Irrigation professionals from 10 states and members from the Irrigation Association met on Capitol Hill in late March with legislators for the purpose of weighing in on the impact and value of our industry with elected officials.
With the next version of the farm bill being discussed, financial sector woes and the potential for changes to critical labor programs are of timely importance and the time for our industry to advocate for itself to ensure spending packages and programs are reinforced and to enable irrigation professionals to continue to work is now.
A wide range of issues were discussed, including immigration, labor and tax challenges facing the irrigation industry, contractors and distributors alike. Irrigation professionals and IA staff shared their insights on how policy could be changed to better support the industry and asked for support from key legislators.
Of the issues discussed, the 2023 farm bill is one of the most important topics for the irrigation industry due to scope.
The Irrigation Association made known its priorities pertaining to the bill in March 2023. The priorities include the following:
- Invest in and improve conservation programs, especially the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and ensure those programs maximize producers’ ability to adopt irrigation tools that boost productivity and conserve natural resources.
- Recognize that irrigation efficiency provides multiple benefits such as energy savings, reduced carbon emissions, soil health and water quality.
- Ensure producers have the technical assistance, education and research they need to become more efficient.
- Expand rural connectivity and focus on agriculture’s cybersecurity needs so producers can effectively leverage precision agricultural technology.
The current farm bill (H.R.2), which passed Congress in 2018, expires on Sept. 30, 2023.
In addition to the farm bill, the IA will be advocating for additional priorities with decision-makers including
the Water Conservation Rebate Tax Parity Act, the H-2B guest worker program and drought and water availability.
The ASTM F -1962 standard guide for use of maxi, horizontal directional drilling of polyethylene pipe was originally approved in 1999 and most recently reinstated in 2020. The corresponding changes to the document were minimal but provided additional and updated references as well as correcting errors as noted below.
Standard Guide for Use of Maxi-Horizontal Directional Drilling for Placement of Polyethylene Pipe or Conduit Under Obstacles, Including River Crossings
This guide describes the design, selection considerations and installation procedures for the placement of polyethylene pipe or conduit below ground using maxi-horizontal directional drilling equipment. The pipes or conduits may be used for various applications including telecommunications, electric power, natural gas, petroleum, water lines, sewer lines or other fluid transport. Horizontal directional drilling is a form of trenchless technology. The equipment and procedures are intended to minimize surface damage, restoration requirements and disruption of vehicular or maritime traffic with little or no interruption of other existing lines or services. Mini-horizontal directional drilling (min-HDD) is typically used for the relatively shorter distances and smaller diameter pipes associated with local utility distribution lines. In comparison, maxi-horizontal directional drilling (maxi-HDD) is typically used for longer distances and larger diameter pipes common in major river crossings. Applications that are intermediate to the mini-HDD or maxi-HDD categories may utilize appropriate “medi” equipment of intermediate size and capabilities. In such cases, the design guidelines and installation practices would follow those described for the mini- or maxi-HDD categories, as judged to be most suitable for each situation.
This guide describes the design, selection considerations and installation procedures for the placement of polyethylene pipe or conduit below ground using maxi-horizontal directional drilling equipment. The pipes or conduits may be used for various applications including telecommunications, electric power, natural gas, petroleum, water lines, sewer lines or other fluid transport.
In the latest revision of an ASTM F 1962 approved in 2022 was the significant change that was made by providing the physical properties for the most recent high density polyethylene material HDPE. This material is significantly tougher than the older previously used PE products which facilitates the successful completion of more complicated and difficult projects.
In short, the recent revision of ASTM F1962 pertaining to the physical characteristics of PE materials confirm that HDPE to be significantly stronger and provide greater resistance to collapse than previous PE material.
The PVF Roundtable is an organization of industry professionals involved in the pipe, valve and fitting industry. The membership is committed to providing an open dialogue to exchange relevant information, creating awareness of current industry affairs, which affect the entire PVF community. In addition, they prepare for the future of the industry by providing funds to educational and training institutes to encourage the growth of the PVF field. The PVF Roundtable is located in the Houston, Texas area, which is ground zero for the energy industry worldwide. This networking organization is comprised of like-minded individuals and companies that are associated with and directly serve the pipe, valve and fitting industry. These are vital individuals and companies that represent a huge part of the oil and gas, utilities, chemical and petrochemical industries. All of the PVF Roundtable’s efforts and programs are done 100% by volunteer members who believe in the idea to further our industry. They began more than 30 years ago as a small group of PVF professionals and have now grown to more than 200 member companies who meet regularly to network with each other and catch up on the latest happenings in our industry. Each membership allows four people to attend each meeting. It may be employees or guests in that number. They except additional guests as well, but there is an additional fee for each additional person beyond the four registered guests.
The PVF Roundtable formed a charitable arm known as the PVF Roundtable Charitable Foundation. With this new structure, they began to fulfill the mission of helping young people succeed in the PVF industry. As such, they began the endowment program to Texas A&M and the University of Houston for students in the industrial engineering and engineering schools. The PVF Roundtable, over the course of the last five years, has established additional scholarships to local trade schools in Louisiana. IMARK PVF is honored to be a part of this organization and I encourage you and your company to get involved and come to see what this is all about. Your help in any way, as you see fit will be appreciated. If you’d like more information, you can visit the PVF Roundtable on the web at www.pvfroundtable.org. If you’d like to attend a PVF Roundtable function and be a guest of IMARK PVF, I encourage you to call me and we will schedule the visit!