U.S. House Gives Thumbs Down to Water Rules; USDA Funding for Organic Farming
The U.S. House passed a joint resolution to disapprove the Waters of the United States rule under a Congressional Review Act. The measure passed the House by a vote of 253-166. The resolution cleared the Senate last November but faces a certain veto by the President that the resolution likely lacks the votes to override. Still, House Agriculture Chair Mike Conaway claimed passing the resolution was a “critical step” to reworking the WOTUS rule. The rule which took effect in August of last year remains on hold by federal courts.
USDA announced $3.8 million to help producers transition to organic farming. Specifically, USDA says the funds will support research, education, and extension projects that will assist current organic producers and those transitioning into organic farming. The funding is available through the Organic Transitions Program. Core areas and concerns include understanding the effects of organic practices, improving technologies, developing cultural practices and addressing barriers for transitioning farmers.