Nation's Growers In Washington, DC

Published online: Feb 25, 2004
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United States potato growers have descended on Washington, DC, this week to try to educate their representatives on pressing matters affecting their business.

The National Potato Council annually holds its spring board of directors meeting in Washington, with a dual focus. Growers can visit representatives and agencies, then meet for any action they decide to take.

High on the agenda for Pacific-Northwest growers will be the Endangered Species Act fallout that is pressing growers in Washington, Oregon and California.

If you add threats to irrigation water, you can add Idaho. Not only are environmental groups trying to close down pesticide use on buffer zones around streams and tributaries to rivers with salmon, they are also trying to allow summer flow over the four lower Snake River dams, taking irrigation water. In fact, they are looking at stream flow in the upper end of the Snake River system in eastern Idaho.

The EPA has agreed to take a step back and look at 54 pesticides used near river tributarities in the Northwest. This action comes after the Washington Toxic Coalition said the labeling on the products did not cover salmon from protection of chemical residues.

Washington state growers have been leading the fight against the suit filed in Federal District Court which received a green light from a judge in favor of the WTC. However, the EPA has claimed it researched residue studies on wildlife in initial reregistration of crop-protection products.