The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

Greg Walden: EPA rule could shrink your farm 90%

February 14, 2011

Fed rules could turn 108-acre farm into a 10-acre farm
By Congressman Greg Walden,

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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Discuss this article

Bob Clark February 14, 2011

Is there some way to roll back EPA regulations to pre Obama levels? Maybe House GOP attempts to defund the EPA’s burdens even going as far as to threaten shutting down the federal government if there’s no movement on the Senate and Bama sides. The more this current EPA governs the poorer and gloomier things become. Local governments also use EPA to take out people’s property and turn it over to capitive, unproductive status.

MIke Hill February 15, 2011

Wow.. So because Walden can imagine a mathematical model to fit his doomsday scenario for farmers, he believes that a new regulation is going to wreck all of Oregon? After all, there’s a simple solution that doesn’t wreck anybody: Don’t use those pesticides on the parts of your farm close to running water.

It’s a shame that this editorial (disguised thinly as news) made print. A better headline might have been, “Rep. Walden Goes All In For Poisoning Our Waters”.

GoJo February 15, 2011

I think Walden and the EPA need to go our for a beer summit, work these things out.

bill February 15, 2011

The Obama EPA is simply rolling out another sliver of the “The Greens” program. This is just one component of an overall strategy to transfer private property rights to State control. Communism is the ultimate goal. No mystery here.

schaer February 16, 2011

Walden is stateing facts (truth).ESA needs to be abolished

Inspire360 February 16, 2011

I would like to remind you that we wouldn’t need the EPA if everyone was a good steward of their land. @Mike Yes, this is legislation by fear. And it is very unfortunate that the article doesn’t even attempt to shine any rational thinking on this worse case scenario.

@GoJo Yes, I think a lot of these issues could be better solved sitting down face to face with all interested parties. A beer might help.

I am sure there are other options available to the farmer, for example; switching crops, switching pesticides, or (heaven forbid) change farming methods.

The sad point I would like to make, with concern to the EPA regulations, is that these rules probably will have no positive effect on the environment and the farmer will gets screwed regardless.

@bill Save your psycho-babble, communist, birther?, b.s. for whatever hate-blogs you subscribe to.

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