The 1985 Food Security Act enshrined conservation in the Farm Bill. Already, Congress is discussing the 2018 Farm Bill, which will again be an important vehicle for encouraging on-farm conservation practices. On February 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Agricultural Act, or Farm Bill, of 2014 (Pub.L. 113-79), which extended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s broad work on agricultural research and opportunities for farmers, ranchers and growers. The 2014 Farm Bill authorized $489 billion in spending by USDA through 2018, with 80 percent of its outlays funding nutrition programs, eight percent going to crop insurance, six percent to conservation, five percent to commodities, and one percent to other programs. National conservation programs through the Farm Bill are an important component of effective, voluntary, farm-level conservation practices that provide multiple benefits both to rural and urban areas. These programs use a variety of conservation tools to protect and improve water quality and quantity, soil health, wildlife habitat, and air quality.
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