WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) today took aim at new regulations that threaten Oregon’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters. He singled out the Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposed rules on three pesticides used to protect crops like onions, cherries, potatoes, hops, and beets, and to manage mosquitoes. The results are potential new buffer zones where chemical applications would be banned—depending on the circumstances, anywhere from 100 to 1,000 feet along bodies of water or intermittent streams.
On the House floor, Rep. Walden displayed an aerial map of a field in Oregon that could be impacted.
In one potential example, a 108-acre field with an intermittent stream on both sides and a voluntary 60-foot buffer put in place by the farmer (which removes 10 acres from production) could be subject to additional new buffer zones ranging from 100 to 1,000 feet.
• A 500 foot buffer would limit production on 52.5 acres
• A 1,000 foot buffer would remove 90 acres from meaningful production.
The new rules could very realistically turn this 108-acre farm into a 10-acre farm, dragging its $21,000 income down to just $1,500.
The map used by Rep. Walden is attached.
“The practical effect though is that you could lose most of your farmland. This is an example, run through their models, of what this could mean if this rule goes into effect.
“You would take from 108 acres, and you would begin to reduce down the buffers to where you’d be able to farm less than 10 acres.
“This crop field, which now produces $21,000 in income — if the federal government’s rules as full described here — you’de be down to $1,500.
“You can’t farm if you lose that much of your farm ground.”
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