U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR), John Boozman (R-AR), Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) today introduced the Farmer and Hunter Protection Act to prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from unfairly penalizing farmers and sportsmen for rolling their fields during hunting season.
During the summer of 2012, weather conditions in the Southeast caused some harvested rice fields to re-head, creating accidental second growth crops. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may now view these second growth crops that have been rolled as baited fields, even though this practice was recommended by local cooperative extension services as a way to return nutrients to the soil. Inadvertent baiting of a field can level a fine of up to $100,000 for a farmer, $15,000 for a hunter, and prohibit hunting on the land.