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(Audio) Family Raises Money Online to Save Their Farm

Kyle and Leah Broshears of Seymour, IN both grew up on small farms. When the couple decided that they wanted to raise their two children the same way, they knew it might be challenging. What the two face, is more than they ever anticipated. In 2014, the Broshears applied for a permit to build a ...

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(Audio) Family Raises Money Online to Save Their Farm

Kyle and Leah Broshears of Seymour, IN both grew up on small farms. When the couple decided that they wanted to raise their two children the same way, they knew it might be challenging. What the two face, is more than they ever anticipated. In 2014, the Broshears applied for a permit to build a ...

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Ag Groups Calling for Delay in Ozone Regs

A number of agriculture interest groups are among 269 organizations that asked President Barack Obama Wednesday to stop the release of more stringent national ambient air quality standards by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, set for release sometime this year. Of particular concern to agri...

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Tiemann Elected New U.S. Grains Council Chairman

MONTREAL, CANADA – Alan Tiemann, a farmer from Nebraska, was elected today as U.S. Grains Council chairman during the organization’s 55th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting in Montreal, Canada.  “Markets don’t just happen, we have to work to make them happen,” Tiemann said in his first...

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Soybean Yield Calculator: A New Mobile App from K-State

A new mobile app for estimating soybean yields is now available from Kansas State University. KSUSoyYieldCalc is a native Android application that helps with yield estimation of soybeans before harvest following the conventional approach of counting or estimating plant populations, pods per plant...

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Nebraska Wheat Crop Report - July 29

For the week ending July 26, 2015, Nebraska experienced near normal temperatures throughout the state, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Portions of the southeast received up to 4 inches of rain, while the rest of the state generally saw totals amounting to 1 inch o...

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Crops

Brazil Intacta Royalty Controversy

Controversy continues to surround the charging of royalties on Monsanto's Intacta RR2 technology in South America. This week, news came from Brazil that farmer organizations had obtained an injunction prohibiting Monsanto from charging royalties on seeds with the Intacta insect-resistant strains that are produced on the farm. The ruling was handed down by a court in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul but is valid across the country, means the agribusiness giant is prohibited from charging the 7.5% surcharge on the sale of beans that weren't derived from certified seeds. Saving seeds is a relatively common practice among small Brazilian farmers. The judge  ruled Monsanto is subject to a  fine every time it charges farmers for using their own seeds or seeds exchanged with other growers. The farmers argued that it was abusive to charge 7.5% on the sale of beans produced from own seed when royalties were paid on the purchase of the original seeds. Brazilian farmers have been paying royalties of R$115 per hectare ($14 per acre) on Intacta seed purchases. Monsanto said it had not been officially informed of the decision but added, in a statement, that it was confident this system of payment of royalties for technology is in accordance with local laws.

(Audio) Nebraska Farmers Look Forward to Performance and Profit From High Oleic Soybeans

