Help Support The Change To Section 1619 Of The 2008 Farm Bill
There are still those who are reluctant to support a change to Section 1619 stating privacy concerns. We
need to remind people that there is no compliance, CRP, wetlands or other personal information in the
CLU data, and that CLU data greatly benefits businesses who work closely with the producer providing
more timely, accurate and cost effective services.
Your support is needed to reinstate the public access of the Common Land Unit (CLU) data to the
NRCS Data Gateway, especially because of the following circumstances:
- USDA Farm Service Agency CLU data had been readily available and easily accessible to the public on the NRCS Data Gateway from 2004 to the summer of 2008 when the 2008 Farm Bill was signed.
- Section 1619 of the 2008 Farm Bill was not part of the bills passed by either the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate and was inserted during the Conference Committee process without public hearings or debate.
- CLU data only contains field boundary information and does not contain compliance information, wetland, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or ownership information.
- CLU data is used by producers and their wide range of support businesses including: appraisers, crop insurers, financial service providers, farm managers, irrigation and tilling installers, and aerial, chemical, fertilizer and manure applicators for accurate and timely records and procedures.
- Section 1619 creates unnecessary inefficiencies and negatively impacts agricultural professionals, producers, landowners, and others who utilize that data in their professions on a regular basis.
Supporting a change to Section 1619 is an excellent opportunity for you to make a difference in farm policy. Sign our online petition today!
More Information On Section 1619
Appendix C — Section 1619 of the Farm Bill
SEC. 1619. INFORMATION GATHERING.
- (a) GEOSPATIAL SYSTEMS – The secretary shall ensure that all the geospatial data agencies of the Department of Agriculture are portable and standardized.
- (b) LIMITATION ON DISCLOSURES –
- (1) DEFINITION OF AGRICULTURAL OPERATION – In this subsection, the term 'agricultural operation' includes the production and marketing of agricultural commodities and livestock.
- (2) PROHIBITION – Except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4), the Secretary, any officer or employee of the Department of Agriculture, or any contractor or cooperator of the Department, shall not disclose–
- (A) information provided by an agricultural producer or owner of agricultural land concerning the agricultural operation, farming or conservation practices, or the land itself, in order to participate in programs of the Department; or
- (B) geospatial information otherwise maintained by the Secretary about agricultural land or operations for which information described in subparagraph
- (A) is provided.
- (3) AUTHORIZED DISCLOSURES –
- (A) LIMITED RELEASE OF INFORMATION – If the Secretary determines that the information described in paragraph (2) will not be subsequently disclosed except in accordance with paragraph (4), the Secretary may release or disclose the information to a person or Federal, State, local, or tribal agency working in cooperation with the Secretary in any Department program –
- (i) when providing technical or financial assistance with respect to the agricultural operation, agricultural land, or farming or conservation practices; or
- (ii) when responding to a disease or pest threat to agricultural operations, if the Secretary determines that a threat to agricultural operations exists and the disclosure of information to a person or cooperating government entity is necessary to assist the Secretary in responding to the disease or pest threat as authorized by law.
- (4) EXCEPTIONS – Nothing in this subsection affects –
- (A) the disclosure of payment information (including payment information and the names and addresses or recipients or payments) under and Department program that is otherwise authorized by law;
- (B) the disclosure of information described in paragraph (2) if the information has been transformed into a statistical or aggregate form without naming any –
- (i) individual owner, operator, or producer; or
- (ii) specific data gathering site; or
- (C) the disclosure of information described in paragraph (2) pursuant to the consent of the agricultural producer or owner of agricultural land.
- (5) CONDITION OF OTHER PROGRAMS – The participation of the agricultural producer or owner of agricultural land in, or receipt of any benefit under, any program administered by the Secretary may not be conditioned on the consent of the agricultural producer or owner of agricultural land under paragraph
- (6) WAIVER OF PRIVELAGE OR PROTECTION – The disclosure of information under paragraph (2) shall not constitute a waiver of any applicable privilege or protection under Federal law, including trade secret protection.