The Iowa Corn Growers Association is happy to report that a request to extend the Harvest Weight Proclamation for farmers has been granted by Gov. Branstad. The extension started November 3 and runs for 15 days. The proclamation specifically increases the weight allowable for shipment of corn, soybeans, hay, straw and stover, by 12.5% per axle (up to a maximum of 90,000 pounds) without the need for an oversize/overweight permit.
"We thank the governor for recognizing the need to move quickly during harvest and this extension will help those farmers who are still bringing in the 2012 corn crop. We also understand that the harvest weight proclamation is not a right by law, but a petition to the governor," said Bruce Rohwer, a farmer from northwest Iowa and president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA). "We sincerely thank the governor for understanding the need for action."
Iowa harvest weight exemption extended to midnight on November 17
The 2012 proclamation applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the interstate system. Trucks cannot exceed the truck's regular maximum by more than 12.5% per axle and must obey the posted limits on all roads and bridges. The Iowa Department of Transportation is directed to monitor the operation of this proclamation to assure the public's safety and facilitate the movement of the trucks involved. The extension to the original proclamation now ends at midnight on November 17. Click here to view the extension.
ICGA comments on federal EPA's CAFO permitting and compliance report
In other news from the Iowa Corn Growers announced last week, on Wednesday, October 31, ICGA joined other state agriculture organizations in a letter commenting on the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Initial CAFO Report which was released in July 2012. CAFO is short for confined animal feeding operations. The EPA was officially responding to a petition by environmental organizations, claiming that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources was not providing enough regulation and enforcement of environmental laws pertaining to Iowa's livestock industry.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
If this petition succeeds, additional regulations will result, says Mindy Larsen Poldberg, director of government relations for ICGA. She says ICGA signed joint comments with the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Poultry Association and Iowa Soybean Association. The EPA report was titled "Preliminary Results of an Informal Investigation of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Program for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in the State of Iowa" and is referred to as the "Initial Report."
In September 2007, several environmental groups, including the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the Sierra Club and the Environmental Integrity Project, filed a petition with EPA alleging that Iowa Department of Natural Resources' implementation of the federal National Pollution Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, permit program for Iowa livestock operations did not comply with the federal Clean Water Act. The groups claimed that EPA should no longer allow Iowa DNR to implement the program, and EPA should take over the program.
EPA's Initial Report stated that of the 31 allegations in the environmental groups' petition, Iowa DNR had resolved 26 of the matters. Iowa DNR then had 60 days to respond to EPA with resolution of the remaining five allegations, and the DNR's response was submitted September 11, 2012.
"The five Iowa commodity groups' comments state that the environmental groups' original allegations misrepresented Iowa law," says Larsen Poldberg. "The intent of the environmentalists' petition is to create new requirements for livestock operations, as the environmental groups and EPA may wish, rather than enforcing Iowa and federal law as written. The agriculture associations note that the Iowa DNR has addressed and enforced all state and federal laws. The associations also state that EPA's claims in the Initial Report are inconsistent with prior EPA approvals of Iowa DNR rules. ICGA will continue to monitor this issue and will provide updates as they occur." Click here for a copy of the comments.
Be sure to vote; here are 2012 presidential candidates' views on the issues
Election day is November 6 and ICGA encourages farmers to vote. In Iowa you must be a registered voter; however you may register and vote on Election Day.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
As a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, the National Corn Growers Association does not endorse candidates for any political office, including president of the United States. NCGA provides information to grower-members so they can make informed decisions on this and other issues. NCGA has asked the two major candidates for president, President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., to address some of the top issues important to corn growers. Click here to see the candidates' statements on issues including the farm bill and safety net, ethanol/renewable energy, taxes, infrastructure, trade, and environmental regulation.
Click here for information on the 2012 general election, voter registration, absentee voting, etc. To find your voting location, click here. The ICGA Political Action Committee (PAC) endorsed 72 state and federal candidates for the 2012 elections based on the candidates' past support of ICGA policies; click here to view the list of candidates.