Corn and soybean growers seek certainty in WOTUS

Corn and soybean growers are seeking certainty after a federal judge in Arizona vacated the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

Brad Doyle is vice president of the American Soybean Association.

“We want to be responsible farmers and we definitely don’t want to release anything from our farm nutrient- or pesticide- wise that could threaten wildlife or conservation efforts so, with that being said, we need a little bit of clarification,” he says.

The northeast Arkansas farmer says he relies on irrigation.

“We’re 100 percent irrigated in most of our crop on our farm. We rotate soybeans with rice, and we have installed drainage, canals, and ditches– some that have no flow in the off season and some that have flow only after a rain event,” he says. “If we have any regulation on anything that allows us to farm…that is something that we need to be concerned about because preventing the flow of that could be devastating to a farming operation.”

Southwest Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association Chairman Kevin Ross says growers were vocal in the repeal of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.  

“I wish we could be done with WOTUS. It seems like we’ve been recycling issues we thought we had behind us,” he says. “We’re going to keep fighting on this thing to make sure it doesn’t get to the previously proposed levels that we were very concerned about, and we’ll see what direction the administration wants to go.”   

NCGA President John Linder says property rights must be protected.

“We really need to protect those landowners and those producers of crops so they can work efficiently and appropriately because we can preserve the water while we produce corn,” he says.

The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers will move forward in developing a new rule to replace The Navigable Waters Protection Rule.   

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