The Latest

Events

  1. Kansas: K-State Program to Help Farmers Deal with Historic Ag Downturn

    December 7, 2016 @ 8:00 am - February 15, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  2. Louisiana: LSU Rice Clinics Scheduled Jan. 5 to Feb. 8 in 6 Locations

    December 20, 2016 @ 8:00 am - February 9, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  3. South Carolina: 4 Upcoming Forest Management Workshops for Woodland Owners

    January 12 @ 8:00 am - February 10 @ 5:00 pm
  4. Minnesota: Weed Resistance Workshops for Jan., Feb.

    January 13 @ 8:00 am - February 24 @ 5:00 pm
  5. Louisiana: LSU Offers 3 Irrigation Workshops in Jan., Feb.

    January 17 @ 8:00 am - February 14 @ 5:00 pm
  6. Illinois: 4 Regional Crop Management Conferences in Jan., Feb.

    January 18 @ 8:00 am - February 15 @ 5:00 pm
  7. Georgia Ag Forecast Series Scheduled Jan. 18-27

    January 18 @ 8:00 am - January 27 @ 5:00 pm
  8. Texas Farm Workshop: Vets, Active Duty Military and Beginners, Overton, Jan. 21

    January 21 @ 8:00 am - January 22 @ 5:00 pm
  9. Agronomy Essentials Workshop – Salina, Kansas, January 23

    January 23 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  10. Texas: Pecan Short Course, College Station, Jan 23-26

    January 23 @ 8:00 am - January 26 @ 5:00 pm
  11. Missouri: 9 ‘Grow Your Farm’ Sessions from Jan. – March

    January 23 @ 8:00 am - March 11 @ 5:00 pm
  12. Texas: Red River Crops Conference, Childress Jan. 24-25

    January 24 @ 8:00 am - January 25 @ 5:00 pm
  13. South Carolina: Cotton, Peanut Grower Meetings, Sentee, Jan. 24, 26

    January 24 @ 8:00 am - January 26 @ 5:00 pm
  14. Missouri: 4 Farm Retirement, Succession, Estate Planning Workshops in Jan., Feb.

    January 24 @ 8:00 am - February 14 @ 5:00 pm
  15. Arkansas Soil & Water Education Conference, Jonesboro, Jan. 25

    January 25 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  16. Georgia: Cotton Production Workshop, Tifton, Jan. 25

    January 25 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  17. Texas: Feed Grains Marketing Workshop, Amarillo, Jan. 25-26

    January 25 @ 8:00 am - January 26 @ 5:00 pm
  18. Virginia Eastern Shore Ag Conference and Trade Show, Melfa, Jan. 25-27

    January 25 @ 8:00 am - January 27 @ 5:00 pm
  19. Louisiana: Conservation Program Workshop, West Monroe, Jan. 25

    January 25 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  20. Middle Tennessee Grain Conference, Manchester, Jan. 26

    January 26 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  21. Texas: Pesticide Applicator Course, Harleton, Jan. 26

    January 26 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  22. Texas: Feral Hog Program, Falfurrias, Jan. 26

    January 26 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  23. Nebraska Livestock: 8 Nutrient Management Workshops in Jan. and Feb.

    January 26 @ 8:00 am - February 7 @ 5:00 pm
  24. Texas: Llano Estacado Cotton Conference, Muleshoe, Jan. 30

    January 30 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  25. Texas: Feral Hog Management Workshop, La Vernia, Jan. 30

    January 30 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  26. Indiana: Ag Business Management Workshop, West Lafayette, Jan. 31 – Feb. 2

    January 31 @ 8:00 am - February 2 @ 5:00 pm
  27. Texas: ‘Last Chance’ CEU Training, San Angelo, Jan. 31

    January 31 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  28. California: Farm Labor Management Workshops Scheduled in February

    February 1 @ 8:00 am - February 2 @ 5:00 pm
  29. Tennessee: Grain & Soybean Producers Conference, Dyersburg, Feb. 2

    February 2 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  30. Texas: Grain Elevator Workshop, Amarillo, Feb. 2

    February 2 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Water Act Passage Important to Farmers – DTN

Ernst Undesser
By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor June 10, 2014

President Barack Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, known as WRRDA, in a ceremony early Tuesday.

With more than 60% of farm commodities exported through rivers and ports, agricultural groups often consider WRRDA as much a priority as the farm bill.

The bill cleared the House and Senate this spring with overwhelming support in both chambers. The bill authorizes spending $12.3 billion on 34 water resources projects across the country that have cleared technical reviews by the Army Corps of Engineers. The bill also includes some key overhauls to eliminate a backlog of idle projects and push the Corps to move quicker in studying and approving water-infrastructure projects.

A key reform in the bill shifts funding responsibilities for the Olmsted Lock and Dam, a project on the Ohio River about 17 miles from where the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers meet. Olmsted was authorized during the Reagan administration and expected to cost around $770 million. The project has become a symbol of a federal construction boondoggle with costs now approaching $3 billion and completion tentatively scheduled for 2020.

 

The WRRDA bill relieves some of the funding for the project from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund with now 85% of project funding expected to come from other federal funds. That should free up another $105 million annually for other inland-waterway projects.

The Brookings Institute noted that the bill also helps reduce the likelihood of Congress raiding the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. The fund is in more demand for usage now because of eastern ports trying to deepen their ports to allow for bigger ships that will start moving through a new lock on the Panama Canal slated to open next year.

WRRDA also eliminates as much as $18 billion in planned Army Corps of Engineers projects that have never gotten off the ground. It also is expected to accelerate project planning and development times that have stretched to longer than 15 years in some cases. The Corps would have three years to do feasibility studies and have a $3 million cap on the costs of those studies.

The Army Corps will also get a chance to work in public-private partnerships to fund as many as 15 infrastructure projects.

water_dam_corps_of_engineerWith WRRDA signed, the National Corn Growers Association also urged Congress to take the next step and approve a proposed increase in the diesel fuel user fee used to fund the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. “By increasing this tax between 6 and 9 cents per gallon of fuel, the industries using the waterways would be able to provide needed funds for the improvement and maintenance of the infrastructure on which they rely,” NCGA stated.

The barge industry has been calling on lawmakers to approve the increase in the diesel tax as a way to fund more lock-and-dam projects, but lawmakers are reluctant to approve any measure that looks like a tax increase.

The Illinois Corn Growers Association said more funding is needed as well, adding that current locks and dams are antiques that must be modernized.

“Illinois corn farmers just cannot understand why Congress does not make building new locks and dams a priority,” said Illinois Corn Growers Association President Gary Hudson. “Farmers and other U.S. industry have the means to increase our exports and build economic activity within the U.S., but we simply cannot export more goods without upgrading our locks and dams. The funding to accomplish these goals will come from a barge user fee that industry supports, but is noticeably absent from this bill.”

WRRDA also makes changes to the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Rule, or SPCC provision, on fuel taxes. The provision raises the exemption to 6,000 gallons aboveground for farms that have no history of spills. Farms with total aboveground storage between 6,000 gallons and 20,000 gallons also can self-certify their operations if they have not had spills and no single tank on the operation is 10,000 gallons of capacity or more. Those operations that do not meet these exemptions will require a spill containment plan, certified by a professional engineer.

Tags: , , ,

 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN

Ernst Undesser
By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor June 10, 2014