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2014 Farm Bill – Conservation Compliance Definitions

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Agricultural Commodity: An agricultural commodity is any crop planted and produced by annual tilling of the soil, including one-trip planters and sugarcane.

Highly Erodible Land: Highly erodible land is any land that can erode at excessive rates because of its soil properties. Highly erodible land is designated by field and based on the proportion of the total field acreage that contains highly erodible soils.

Producers who produce agricultural commodities on land identified as highly erodible are required to farm such land in accordance with a conservation plan or system that is approved by NRCS and that substantially reduces soil loss. Producers proposing to produce agricultural commodities on highly erodible land that has no crop history prior to Dec. 23, 1985, (known as Sodbusting) are required to farm such land in accordance with a conservation plan or system that provides for no substantial increase in soil erosion. A conservation plan or system to reduce soil erosion is not required for land that is not highly erodible.

Wetland: A wetland is an area that:

  • Has a predominance of hydric soils (wet soils);
  • Is inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater (hydrology) at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence of hydrophytic (water tolerant) vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions and
  • Under normal circumstances supports a prevalence of such vegetation except that this term does not include lands in Alaska identified as having a high potential for agricultural development and a predominance of permafrost soils.

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