The battle over spending – both on crop insurance subsidies and nutrition programs – is expected to take center stage when Congress begins debating the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act next week.

But there are other, less publicized, provisions of the new, House Agriculture Committee-passed farm bill, H.R. 1947, that could be as important to how farmers produce crops as the fight over whether the federal government provides an adequate safety net for farmers and for poor families.

CropLife America, the organization that represents the major crop input suppliers, listed several of those in a letter it sent members of the House Republican Caucus, the House Agriculture Committee and the Blue Dog Caucus, a group of moderate Democrats.

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“As one of the CLA’s priority issues in the 112th Congress, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives on suspension,” the June 11 letter said. “This year, the Act (H.R. 935) was reintroduced and still commands tremendous bipartisan support.

“This FARRM provision would clarify that federal law does not require water permits for otherwise regulated pesticide applications.” (Also known as Clean Water Act NPDES permits.)