New Poll: Farmers Reject Cutting Conservation to Pay for Drought Relief

‘Edge of Cornfield 2012 Drought’ by Theresa L Wysocki flickr

Midwest farmers overwhelming reject the idea of cutting conservation programs to pay for short-term drought relief as proposed by the legislation passed by the House on August 3.   In fact, they see conservation programs as critical to dealing with drought conditions.

A new bipartisan poll of 400 midwestern farmers jointly commissioned by Cultivate Impact and National Farmers Union found virtually no support among farmers for decreasing conservation funding.  Key findings include:

  • 86% of farmers overall believe conservation funding should either increase or stay the same.
  • 79% of farmers say that conservation programs are important to dealing with drought conditions.
  • 71% of farmers reject the idea of cutting conservation to pay for drought relief.  Even when farmers are told that cutting conservation would pay for three-quarters of the drought relief funding, (as in the House-passed drought relief bill), they still reject it by 59%, a nearly two-to-one margin.

Together with our June poll results which revealed that farmers see conservation programs as critical to their bottom line, this data should send a very clear message to lawmakers as they return from summer recess:  Don’t. Cut. Conservation.

The telephone survey was conducted between August 29th and September 3rd, 2012 by Greenberg, Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies among 400 farmers with a minimum of $50K in sales in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and WI.

Get a summary of the new farmer poll results here.  Presentation slides covering both polls can be downloaded here.


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