation

Tom Harkin

4:33:13 to 4:33:26( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: stewardship program, the environmental quality incentives program, we emphasize the creation and improvement of both native and managed pollinator has been 259. we require the secretary of agriculture

Tom Harkin

4:33:26 to 4:33:41( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: to update conservation standards to include consideration for pollinators. now, our senate bill provides clear direction to focus conservation programs on creating, improving and maintaining pollinator habitat

Tom Harkin

4:33:41 to 4:33:53( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and to revise and update conservation practices to include pollinators. now, again, together these practices will help, again, establh better pollination. we know that we've had a -- a problem with honey bees

Tom Harkin

4:33:53 to 4:34:07( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: dying. we don't know exactly what's causing it. they're doing a lot of research on it now. but we do know one thing, that in order for our prairies once again to blossom, to do all the kind of conservation

Tom Harkin

4:34:07 to 4:34:21( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: work we need, we need that little animal called the honey bee. oh, there's some others too, but basically the honey bee more than anything else for pollination purposes. and so this bill invests in that

Tom Harkin

4:34:21 to 4:34:35( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: also. coming full circle, when i started offy talk, i talked then and i showed pictures about the great dust bowl in kansas and places like that, in western colorado -- in eastern colorado. well, that's

Tom Harkin

4:34:35 to 4:34:47( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: where this picture's taken. if you would have taken a picture from near 1935,ou would have seen the dust bowl. now what's happened in this area area, obviously a housing development has gone up.

Tom Harkin

4:34:47 to 4:35:03( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: but in the foreground, you'll see a grassland. that's a grassland reserve. they couldn't build any houses there. you just see a part of it but this is a huge grassland reserve reserve. grass will grow

Tom Harkin

4:35:03 to 4:35:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: there, hold the soil down, keep the dust from blowing. so again, this is a grassland reserve program. there are about a million acres enrolled in this program right now. a million acres. but we haven't

Tom Harkin

4:35:18 to 4:35:33( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: been doing it very long. and remember, i mentioned in the dust bowl, 80 million acres -- 80 million acres -- were turned up. we have a million back in the grassland. we've got a long way to go. got

Tom Harkin

4:35:33 to 4:35:54( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: a long way to go. but we've put in $240 million for the grassland reserve program in this bill. now, again, i want to digress a little bit here on this grassland. you see, one of the other things we're

Tom Harkin

4:35:54 to 4:36:08( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: doing in our farm bill is we're providing money for ethanol. cellulosic ethanol. cellulose ethanol. ethanol not made from row crops like corn but cellulose made from grass like this. and thinking ahead

Tom Harkin

4:36:08 to 4:36:25( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: -- thinking ahead -- with the research we're doing, we know we can make ethanol from these grasses. we know that. we're getting the right enzymes to make it economil. and the scientists and engineers

Tom Harkin

4:36:25 to 4:36:41( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: tell me that maybe in five years or so, we'll have economical means of making cellulose ethanol. we're already investing in that in several ethanol plants around e country. but imagine, if you will

Tom Harkin

4:36:41 to 4:37:03( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: -- imagine, if you will, this huge area of grass grasslands in the plains states where i showed the dust blowing -- where's that picture hi taken last year in kansas? that one right there. remember

Tom Harkin

4:37:03 to 4:37:37( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: i showed this picture earlier? this is the dust storm in kansas last year. last year. now, imagine, if you will, that rather than cropping it, as we do every year, we have grassland grassland. now,

Tom Harkin

4:37:37 to 4:37:53( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: as timothy egen pointed out in his book that nature -- nature has a way of selecting the best animals, best growth in certain areas over a long period of time. nature does that. whether it's the rain

Tom Harkin

4:37:53 to 4:38:14( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: forest up in the northwest, the bay area here for shellfish and others and backwaters where all the fish lie starts or it the grasslands in the plains areas. so over thousands and thousands and thousands

Tom Harkin

4:38:14 to 4:38:32( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: of years, nature laid down this thin topsoil and on top of it grew grasses, buffalo grass, blue stem, others that through selectivity over periods of time were the heartiest to grow there. they sent

Tom Harkin

4:38:32 to 4:38:44( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: their roots down 20, 30 feet into the ground. they could withstandears of drought, the worst blizzards, grass fires that used to sweep across the plains. anyone who's ever read the laurel england wire's

Tom Harkin

4:38:44 to 4:38:58( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: book of "little house on the prairie" how she talked about the threat of these huge fires sweeping through. through all of that, it kept coming back, the grasslands were there. nature had selected that.

