In North Dakota, the regulation of water has a major impact on farming activity. The use and cost of water is a key factor in the input costs for farms across lots of parts of the production chain, so any changes to the regulations can alter a farm’s process.
Water rule changes
A new rule called the Food Safety Modernization Act creates a testing system for any water that needs to touch produce. The rule creates conditions that govern how much bacteria and other contaminants may be present in that kind of water. Originally, the rule had a tough testing schedule that required the farmers to start testing their water before the rule went into effect and maintain passing grades. Farmers found that it was very difficult for them to manage all of these tests because they use lots of different sources of water for different uses, and tracking all of those was quite complex.
In response, the federal government has proposed amending the water rule to delay the testing requirement and make it easier for farmers to have enough time to meet the requirements. The agricultural law will still come into effect, but it is now a bit easier for farmers to meet the levels by getting more time to test. The amendment does not change anything about the levels required to pass the tests– they just affect how the farmers can carry out testing.
This rule will have a significant effect on farmers and their use of water, with the amendment being a way to make it easier for farmers to get retooled and ready in time for implementation.