Clements: The Farm Regulatory Certainty Act would provide clarity to farmers regarding the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by ensuring that nutrients applied to farm fields do not fall within provisions of the law. AFBF’s senior director of regulatory relations, Don Parrish, says the legislation would prevent burdensome overregulation.
Parrish: The Farm Regulatory Certainty Act basically says that it is inappropriate for EPA to regulate the use of agricultural nutrients under the Resource Conservation Recovery Act. RCRA is something that farmers have never had to deal with because it really was enacted by Congress to focus on the disposal of hazardous waste. And obviously agricultural nutrients are not hazardous waste.
Clements: He says the legislation was introduced in the House following a court case in Washington State targeting dairy farmers.
Parrish: Ultimately, a judge found that if farmers were applying nutrients beyond what the crops could actually use, they were not utilizing nutrients but were actually trying to dispose of nutrients. And all farmers know that you don’t use every last drop of nutrient that you apply, you really use the soil as a bank and crops withdraw nutrients as they need it.
Clements: Parrish says farmers and ranchers need to tell their elected officials the potential harm they face if the bill is not passed.
Parrish: Farmers use a very scientific process to manage nutrients. This piece of legislation ensures that they are able to do that.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.
Communications Assistant, AFBF