Tom Harkin

4:38:58 to 4:39:11( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the buffalo, hundreds of thousands, millions of buffalo ranged up and down there and had enough food to sustain them forever. and in 20 years, we turned over 80 million acres of it. but think about

Tom Harkin

4:39:11 to 4:39:26( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: this. we're going to have cellulose ethanol made from grass. think about this. ten years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, much of this land back into grassland not just sitting there

Tom Harkin

4:39:26 to 4:39:46( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: for buffalo to graze on but being cropped, actually being cut for ethanol, making fuel for our country. you don't have to plow it up. you leave it there, you cut it, it stays there, it grows the

Tom Harkin

4:39:46 to 4:40:00( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: next year. think about that. we can have -- we can have the best conservation, we can have our grasslands and we can produce the fuel that we need for this country. and do it in a way that is in

Tom Harkin

4:40:00 to 4:40:13( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: concert with nature. so that's why it's so important that we get this grassland back and we provide the incentives to protect as much of this grassland area as possible. and that's why we put $240

Tom Harkin

4:40:13 to 4:40:28( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: million into this bill. lastly -- the last couple of things i wanted to show here, mr. president, the conservation security program, now renamed the conservation stewardship program, has enrolled about

Tom Harkin

4:40:28 to 4:40:40( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: 15 million acres since 2002. this was a new program put into the farm bill in 2002. you see, most conservation programs are programs designed to -- to give incentives to someone to take land out of

Tom Harkin

4:40:40 to 4:40:52( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: production, put it in a grassland, put it in a -- in trees and buffer strips, whatever it might be. but there's a lot of working lands. we need farmers to be better conservationists on working lands,

Tom Harkin

4:40:52 to 4:41:07( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: lands that are being cropped. that means better practices. that means, for example, putting on the right amount of fertilizer. and there's equipment to do that now. i -- through the conservation

Tom Harkin

4:41:07 to 4:41:20( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: security program, i saw areas where farmers enrolled and with the money they were able to buy equipment with g.p.s., comes off the satellite. they had soil tests done of their farm. and rather than

Tom Harkin

4:41:20 to 4:41:32( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: dumping on fertilizer all over, they put the right amount of fertilizer in one place, more one place, less another place. a little bit more someplace, less someplace else. and they were able to mitor it,

Tom Harkin

4:41:32 to 4:41:45( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: get just the right amount of fertilize sorry it wouldn't run off. they were able to buy equipment so that they could minimum tillage where they didn't have to turn the soil over with a plow, they could

Tom Harkin

4:41:45 to 4:41:58( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: just combine, cut the corn stalks, leave it right there on 9 ground. -- right there on the ground. i visited a farm in southern iowa this summer, it was classic. one farmer -- the farm i visited was

Tom Harkin

4:41:58 to 4:42:08( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: in the conservation security program. with that he purchased some equipment to do what i was talking about. but then he took me over his land. he had -- it had corn. this year he's planting beans.

