“It’s a fine line we’re dancing here. If we really care about poor people we need to make sure we can get them an affordable product,” Dierckx said.
The group also discussion the Water Resources Development Act.
The Senate has appointed conferees for negotiations on the Water Resources Development Act reauthorization. The law authorized flood control, navigation, and environmental projects and studies by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. He told farmers he understands the act’s importance on agriculture because of the significant role the Mississippi River plays in exporting corn and soybeans.
Dierckx explained the locks and dams are critical for importing South American soybeans used to feed the livestock and some corn for ethanol, as well.
“As much as I didn’t like it because I wanted to sell corn for an even higher price, it makes sense strategically for this country to have the ability to go both ways. WRDA would help that if we could just re-do the locks and dams,” Dierckx said.
Despite the critical importance of maintaining the locks and dams, Loebsack said without private and public partnerships, WRDA had a faint chance of working.
“Given our budget situation, given the fiscal problems that we’re having now, even if we get a WRDA bill finished soon and we have an authorization for whatever amount of money for whatever amount of years, it’s highly unlikely that the federal government is going to be able to fund it at that level. Whatever that level may be,” Loebsack said.