Yesterday, AAI and nine other Iowa ag associations submitted a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack calling for the withdrawal of the interpretive rule that outlines farming conservation practices that do not require permits under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The groups believe that USDA’s recent actions in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers with regard to the NRCS technical standards and the expansion of federal jurisdiction under the CWA will impede soil and water conservation progress.
The associations state that the scope of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy dictates that many practices will need to be installed with exclusively private funds as there is not enough cost-share or available technical assistance to achieve these goals. In its current state the rule creates uncertainty, trepidation and additional expense for those that want to self-finance their conservation practices.
The groups that signed onto the letter in addition to AAI include: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Drainage District Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Institute for Cooperatives, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Poultry Association, Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Turkey Federation.