If Congress pushes through proposed Chesapeake Bay legislation during its lame duck session, Virginia farmers could face billions of dollars in additional expenses.
"On the farmer side of the equation, we’re talking about somewhere in the neighborhood between $1.5 billion and $3 billion," said Wilmer Stoneman, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation associate director of governmental relations. "Fencing cattle out of streams, the icon of the Chesapeake Bay Program, is going to cost $800 million. It will probably cost around $30,000 to $40,000 apiece for every cattle farmer in the watershed. And that’s a cost that they can’t absorb on their own."