WILLAg Notes

January 27, 2017

Iowa Court Decision on Field Tiles

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled drainage districts in the state cannot be sued for the cleanup of nitrates in drinking water. Justice Thomas Waterman authored the majority opinion, writing that policy deciding who pays for nitrate removal is the jurisdiction of Iowa lawmakers. This was a win for the drainage districts says University of Illinois Agricultural Policy Specialist Jonathan Coppess. However, he says the Clean Water Act implications of the suit, about whether or not field tiles are point sources that can be regulated, remains to be addressed.

“So the big question under the Clean Water Act, as I understand it, is the Des Moines Water Works is claiming that the agricultural stormwater exemption under the Clean Water Act does not apply to drainage districts. In this case, because once it comes through the pipes it becomes a point source.” – Jonathan Coppess

Again, the decision in the Iowa courts is that only lawmakers in the state can determine who pays for the cleanup of nitrates from drainage districts. It did not address issues related to whether or not field tiles should be subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act.


January 23, 2017

Withdrawl from TPP and Farmer Reaction

President Trump has made good on a campaign promise to ditch the Trans-Pacific-Partnership. He has signed a memorandum to start the process of withdrawing from the 12 nation trade deal. White House Chief of Staff Reinse Priebus made sure those gathered understood which orders the President was signing.

Politco reports withdrawing from the deal will be welcome news to progressive Democrats and labor groups, some of whom Trump is scheduled to meet with at the White House today. It is likely to anger the other 11 nations involved as well as more mainstream Republicans and economists, some of whom hoped Trump would simply leave the deal alone for a few years - leaving the door open for him or another president to pick it up later.

Brian Duncan is a grain and livestock farmer from Polo, Illinois and is very concerned with the President’s actions and how it will impact agricultural trade.

Duncan says the way to increase agricultural prices is to improve market access. He made his comments on Illinois Public Media’s morning talk show the 21st. Here you’ll find links to the show highlighting trade, agriculture, and the Trump administration.


January 20, 2017

American Agriculture on Display at Inaugural

American agriculture displayed its colors for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence Friday evening. Farm leaders and members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting rolled by the reviewing stand around 6pm eastern time. Earlier in the day, Todd Gleason spoke with two members of the delegation. You may listen to his conversation with Chad Colby from the Central Illinois Ag Case IH dealership in Atlanta, Illinois and Knox County Illinois farmer and president of the American Soybean Association Ron Moore.


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