As of late last week, northwest Iowa was averaging 8 to 14 inches of June rainfall, two to three times normal amounts in that area.

“I’ve planted twice now. The third time would be for beans, if I can get them in by July,” said one area farmer.

June has been unkind (and in some cases, devastating) to those living in flooded and storm-struck areas of our state.

Could it get much worse? In a word, yes.

A rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could fine our neighbors for their misfortune.

To summarize, EPA currently has authority to regulate “navigable” waters (e.g. rivers that float boats). However, the agency is proposing changes that would expand its authority to cover any land that could potentially retain water or contribute flow to “navigable” water. That would include puddles, ponds, ditches and other dry land that tends to pool water after a large rain.

What’s so bad about that?

Nothing, if you don’t mind spending thousands of dollars for a permit to do virtually anything (fertilize, control weeds, build a fence, etc.) on land that could eventually pool water.

Of course, you could assume EPA isn’t going to have any interest in snooping around your backyard or field, but that could amount to a $37,500 per day gamble (the cost of violating EPA’s rule).

Learn more about EPA’s proposed rule and how you can comment on it, here.Or roll the dice…

By Zach Bader . Zach is Iowa Farm Bureau’s Online Community Manager.