Keeping applied nutrients on strip-tilled fields is critical, and farmers don't like seeing costly fertilizer wash away after a hard rain.

As debate over federal regulations regarding water quality continues to heat up, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Kentucky is joining 8 other states in opposing a new rule that could subject farmers to contol over activities as simple as digging ditches or building fences.

Accoring to the Lexington Herald-Leader:

The rule would expand the categories of waterways that would or could fall under federal control — including roadside ditches, ponds and some "ephemeral" streams that only flow briefly when it rains, according to a federal lawsuit filed June 30 by Kentucky and eight other states.

The Kentucky Farm Bureau also opposes the new rules, said spokesman Dan Smaldone.

Farmers will face increased regulation because of how the rule defines tributaries and treats ditches, greater uncertainty on how they can work their land, and the potential for lawsuits, Smaldone said.

Kentucky is taking part in the federal challenge with Georgia, West Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.

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