In the world of agriculture, there never seems to be a regulatory issue that prompts farmers to run through their fields shouting, “Hip-hip-hooray!” Instead, as one of the respondents to the May Web Poll says, “Any (of the current regulatory issues) will cost the farmer in the end, and we can’t stand any more cost.”
In May, Cotton Farming provided a list of three regulatory issues and asked which one should be top priority for the cotton industry. Or, based on the comments that were posted, perhaps “Which of the three is the most burdensome to farmers?” would have been more appropriate wording.
After all of the votes were tallied, 48 percent of the respondents say EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act is the “worst of the lot,” and the agency’s ability to regulate these gases should be blocked. Thirty percent believe the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permit is not a good idea for the industry, while 22 percent feel encumbered by OSHA’s proposed regulation of combustible dirt in the work place.
The National Cotton Council (NCC) continues to take an aggressive approach toward regulatory issues that affect the industry. Be sure to read Cotton’s Agenda – “Keeping An Industry Viable.” This column on page 7 addresses the fact that the NCC, along with other ag groups, is “troubled over certain language in a draft general permit EPA is proposing regarding certain pesticide applications made directly to, over or near U.S. water bodies.”
Also check out the following sampling of our readers’ comments pertaining to the regulatory issues that were featured in the May Web Poll:
• “Our family has been in farming for five generations. It is not an easy profession, but it is in our blood, and our valley grows somewhere around 85 percent of the world’s foods. All three (regulatory issues) need to be ad-dressed, but (greenhouse gas) cap and trade ‘climate change’ seems to me to be the most far reaching and detrimental legislation that needs to be stopped at this time.”
• “I did not actually vote for any of these three since all of them will be burdensome to farmers everywhere. It seems that our regulatory people have lost touch with reality, thinking that they have to come up with some new regulation to justify their existence. They are threatening the existence of agriculture and our food supply.
“We are the laughingstock of the world since we continually create problems for ourselves while other nations go about producing as we once did. It seems that the only thing that brings people together in this country is some disaster or catastrophe. Then, and only then, do they accept that getting the job done is the goal.”
• “I agree with the comments in the above bullet. All of these issues burden, limit and affect the farming profession or calling. Let us rid ourselves of the ‘regulatory’ agents and get our work accomplished – clothe and feed the world.”
• “I believe ‘climate change’ (greenhouse gas cap and trade) is probably the worst of the lot, but it seems to me that all of them are planned and designed to finish breaking this country. I am really losing hope that it can be stopped.”
• “I agree that they are all bad, but I think (greenhouse gas) cap and trade is the worst.”
In the July Web Poll, we’re turning back to the field where the growing season is in full swing.
To cast your vote and share your comments, please go to the Web Poll on www.cottonfarming.com. Also feel free to identify the cotton-growing area in which you farm. The results of the July poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming September issue.
Web Poll Results
In May, we asked: Which of the following regulatory issues do you think should be top priority for the cotton industry?
• Regulation of greenhouse gases by EPA under the Clean Air Act — 48 %
• National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permit required under the Clean Water Act — 30 %
• OSHA’s proposed regulation of combustible dust in work places — 22 %
July Web Poll Question
As of July 1, what has been your greatest challenge so far this season? When commenting, please identify your area of the Cotton Belt.
(1) Weather conditions
(2) Weed pressure
(3) Insect pressure
(4) Water management
Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.
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