Thursday morning, the North Dakota Senate held a hearing on SB 2342 bill that would create a new chapter in the North Dakota Century Code for soil health grants, assessments and education programs. Several groups, including North Dakota Farmers Union, North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality and the Dakota Resource Council, provided testimony in support of the legislation. However, NDFB public policy liaison Emmery Mehlhoff said several definitions within the bill are vague. “We’re concerned that the definition for soil health is vague. Including words like enhance, increase and improve doesn’t provide districts with a qualitative definition.” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring also spoke out against the legislation, along with Kulm, North Dakota farm Bart Schott, who chairs the state Soil Conservation Committee. “I believe the existing programs and organizations are better equipped to promote soil health and the programs created in this bill.” View the hearing video.
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