During times of lower commodity prices, premium crops such as high oleic soybeans benefit farmers by offering the combination of strong yield performance and higher profit potential. Many Nebraska farmers hope they will have the opportunity to plant these premium soybeans as early as next season. High oleic soybeans, which offer food companies an oil with less saturated fat and no trans fat, enable farmers and processors to help meet growing food industry demand for a highly stable oil. The soy checkoff notes that high oleic soybeans are bred with the same agronomic trait and disease packages that farmers expect in their other soybean varieties. Because they yield on par with, or better than, commodity soybeans, farmers don’t have to choose between growing top-performing varieties and providing a product that processors and end users demand. In addition, because the oil offers higher value for end users, processors will offer farmers a premium to grow high oleic soybeans, resulting in higher profit opportunities. Premiums are based on what the end user will pay for the oil. Nebraska farmer sees high oleic opportunity Gregg Fujan, a United Soybean Board farmer-leader who farms near Weston, is among Nebraska farmers interested in adding high oleic soybeans to their operations. “I want to grow them because I recognize the value they will bring,” he says. “Based on experience in other high oleic states, we know these soybeans will perform comparably to other leading varieties.  In addition, they’ll offer additional profit opportunities for farmers, similar to other premium crops which have gained momentum in times of lower margins.” John Motter, a soybean farmer from Jenera, Ohio, has seen the value of high oleic on his Ohio farm for the past five years. “I find that we are paid well for doing the right thing,” he says. “I’ve always looked at value-added beans as a reward for providing for the customer and receiving a premium for it.” Fujan believes the timing is perfect for high oleic soybeans to take off because of the recent ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), a major source of trans fats, are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in human food. Food manufacturers will have three years to remove partially hydrogenated oils from products. Most companies will use that time to reformulate products and the oil from high oleic soybeans will help fill some of that need. “The food industry will embrace high oleic soybean oil,” Fujan predicted. “It’s a great product, with outstanding quality and functionality.  High oleic also represents an opportunity for the soybean industry to regain our markets.” High-oleic applications Food uses for high oleic soybean oil include restaurants and foodservice operations. The oil can withstand most high-heat situations, making it suitable for frying without worrying about the oil breaking down and creating an altered taste. For snack food companies, many of which currently use non-soy options in their products, high oleic soybean oil helps add shelf life to their products while also creating demand for U.S. soybean oil. High oleic’s high-heat functionality also works well in industrial, non-food applications, such as synthetic motor oils and automotive lubricants. High oleic soybeans have been commercially grown in the U.S. since 2011.  They are now produced in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, parts of Illinois, and the Delmarva region (Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.) Timing for the introduction of high oleic soybean varieties in Nebraska largely depends on the international regulatory process. Before committing to accept high oleic soybeans, Nebraska processors are waiting for their approval in key international markets, mainly Europe and China, to avoid the risk of non-approved soybeans accidentally entering the export channel. Processor commitments must first be in place before the soybeans will be available for planting by Nebraska farmers. For more information about high oleic soybeans, visit www.soyinnovation.com.  

Tiemann Elected New U.S. Grains Council Chairman

MONTREAL, CANADA – Alan Tiemann, a farmer from Nebraska, was elected today as U.S. Grains Council chairman during the organization’s 55th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting in Montreal, Canada.  “Markets don’t just happen, we have to work to make them happen,” Tiemann said in his first speech to USGC delegates as chairman. “The Council has been successfully doing that for more than 55 years and has developed a level of excellence in its work that I want to focus on this year. “That is why our theme this year is Excellence in Exports. I have found the Council displays excellence in its membership, its global staff team, the relationships it fosters, the collaboration it has with its partners and its dedication to export markets. All these areas have been key in making the Council the successful organization it is today.”  Tiemann farms in Seward, Nebraska, and has spent more than 35 years in production agriculture. An at-large director and past chairman for the Nebraska Corn Board, Tiemann has been a delegate from that Board to the Council since 2005. Prior to that, Tiemann served as a delegate to the Council from the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board for a number of years.  At the Montreal meeting, the Board of Delegates also elected the Council’s 2015-2016 Board of Directors. That body now includes: • Alan Tiemann, Chairman, Nebraska Corn Board • Chip Councell, Vice Chairman, Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board • Deb Keller, Secretary/Treasurer, Iowa Corn Promotion Board • Ron Gray, Past Chairman, Illinois Corn Marketing Board • Thomas Sleight, President and CEO, U.S. Grains Council • Steve Brody, Agribusiness Sector Director, DuPont Pioneer • Mark Seastrand, Barley Sector Director, North Dakota Barley Council • Dick Gallagher, Corn Sector Director, Iowa Corn Promotion Board • Bill Kubecka, Sorghum Sector Director, United Sorghum Checkoff Program • Craig Floss, State Checkoff Sector Director, Iowa Corn Promotion Board • Jim Tobin, At-Large Director, Monsanto Company • Jim Stuever, At-Large Director, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council  • Charles Ring, At-Large Director, Texas Corn Producers Board • Jim Raben, At-Large Director, Illinois Corn Marketing Board The new board was seated Wednesday and will serve until July 2016.  

