Growing Appreciation for Ag
At the annual meeting last week of farm broadcasters Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack stated to the group that the Environmental Protection Agency actually has a “growing appreciation” for agriculture. If you believe that I have some swamp land in Florida I’d like to sell you. Ok, perhaps that’s a bit harsh, but history shows us the EPA does not have a good track record of trying to work with the ag industry. The most recent controversy involving the EPA and its “overregulation” in requiring farmers to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits is a good case in point. Vilsack has attempted to lump the NPDES permits into the same category as the earlier feared threat of new EPA dust rules, but this falls flat in that the NPDES permits aren’t just a perceived threat, they’re a reality. He can say all he wants that he “doesn’t think the EPA has any intent on trying to regulate spray drift that may occur as a result of normal application”, but it will come as no surprise to most farmers when that’s exactly what happens. The EPA has proven again and again that the ag industry is a big, and favorite target.