With the fall congressional session ticking down, the National Corn Growers Association is encouraging members to voice key corn growers' issues to their legislators in the final week before Congress returns to Washington, D.C., for the lame-duck session.

One of the longstanding key issues for NCGA is the passage of the conference report on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) when Congress returns Nov. 13.

"This is the final week members will be in their respective states and districts, and corn growers have the opportunity to let them know how important passage of WRDA is to them," said Ken McCauley, NCGA president. "We need this bill to pass before the end of the year."

WRDA includes authorization for construction of seven 1,200 foot locks on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers, in addition to one of the largest and most extensive ecosystem restoration efforts. House and Senate conferees were unable to finalize a conference report before adjournment in October.

McCauley pointed out the bill is long overdue and Congress must make this a priority agenda item upon its return. NCGA notes the organization is ramping up the final push to ensure the WRDA conference report is sent to the House and Senate floors for a final vote before Congress adjourns.

"Corn growers will continue to push this issue hard in the coming weeks," McCauley said. "This is a bill that impacts everyone and gives us a step in the right direction in investing in transportation infrastructure that will address capacity concerns all shippers and producers of product face.

"This country is behind in our investments in transportation, and it will catch up with us soon," he said. "It is already negatively impacting our competitive edge with other countries. This bill is a must-pass piece of legislation for all of agriculture."

With the mid-term elections Tuesday, NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Jon Doggett said rural voters have a great opportunity to talk to those senators and representatives in key races and let them know the issues of concern to rural America.

"Campaigning and elections offer voters a unique position in getting your voice heard," Doggett said. "All candidates need to understand the issues facing the U.S. agricultural community, especially as we enter significant discussions on farm and energy policy in the next Congress.

"The best advice I can give on the elections is to vote for the candidate who will most effectively advocate the policies that will have a positive impact for producers and the industry."

To learn more about candidates, visit www.ncga.com and click on the Legislative Action Center. Local candidates, their legislation and their voting records are listed on the site.

SOURCE: NCGA news release.