Pruitt Hears Feedback on WOTUS; U.S./Mexico Potato Relationship
**Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt met with farmers, elected officials, and ag industry leaders last week to hear feedback on re-writing the Waters of the U.S. Rule under the Clean Water Act.
The controversial rule has been put on hold by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals while strong opposition from farm organizations, home builders and others who consider it to be an overreach of federal regulations continues.
**The often-contentious relationship between U.S. and Mexican potato growers is getting stickier. A Mexican district court judge recently ruled the systems approach for U.S. fresh potato imports “lacks scientific basis” and ordered a continued ban on U.S. potatoes in most of Mexico.
After U.S. potato growers first gained access to Mexico beyond the earlier accepted 26-kilometer zone along the border, an organization representing Mexican potato growers brought numerous lawsuits to prevent it from happening.
Mexico is the second-largest importer of U.S. potatoes.
**The Department of Agriculture recently accepted comments on the current state of the Animal Disease Traceability system. The comment period and a series of meetings in cattle country yielded an overwhelming consensus AGAINST expanding the scope of the system in what observers say would be costly and confusing.
The elephant in the room is an idea floated to increase the enforcement scope to include cattle under 18 months of age.
Those animals are currently exempt and much of the cattle sector wants to keep it that way.