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Livestock

(Audio) Family Raises Money Online to Save Their Farm

Kyle and Leah Broshears of Seymour, IN both grew up on small farms. When the couple decided that they wanted to raise their two children the same way, they knew it might be challenging. What the two face, is more than they ever anticipated. In 2014, the Broshears applied for a permit to build a 4,000-head swine finishing barn. The finishing barn was unanimously approved by both the Board of Zoning Appeals and the County Planing Commission.  The Broshears even went door to door to inform their neighbors about their proposed project. It was after going door to door that the family discovered a group of disgruntled homeowners who are bringing litigation against them in order to stop their project.  Now they are asking for help form neighbors, friends and anyone interested in their story to help. " If lawsuits against agriculture like this one are allowed to succeed, then the end result will be no new growth. What option will be left to meet the needs of our growing nation? " Kyle explains. The Broshears turned to an online fundraising website to help them raise the estimated cost of the legal fees.  So far the family has raised nearly $42,000, but still have the goal of $125,000. "A thank you just doesn't quite do it, there so many of them that are in states so far away, that I wish some how that I could just shake their hand" Kyle said. Link to the Broshears online campaign: http://www.gofundme.com/saveourbacon

Workshop To Examine Stewardship of Antimicrobial Drug Use in Livestock

Stewardship of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food animals is the subject of workshop targeted to livestock producers, their feed suppliers and veterinarians in the Southeast United States. The workshop will be Sept. 16 2015 at the Gateway Hotel, 2100 Green Hills Drive, Ames, IA.  Another workshop will be held in Denver September 28th. This free workshop is an opportunity for participants to gain a comprehensive understanding of two Guidance for Industry (GFIs) issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the use of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals, as well as FDA's revised Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). The workshop is also an opportunity for other stakeholders, such as state and federal agencies, colleges of veterinary medicine and university extension personnel, to gain insights into the changes needed to meet the requirements. Led by Farm Foundation, NFP, this workshop is targeted to pork, cattle, poultry and sheep producers, veterinarians and feed suppliers. Advance registration is requested and can be completed online. This is one of 12 regional workshops Farm Foundation will host across the nation in the next three months. A complete list of workshop locations is available on the Farm Foundation website.  The Sept. 16 workshop will include presentations by producer leaders, the local veterinary community, and representatives from the regional feed industry. Officials from FDA and USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will also participate. A major part of the agenda is designated for producers, veterinarians and feed suppliers to identify and discuss the management challenges ahead. To gauge awareness of the changes being put in place by FDA on the use of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food animals, Farm Foundation, NFP is asking stakeholders to complete a brief survey. The survey is also intended to learn more about the potential implications of these changes. The survey is open to all livestock producers, feed suppliers and veterinarians, whether or not you attend a workshop. CLICK HERE to complete the survey. Survey results will only be gathered and reported in the aggregate. Survey results will be shared with workshop participants. Comments gathered at the 12 workshops will be compiled in a report assessing the economic and physical challenges facing producers as they implement the new provisions in the GFIs and revised VFD. Informational and educational needs will also be evaluated, as well as the role of veterinarians in monitoring and managing antimicrobial drug use. Farm Foundation will convene a national summit in late fall 2015 for farmers, ranchers, feed suppliers, veterinarians, academics and government agency staff to address the issues identified in the regional workshops. This will also be an opportunity to advance the conversation on the industry's adaptation to the changing landscape of antimicrobial drug use. Many producers and businesses across the entire food and agricultural value chain have already taken action to reduce the use of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food animal production. FDA's GFI 209 and GFI 213 call on animal drug sponsors of approved medically-important antimicrobials administered through medicated feed or water to remove production uses (i.e., to promote growth or improve feed efficiency) from their product labels, and bring the remaining therapeutic uses of these products--to treat, control, or prevent disease--under the oversight of a veterinarian by the end of December 2016. Manufacturers of products containing these medically-important antimicrobial drugs have voluntarily agreed to submit changes to their product labels to comply with the GFIs. FDA also revised the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) to facilitate the increased veterinary oversight of medicated feeds called for by GFI 209 and 213. By the end of 2016, administration of these products to food-producing animals will be restricted to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

