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Mailbag | Time to cut red tape

Farming has always been important to Arkansas. Even today, one in six Arkansas jobs are rooted in agriculture. Farming isn’t old-fashioned, it’s a field where innovation and technology have helped farmers improve yields, save water and fuel, and protect soil from damage and degradation.

U.S. farmers, particularly in the South, are experiencing a growing threat in the form of herbicide-resistant weeds. These hard to control weeds choke out crops, soak up precious water and deplete soil quality. Unfortunately, U.S. regulatory agencies are having difficulty approving new technologies that would go a long way in fixing these problems. There seems to be an unnecessary delay in approving new crop management tools that would combat this threat. The USDA and EPA, along with other federal agencies, have taken what should be a 180-day process and drawn it out nearly five years.

No one is asking for shortcuts, but farmers need to be able to count on their government to get products approved in a timely manner. Simply put, review of innovative agricultural products is taking too long. Farmers need access to new crop management tools now. The Administration must encourage agencies to work cooperatively and expediently to approve products that will help Arkansas farmers stay competitive.

District 14 State Rep. Walls McCrary

Lonoke

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