L. Alenna Bolin


The federal government acknowledges that the best policy for dealing with the nation's growing hazardous waste problem is to prevent the pollution before it occurs. After historically supporting programs aimed at pollution control, recent actions indicate a resurgence of pollution prevention, or source reduction, efforts. This article discusses the need to incorporate the agricultural industry into these source reduction efforts. Chemical intensive modern agriculture has become the single largest nonpoint source of pollution. Existing environmental laws do not effectively regulate the use of pesticides. Source reduction principles can be incorporated into modern agriculture through support of an organic system of production. In order to remove the barrier to farmers' voluntary conversion to nonchemical systems, the author proposes a two-tiered organic crop insurance program. The program would offer: 1) complete indemnification for farmers during the risky transition period, and 2) post-transition insurance structured like the existing federal crop insurance program.