Ag Policy Blog

Farm Bureau Asks Obama to Fix Low River Flows

By Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor

The American Farm Bureau Federation weighed in Wednesday on the navigational challenges on the Mississippi River, urging President Obama to issue a presidential declaration that would allow more upstream water to be released from Missouri River dams.

Farm Bureau stated in a news release, "In a letter this week to the president and top administration officials, AFBF, and nearly 20 other national organizations, said there could be an economic catastrophe in America’s heartland as soon as mid-December if the administration does not take emergency action to ensure that water levels do not fall below the level needed to support commercial navigation.

“The Mississippi River is a critical national transportation artery, on which hundreds of millions of tons of essential commodities are shipped...,” stated the letter. “Substantial curtailment of navigation will effectively sever the country’s inland waterway superhighway, imperil the shipment of critical cargo for domestic consumption and for export, threaten manufacturing industries and power generation and risk thousands of related jobs in the Midwest.”

The agricultural groups requested that President Obama direct the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately remove the rock pinnacles along the river and release enough water from the Missouri River reservoirs to preserve a nine-foot navigation channel on the Mississippi River.

Attached to the joint letter were letters from the governors of Missouri, Illinois and Iowa, 15 U.S. Senators, and 62 U.S. House members urging prompt federal action on Mississippi River navigation.

Stallman on Farm Bill

Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman also wrote a blog item for the Hill, a Capitol newspaper, in which Stallman cautioned that time is running short to complete the farm bill. http://thehill.com/…

I can be found on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

Comments

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Raymond Simpkins 11/30/2012 | 3:51 PM CST
Is Obama God, What we need is rain and lots of it before spring.Also maybe Farm Bureau should ask for more limits on water usage.
W Lee Deutsche 11/30/2012 | 9:59 AM CST
AMEN,to Mr. Kuenstler comments on states rights. Sadly,the "Land of Lincoln" doesn't have any money for dredging and rock blasting. Our state,
Illinois,would rather buy farmland for an "unwanted"airport in Eastern Will
County.
Ric Ohge 11/30/2012 | 9:55 AM CST
Besides, what could POTUS honestly do about river debt-he can only drink so much beer...
tom vogel 11/30/2012 | 8:40 AM CST
Bill: You are exactly right. It is high-time that states handle their own issues. Also, it is time for ingenuity on the part of farmers and brokers to get their grain to markets in other ways. How about rail???
Bill Kuenstler 11/30/2012 | 8:14 AM CST
Does anyone see the irony in the fact that the Farm Bureau, who only a month ago was berating the President, calling for less government spending, and saying they wanted less government interference, is now coming on their knees begging the government for money? What happened to states' rights? Let Illinois, Missouri and Iowa pay for dredging and rock blasting if that is so important to them!
CRAIG MOORE 11/29/2012 | 8:48 AM CST
How about if the the governors of Missouri, Illinois and Iowa, 15 U.S. Senators, and 62 U.S. House members urging prompt federal action on Mississippi River navigation start taking care of their own rock problems. Are they going to ship any funds into the Missouri River area to pay for the lose of income incurred when their isn't enough water there next summer?