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AGRIBUSINESS: Negotiating The Water Resources Reform And Development Act

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The Senate has announced its eight conferees for the upcoming negotiations on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act or WRRDA.

The House has not yet named its conferees, though hopes remain high that legislation will be completed this year.

The House WRRDA Bill was overwhelmingly approved with a 417 to three vote in late October, the Senate bill passed with vote of 83 to 14 in May.

A final bill would reauthorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to handle port and waterway infrastructure needs along with supporting flood protection and environmental restoration.

Many of those problems may seem like they are far away, perhaps closer to the Gulf of Mexico. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley said there is no shortage of agriculture products leaving the state by water.

The main benefit to Iowa is the upkeep of the locks and dams on the Mississippi River because the river is the cheapest way to move our products out of Iowa, down to the Gulf Coast and into the world market, according to Grassley.  The locks and dams, some of them built 70 years ago, need repairs, upgrades and improvement, Grassley said.