#DitchTheRule

I don’t mean to brag, but my hubby is a pretty darn good farmer. He understands what makes for ideal planting conditions, he has a knack for applying fertilizer at just the right time and he’s usually right on target with harvest decisions.

Timing is everything in farming and when conditions are right for planting, the tractor barely stops. The same goes for fertilizing and harvesting. Mother Nature doesn’t wait for any farmer and certainly doesn’t double check anyone’s schedule. She’s her own woman. So when opportunity knocks, farmers answers. That flexibility and drive to do what it takes, when it takes has made farming substantially more efficient and kept food prices affordable for all consumers.

But the EPA recently announced its intentions to expand its powers under the 1972 Clean Water Act, imposing new, unworkable regulations on America’s farmers.

Among other impacts, the new rule would expand federal control over land features such as ditches and low areas in fields that are wet only during storms. This means that everyday farming activities such as fence-building, planting and fertilizer application would require a permit.

We all known the glacial pace at which government works, adding a new level of oversight and series of permits would substantially alter farming practices and remove farmers’ abilities to react to weather conditions and complete field work in a timely fashion.

When the rain finally fell last weekend, my husband knew that he would have a small window of time at the end of the week to get corn seed in the ground. Too soon and the soil would be too wet, too late and the moisture would be gone. So now he’s burning the midnight oil, planting corn before the next round of rain. Farmers don’t have time to stop, fill out paper work, apply for a permit and wait for the response from the government. They have to react when conditions are right.

If new oversight is approved, farming would become substantially less efficient, increasing costs for farmers and raising prices at the grocery store. Farming would become less competitive and less profitable.

The EPA should ditch the rule and continue to allow farmers to carry out routine field and farm would on their own time, without the hassle and headaches of permits and government oversight. Farmers know the land, they know when conditions are right to work and they know that slowing down and taking a break isn’t an option. Farming doesn’t need more permits and increased bureaucracy.

Read more at http://ditchtherule.fb.org/

 

 


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