An interesting article dealing with farmers and the EPA. Article is below:
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Farm Bureau warns: EPA seeks to control all farm , ranch land



SAN ANTONIO — The Environmental Protection Agency is moving too aggressively to expand its reach through a rule that would give it “regulatory control of virtually all farm and ranch land,” the head of the country’s largest farm group said Sunday.

Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, used much of his speech in front of an estimated 6,000 attendees at its annual convention in San Antonio to call out the EPA for what he described as a move to infringe on the rights of American farmers, largely through new regulations tied to water pollution.

Among the most egregious, Stallman said, was a move late in 2013 by the EPA to begin to expand its regulatory reach under the Clean Water Act that would give it control of nearly every water body in the United States, including ditches that are dry most of the time.

He warned the oversight would increase costs for farmers and ranchers to get federal permits, and in some cases, result in the EPA dictating the farming practices that can be used.

“I’m sure the folks at the EPA are experts in a lot of things, but they are not experts in how to run your farms and ranches,” Stallman told the Farm Bureau convention.

During his remarks, Stallman also highlighted three areas where Congress is “falling down on the job” of addressing the needs of the nation’s agricultural producers: The farm bill, reliable water transportation through an upgrade the nation’s aging infrastructure and agricultural labor reform.

Organizations representing the agriculture industry have said a failure to reform the labor policy would threaten to drive more production outside of the country, leave more fruits and vegetables vulnerable to rotting in fields, and put at risk the abundant and safe food supply found in the United States. The White House and congressional lawmakers are hoping to make another run this year at the most comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws in three decades.

The biggest beneficiaries of the new immigration bill in agriculture would be dairy, cattle and swine farmers in states such as Iowa, as well as in California, Florida and other areas where undocumented workers are heavily used to harvest fruits and vegetables. Row crops such as corn and soybeans are harvested mechanically, reducing the need for human labor.

Still, in California, for example, 71 percent of tree fruit growers and nearly 80 percent of raisin and berry growers have said they are unable to find enough employees to prune trees and pick crops, according to the Farm Bureau.

Similar farm worker shortages have been highlighted across the United States.

“We have Farm Bureau members telling us they are losing millions of dollars in farm income from crops that they cannot harvest because of the shortage of farm workers. Some have called it quits, because it doesn’t make sense to plant crops that won’t get picked,” Stallman said.

“When you have that many farmers unable to get the workers they need, you have a crisis in farm country. And you have a crisis for Americans who want their food grown in the United States ... and want it to meet their definition of affordable to boot.”

The three-day American Farm Bureau Conference in San Antonio ends Tuesday.