Missouri Farm Bureau talks WOTUS and Farm Bill

Missouri Farm Bureau’s director of national legislative affairs asked members how many had seen President Trump’s suggested budget cuts for crop insurance in the coming fiscal year.

Spencer Tuma asked the question then reassured members at their annual legislative day in Jefferson City, “Have no fear. The president’s budget is JUST a suggestion for Congress to work off of. It is by no means law at this point. So, I always kind of warn people of that because it can be really scary to read some of those headlines. That’s our number one priority for the farm bill and we’re going to be working hard to preserve that provision.”

Tuma talked about the positive changes to cotton and dairy programs that were made in the recent federal disaster bill and short-term budget passed by Congress, “By making those changes early, what that has allowed us to do is it frees up baseline in the upcoming farm bill. So, it’ll hopefully allow us to more changes that are going to be helpful to farmers and ranchers of all different commodities across the nation.” Tuma says Missouri Farm Bureau also supports changes in the county-level safety net programs in the 2018 farm bill to better help growers.

The Missouri Farm Bureau’s regulatory affairs director Leslie Holloway says the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are expected to come out with their definition of the Waters of the U.S. rule, “Of course, we’re involved with that. American Farm Bureau and other organizations to try to make sure that whatever the new definition is it makes a lot more sense than the first definition.”

Holloway who addressed Missouri Farm Bureau members at their legislative day this week. The organization’s policy says the EPA and the Corps should revise the definition of WOTUS to confirm to the limits approved by Congress and affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Earlier this month, the EPA put a two-year delay on implementation of WOTUS.

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