Sunday, February 05, 2006

Dry lab fraud alleged

Have you taken soil samples and tested soils to determine the level of plant available nutrients in the soil?

Question No. 1, page 12, Self-Assessment Workbook (pdf)

Most soil lab procedures involve wet chemistry. Dry lab results, in the vernacular, are made-up results, place-holders if you will. Sometimes they serve a legitimate purpose. Dry labbing with the intent to deceive for monetary gain is fraud. This is apparently what USDA-NRCS is accusing 15 unnamed eastern Washington farmers of when they self-qualified for monetary awards under the Conservation Security Program. CSP participants in the top tier receive up to $45,000 per year for a 10 year period for the most environmentally conscious farms. Reading both the linked Seattle P-I article and the original Spokesman-Review article, (subscription required) it looks like a few farmers fabricated a history of soil sampling and lab analysis in order to qualify. The good news is that 131 farmers audited came up clean.

For other CSP news, see also:
Capital Press article (subscription required): “CSP losing momentum”
Delta Farm Press
article: “USDA announces cut in CSP watersheds in 2006”

No comments: