Several leading Missouri farm groups are tipping their hats to members of the state’s congressional delegation for efforts made toward better flood control in amendments to the 2013 Fiscal Year Energy and Water Appropriations bill that the U.S. House passed last week.
Steve Taylor is with the Missouri Agribusiness Association (MO-AG) tells Brownfield Ag News, “Congressman (Sam) Graves, Congressman (Blaine) Luetkemeyer have offered amendments to the Corps’ budget and basically to shift money away. It’s lopsided where tens of millions of dollars are being spent on eco-system recovery but very, very, very little money, relatively speaking, is being spent on flood control.
Funding was reduced from nearly $70 Million to $50 Million for the Missouri River Recovery Program (MRRP) which funds habitat projects.
“The Corps’ going to listen to their budget and so we’ve got to fix the budget,” Taylor adds.
The Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) says it is also a major success that Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer’s amendments passed eliminating two “expensive, redundant, long-term studies of the Missouri River” for another year that they say haven’t produced any real results for potential loss of habitat along the river.
The MCGA also credits Congressman Emanuel Cleaver for passing an amendment to increase flood assistance by $3 Million by transferring it from other accounts as a safety measure in the event of future flooding emergencies.
The MCGA says nearing the one-year anniversary of last year’s “epic” Missouri River flood they are encouraged to see the funding disparities between flood control and fish and wildlife finally being addressed.