Tom Harkin

4:42:08 to 4:42:28( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: so he's on a rotation, which is good for soil. but he left all thinks corn stalks chopped and laid -- but he left all his corn stalks chopped and laid on the ground. there was a rain in his area. it

Tom Harkin

4:42:28 to 4:42:46( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: rained almost five inches -- five inches -- in about 12 hours. now, that's a heavy rain.~ we drove over his land in his four wheel. he hardly had any storm run off because the rain would hit the corn

Tom Harkin

4:42:46 to 4:43:00( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: stalks, slide off, and he had almost no, really, literally no soil run off. right across the road, right across the road was a farmer that was not in the program. and was planting con corn up and down

Tom Harkin

4:43:00 to 4:43:13( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the hillsides and there were ditches where the water took the soil and ranff the farm into other ditches, into streams and the soil was gone. now, so this program we put in the 2002 familiar bill

Tom Harkin

4:43:13 to 4:43:32( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: was a conservation program to help farmers be better conservationist on land on which they were actually doing something. they didn't have to take land out of production but had to do things things

Tom Harkin

4:43:32 to 4:43:48( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: better, including minimum tillage, buffer strips, complying with the right amount of fertilizer, that type of thing. and it has worked wonderfully. now, here's one problem. we didn't design it this way

Tom Harkin

4:43:48 to 4:44:00( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: in the familiar bill but farm bill but the administration decided to put it on the basis of watersheds but we never disiend it that way. so they came up with a scheme, watersheds didn't work that

Tom Harkin

4:44:00 to 4:44:13( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: well and that's the bad news. the good news in this farm bill we get off the watershed and we make it a national program. everybody, national. every state, national program. and they will be able to

Tom Harkin

4:44:13 to 4:44:28( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: come into the program, again, based upon the level of work and what they do and how much they're willing to do in terms of being good conservationists. so we have a change in this program. here's what

Tom Harkin

4:44:28 to 4:44:46( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: this means. it's hard to see on the chart but the conservation security program is in every nation, all over from washington, to organize oregon,to california, across the east coast. a lot of people say

Tom Harkin

4:44:46 to 4:45:02( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: it is mostly for the midwest, that's not true. in the farrest, in idaho, even got some in alaska and even some in hawaii. again, to protects our protect our soil but the point i want to make is in

Tom Harkin

4:45:02 to 4:45:20( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the last five years since we put this program in, we have enrolled 15 million acres; 15 million acres. i know that sounds like a lot. but, under the new program that we have in this bill with the funding

Tom Harkin

4:45:20 to 4:45:36( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: we have, we will enroll 13.2 million acres each year -- each year -- in this program, 13.2 million acres every year. we had 15 million acres in five years and we'll do the same for almost every year

Tom Harkin

4:45:36 to 4:45:53( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: for the next five years which means by the end of the life of this farm bill we'll have about 80 million acres enrolled in this program. what will that mean? it will mean cleaner water, better wildlife

Tom Harkin

4:45:53 to 4:46:05( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: habitats, no soil rub run off -- less soil run off. a better environment. healthier environment. for farmers, their families and all of us. and so that's why this program is so important. sad to say the house

Tom Harkin

4:46:05 to 4:46:22( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: didn't put anything in this, they kept it at baseline if i'm not mistaken or actually, they cut the baseline. they cut the baseline. but it's an important program and one that can really do a lot of

Tom Harkin

4:46:22 to 4:46:38( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: good for our country. lastly, here's a kind of thing we're looking at here. we talk about the soil and the lands but it all comes down to people. and the kind of people we have farming. and their families.

Tom Harkin

4:46:38 to 4:46:51( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: that's what it really comes down to. how do we nurture beginning farmers? how do we get young people involved in this? here is a young dairy farmer, and matt is 25 years old and farms in southeast

Tom Harkin

4:46:51 to 4:47:10( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: minnesota. he's a beginning farmer. he sells his milk -- those are dairy cows -- out of wisconsin. matt, like many beginning farmers and ranchers, will give from the provisions that we have in the

Tom Harkin

4:47:10 to 4:47:22( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: conservation title. here's how we do it. for beginning farmers like the matt fendry and disadvantaged producers we have included a special increase in cost share rates, up to the 90%. so if young matt wants

Tom Harkin

4:47:22 to 4:47:40( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: to do good conservation work on the land, maybe grazing or grassland, since he is going into organics, it will probably cost a little bit to get things established. he can get 90% -- he only has to

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