North Carolina Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten released the following statement today:
"North Carolina Farm Bureau applauds Gov. Pat McCrory for signing H. 74, the Regulatory Reform Act of 2013, today. This important legislation will reduce some of the regulatory burdens that North Carolina's farmers must endure every day. These revisions will enhance the ability of North Carolina's farm families to continue producing high quality food and fiber. By approving these common-sense changes, the Governor and the General Assembly are ensuring that North Carolina agriculture-a $77 billion economic engine-continues to thrive and grow."
The bill contains three important provisions specifically relating to agriculture:
First, it eliminated buffer requirements for farm ponds, which will allow farmers to more easily use their irrigation equipment and water their livestock.
Second, the bill made common-sense revisions benefiting cattle producers. Under current environmental regulations, cattle producers who have more than 100 head of cattle in a feedlot must obtain an environmental permit. But, if producers reduce the size of their herds below 100 head, they are still required to comply with the permit requirements, even though they have fewer than 100 cattle. This regulatory flaw put cattle producers who reduce their herds below 100 head at a disadvantage compared to other similarly situated producers. By repealing this inflexible regulation, H. 74 allows cattle producers to operate on a level playing field.
Finally, the bill protects a farmer's right to hire non-union employees on their farms by prohibiting the use of terms in agriculture production contracts to force farmers, directly or indirectly, to hire union labor.