Grain Bins


Letter for producers to send to Gov. Rounds on Sodsaver

Posted on December 30, 2008

South Dakota Producers: You are welcome to use this letter as your own if you wish to contact Gov. Rounds about Sodsaver. Simply print, sign and send!

Governor Michael Rounds

500 East Capitol

Pierre, SD 57501

Dear Governor Rounds:

As a producer who would be negatively affected by the Sodsaver provision in the Farm Bill, I am writing with strong opposition to South Dakota being enrolled into the program because of the unintended consequences it would cause the agricultural producers in this state.

Sodsaver restrictions will place eastern South Dakota producers at a competitive disadvantage long term. Why would native sod in the eastern side of South Dakota be placed at a higher priority than native sod in other parts of the state and nation? Splitting the state is unfair and singles East River producers out. Doing so takes away the landowner rights of half of the state.

In addition, if South Dakota is enrolled in Sodsaver:

  • South Dakota would be at a competitive disadvantage with other states that have the freedom to open new ground for production; and West River land in South Dakota could be broken without consequences. East River producers’ land would be unfairly devalued;
  • Producers will be ineligible for crop insurance on newly broken sod for 5 years;
  • Due to lack of information and inconsistent records about what is and isn’t native sod, the burden lies on producers to prove whether land is native sod or has been tilled;
  • A precedent would be set, affecting generations to come.

Producers are original stewards of the land and we recognize the importance of preserving and protecting native sod and maintaining our natural resources. However, there are countless considerations in the Sodsaver provision which are unclear and misguided in their attempt to protect these resources.

This issue is far greater than whether or not South Dakota producers have the landowner’s right to incorporate an old farmstead, for example, into their tillable acres. The restriction could have far reaching implications on the much needed economic activity on the state and local levels in South Dakota as well. What’s more is this one election will affect generations decades from now.

Countless damaging consequences exist in this Sodsaver provision. So as a South Dakota producer, I ask you NOT to enroll South Dakota in the Sodsaver provision.


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