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Knox County Farmers Talk with State Counterparts About EPA, Other Issues

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 197

A group of Knox County Farm Bureau members joined others from around the state in meetings held last week in Bloomington.

Knox County President Tim Main said that one of the topics was an update on the proposed clean waters act from the EPA. The Farm Bureau is urging producers to get informed on this, as it could force them to secure permits from the federal government in order to farm on their private land that is now in production.

“Bob Stallman calls this potentially the largest money grab in U.S. history by the federal government,” Main said.  “This supercedes all the state and local controls that are in effect now.”

The proposal is a complicated 370-page document. Main said the Farm Bureau has an ongoing attempt to fight this called the “ditch the rule” campaign, and recently the government has countered with advertisements to fight the Farm Bureau.

On the positive side, many of the area crops have or will receive rainfall this week, which tends to be spotty this time of year.

“It depends on how this crop finishes here, and what we get,” Main said. “It’s widely varied; the showers have been hit and miss.  There’s going to be people that didn’t get any, and are in desperate need of some yet, and some that have had really good showers here lately.”

The great-looking crops have prompted some in the area to ask if maybe the corn is taller this year, but Tim says it’s probably just the improved appearance.

“The thing that gets to me at this stage of the year is that it just looks incredibly healthy, and I don’t think it’s necessarily any taller,” Main said.  “We might have been used to seeing corn in drought years the last couple of years, but this year it’s obviously very healthy, and we’ve had good weather the majority of the growing season.  So, it sure looks good.”