(AUDIO) A New Website Dedicated to Beef Cattle Genetics Has Been Launched

eBEEF.org is part of the national eXtension program with the goal of being a one-stop site for beef cattle genetics and genomics information. Beef cattle specialists from six land grant institutions have joined forces to provide educational materials that are pertinent to today’s beef cattle producers, without searching multiple sites or filtering through countless hits on a search. The site contains factsheets, short frequently asked question (FAQ) video clips, relevant conference recordings and webinars, a blog and links to other useful beef sites. One of the developers of the new site, Dr. Darrh Bullock at the University of Kentucky said “Often beef producers get frustrated when they search for information online and get information overload. We wanted to develop a user friendly site that provides information in a concise, understandable way without having to sort through enormous amounts of information.” The team plans to achieve this goal by including only selected, peer-reviewed publications on the website. Additionally, a list of FAQs will be available and easily accessed in short videos. Archived recordings of webinars and conference presentations can be accessed through the video library. The “Ask the Expert” section of the site can be utilized to find custom answers to specific problems and covers all aspects of beef cattle production. Another goal of the eBEEF.org website is to archive the information generated from current and future beef genetics integrated grants funded by USDA-NIFA. All eBEEF.org team members are a part of one or more of the three current grants (Integrated Program for Reducing Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex in Beef and Dairy Cattle; National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef Cattle; and Identification and Management of Alleles Impairing Heifer Fertility While Optimizing Genetic Gain in Angus Cattle. Another team member, Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam from the University of California – Davis, stated “A large investment has been made to develop tools to genetically improve health, feed efficiency and reproduction in cattle and we need to ensure that the information gained is available to beef producers for years to come.” For more information or to make suggestions please contact any of the eBEEF.org team members. The other team members are Dr. Jared Decker, University of Missouri; Dr. Megan Rolf, Oklahoma State University; Dr. Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska; and Dr. Bob Weaber, Kansas State University.   RRN's Jesse Harding is joined with Dr. Matt Spangler:

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Technology

Ford F-150 gets mixed crash test results

Ford's aluminum-sided F-150 pickup saw mixed results in new crash tests. The four-door Super Crew version of the 2015 F-150 got top ratings in all five crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For now, it is the only full-size truck on the market with the institute's ``Top Safety Pick'' rating. But the smaller Super Cab version did poorly on one frontal crash test. The insurance institute says aluminum is safe and performed well. The different results were due to a design difference in the steel frame beneath the aluminum sides. Ford noted that the trucks earned the government's top safety ratings. But it says it will improve the design of the Super Cab and Regular Cab trucks in 2016 so they perform better in front crashes.

NDA "Nebraska Agriculture" Video Garners National Award

LINCOLN - “Nebraska Agriculture,” a video commissioned by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) and viewed by thousands on YouTube and at the Nebraska State Fair, recently was named a Golden ARC award winner by a national agriculture professional organization. The video took first place in the video programs division of the contest, which was coordinated by The Agricultural Relations Council. “I want to thank the farmers and ranchers who contributed their time to be a part of the ‘Nebraska Agriculture’ video,” NDA Director Greg Ibach said. “They, along with our production partners, should be proud that the story of our state’s number one industry received such a prestigious award.” “Nebraska Agriculture” was produced as a collaborative effort of NDA, David & Associates and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) Media at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. [embed]https://youtu.be/GUSbOtfCRRs[/embed] The six-minute video was released in March 2014 to promote Nebraska’s agricultural industry both domestically and internationally. The video was featured at the debut of the Raising Nebraska exhibit at the 2014 Nebraska State Fair. It continues to play in that exhibits’ Grain Bin theater. The video also has over 17,800 views on YouTube.  The piece is intended to inform as well as create an emotional connection between viewers and the state’s farmers and ranchers. Golden ARC winners were announced at The Agricultural Relations Council’s professional development meeting held in Denver, Colo., in June. The Agricultural Relations Council is a national organization dedicated to agriculture public relations professionals.

