February 15, 2018
The Alabama Farmers Federation applauds recent infrastructure initiatives, budget deals and environmental edict delays, which are laying the foundation for rural renewal.
President Donald J. Trump released his infrastructure plan Feb. 12. The plan seeks $200 billion in federal funds to spur $1.5 billion in infrastructure investments at the state, local, tribal and private levels. Of that, $50 billion would be devoted to a Rural Infrastructure Program.
“We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways and waterways all across our land,” Trump said. “And we will do it with American heart and American hands and American grit.”
On Feb. 9, the U.S. Senate and House passed a budget deal including assistance for cotton and dairy farmers, following a brief government shutdown. Trump signed the bill into law.
“Passage of this legislation was incredibly important to cotton farmers who have been without an adequate safety net for several years,” said Federation National Legislative Programs Director Mitt Walker. “We’re pleased with the cotton provisions in the bill and believe the dairy program changes are a step in the right direction. Addressing these programs now allows for a clearer path to completing the next farm bill.”
Under the budget, seed cotton is eligible for Price Loss Coverage (PLC) at a reference price of 36.7 cents per pound. The 2018 crop is eligible for PLC.
Revisions to the Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers include calculating payments monthly as opposed to current bimonthly payments.
In a move to help farmers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has delayed implementation of the vague 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule to Jan. 31, 2020.
The postponement gives the EPA up to two years to develop a new rule to provide greater clarity for farmers.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has also delayed a new requirement — the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) — to May 1. The requirement could impact poultry and livestock farmers.