The National Corn Growers Association is pushing for the passage of the Water Resources and Development Act as the Congressional recess comes to a close.
WRDA has been a hot-button issue for NCGA and other agricultural organizations. The bill would authorize the construction of seven locks on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers and spearhead extensive ecosystem restoration efforts.
Growers' interest in the bill lies particularly in its potential effects on shipping, as NCGA says the bill would aid shipment of corn and other agricultural products by water.
NCGA is telling its members to let their representatives know the importance of the issue.
"This is a bill that impacts everyone and gives us a step in the right direction in investing in transportation infrastructure that will address capacity concerns all shippers and producers of product face," says NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Jon Doggett. "This country is behind in our investments in transportation, and it will catch up with us soon. It is already negatively impacting our competitive edge with other countries. This bill is a must-pass piece of legislation for all of agriculture."
According to the St. Helena Star in California, WRDA is likely to come out of committee shortly after Congress returns to session on Nov. 13, and a vote may occur as soon as the first week.
In the meantime, NCGA president Ken McCauley urges corn growers to help make sure the bill not only comes out of committee, but passes when put to vote.
"This is the final week members will be in their respective states and districts, and corn growers have the opportunity to let them know how important passage of WRDA is to them," says McCauley. "We need this bill to pass before the end of the year."