Commercial Drones Could be Worth $4.8 Billion by 2021

Commercial drones have made a dent in worldwide commerce, valued at $609 million in 2014. But its role as a potential technology disruptor is just getting started. Commercial drone value is expected to skyrocket nearly 700% over the next six years to $4.8 billion. This, according to a recent report from Radian Insights. “This is a sizable market growth with oil and gas mapping, utility line inspection, package delivery, and agricultural applications accounting for virtually all the unit sales,” the report states. “Drones can provide more information at less cost than a human inspection team can.” The report also notes that drone use in the U.S. is currently much more restrictive than some other countries, putting America at certain competitive disadvantages in the agriculture industry. “Japan and Australia have been using drones in agriculture since the 1980s,” according to the report. “Worldwide markets are evolving for several compelling applications.” For example, drones in high-value crops could use imaging technology to target strawberries and other fresh food to be picked only when they have been perfectly ripened. Radian envisions a future where these high-value crops are also spot-sprayed and even harvested on a mass scale. In row crops, drones can be deployed as high-tech scouting tools, collecting thermal, NDVI and other helpful image types. For livestock producers, drones can track animals in a large field, check for broken fences and more. As vendors continue to make improvements, the scope of drone abilities will only increase, according to Radian, and could “fundamentally change how agriculture is conducted.” The FAA could establish formalized rules and regulations for flying small commercial drones by June 2016. For an industry-leading look at how drones are and will be used in agriculture, visit www.FarmWithDrones.com.

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Ag Policy

Ag Groups Calling for Delay in Ozone Regs

A number of agriculture interest groups are among 269 organizations that asked President Barack Obama Wednesday to stop the release of more stringent national ambient air quality standards by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, set for release sometime this year. Of particular concern to agriculture is for farmers and ranchers who already operate in regions of the country that struggle to meet NAAQ standards for ozone. Many of those producers have had to work to reduce dust pollution on the farm as part of plans in place in what are called non-attainment areas. EPA's proposal is to reduce the ozone standard from 75 parts per billion to as low as 65 ppb. The new standard would likely expand the number of regions in non-attainment, requiring many farmers and ranchers to take additional dust-reduction steps. The American Farm Bureau Federation, California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, Corn Refiners Association, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Fertilizer Institute, and the Western Agricultural Processors Association, joined the hundreds of groups asking the president to delay the rule set to be sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review. "Just a few years ago, you ordered the EPA to abandon a similar rule, citing the need to reduce regulatory burdens in a recovering economy," the letter said. "The undersigned organizations request that you do so again. Efforts to reduce ozone are an environmental success story. Ozone levels have improved by 33% since 1980 and will improve even more in coming years. Businesses, governments and individuals have all played critical roles in these achievements. Market-driven innovations and dozens of existing policies to improve fuel economy, increase energy efficiency, and reduce emissions from stationary and mobile sources will drive further air quality improvements over the next decade, and beyond. "We are committed to ensuring a clean and safe environment now and in the future. However, we also stand to bear the brunt of the economic pain from a regulation that will make it difficult to manufacture products, build new projects, produce energy, improve infrastructure and hire the workers needed to make this all happen." The groups said they are concerned the stricture ozone standard could "close off communities across the nation to new jobs and economic growth, requiring reductions to near background levels in many places." One of the issues the groups raise is that available emissions technologies may not be suitable to achieve the even stricter standards. Further, the EPA proposal comes at a time when many stakeholders already are struggling to meet the current 75 ppb standard. "We are bound by the limits of technological feasibility, and this regulation mandates controls that even the EPA admits are unknown," the letter said. "When regulations push beyond the achievable, we lose the ability to innovate, create jobs, and unlock the next generation of technologies. The need for balanced government policies and reasonable flexibilities has never been greater, and no single regulation threatens to disrupt this balance more than EPA's ozone rule." They call on the administration to leave the current standard in place, to allow stakeholders to first meet that requirement.  

