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Legislation will change how farmers pay for crop burning

Posted: 2:46 AM, Jan 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-23 04:46:56-05

BOISE, Idaho — Legislation has been introduced to change the timing of when farmers pay crop burning fees to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

The Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee advanced the legislation Tuesday.

It requires farmers to pay for the number of acres burned with an annual invoice rather than paying beforehand on an estimated number of acres. The fee of $2 per acre (.4 hectare) remains unchanged.

Tiffany Floyd of the Department of Environmental Quality told lawmakers the current system has resulted in farmers overpaying and problems for the agency in tracking accounts.

Floyd says the proposed change went through a rule making process that included crop burners and an environmental group.

Field burning runs from March to September in Idaho, with about 35,000 to 45,000 acres (14,000 to 18,000 hectares) burned annually.