New Pipeline Infrastructure Key to Rail Backlog, Helping America's Farmers

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Expanding America's pipeline infrastructure would relieve the nation's overburdened freight rail network and improve service for farmers nationwide, according to a new study from the American Farm Bureau Federation. The booming energy business in the Upper Midwest spiked rail congestion and freight costs for farmers in the region and cut their profits by $570 million during the 2014 harvest. The AFBF study found that the average North Dakota corn farmer may have received $10,000 less than the traditional market rate for the crop. Increasing U.S. pipeline capacity – particularly in the Bakken region – is a prime solution for adding freight system capacity overall and relieving rail congestion, according to AFBF. "American farmers depend upon rail freight to move their products to market. The surge in rail transportation of crude oil has affected that ability and timing in recent years," AFBF Chief Economist Bob Young said. "Construction of new pipelines would certainly be a more effective way to move that product to market. It would take crude oil off the rails and, in doing so, improve the overall efficiency of the transportation system. Improved pipeline infrastructure will also help enhance American energy security for everyone." Study author Elaine Kub said farmers face challenges in getting their goods to market that others do not. "Due to the nature of grain production and use, the industry is fairly inflexible about which freight methods it can use, so any time one of those methods is unavailable, crops are lost or cost more to transport," she said. "This leads to more expensive food for families and less profitable incomes for farmers. Crude oil, however, can be more efficiently and affordably shipped through pipelines, and can be done without crowding already overstressed railways." The AFBF study also featured mathematically simulated scenarios showing how expansion of any freight method – truck, rail, barge, or pipeline – can reduce overall congestion and, in certain scenarios, could increase the annual volume of grain moved by as much as 14 percent.   

AG Schmidt asks EPA to delay ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule pending judicial review

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt yesterday joined 28 other attorneys general in asking the Environmental Protection Agency to delay the August 28 implementation of the final regulation regarding the “Clean Water Rule: Definition of Waters of the United States” by at least nine months to allow for proper judicial review. Last month, Schmidt joined eight other state attorneys general in a lawsuit asking a federal court to overturn new water regulations that could significantly extend the regulatory reach of the federal government onto Kansas private property. The complaint asks a federal judge to declare the rule illegal and issue an injunction to prevent the agencies from enforcing it. It also asks the judge to order the agencies to draft a new rule that complies with the law and honors state authority. A total of 31 states are challenging the rule in five different lawsuits, all of which are still pending. The regulations, known generally as the “Waters of the U.S.” Rule (WOTUS Rule), would extend the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ regulatory reach into small waterways, ditches and ponds on Kansas farms, ranches and land developments. This new rule would have significant consequences for homeowners, farmers and other entities by forcing them to navigate a complex federal bureaucracy and obtain costly permits in order to perform everyday tasks such as digging ditches, building fences or spraying fertilizers. In the letter sent to the administrator of the EPA and assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, the attorneys general said, ”Although the states promptly filed their actions challenging the WOTUS Rule, it will necessarily take some time for the courts to resolve the merits of these various cases with their different claims. Under the current schedule set by the EPA and Army Core of Engineers, the WOTUS Rule will become effective well before the courts have the opportunity to resolve the merits of the significant pending challenges to this Rule. … Given the gravity of the Constitutional issues implicated by the states’ claims and to avoid these hardships, the courts should be granted an opportunity to resolve the pending challenges to the agencies’ new WOTUS Rule. A federal regulation of this scope and significance demands a thorough judicial review before imposing costly and disruptive burdens on the states and their citizens.” A copy of the letter is available at http://1.usa.gov/1OBPRAV.

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