CropLife America: A Challenging Agenda

The need to represent crop protection product interests in the Beltway has continued to grow in intensity, as challenges from environmental activists have been on the increase in recent years. CropLife America (CLA) has been working hard to represent agriculture on Capitol Hill, and has gotten involved in a number of policy and communications issues that stand to have a sweeping impact on the crop protection industry and agriculture if left unchecked.

Endangered Species Act

CLA has been involved in educating policymakers about issues surrounding implementation of Endangered Species Act (ESA) requirements and their potential impact on agriculture, including more product restrictions and extremist lawsuits. CLA has also been providing legal support for the industry as this issue continues.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA), and implementation of Biological Opinions (BiOps) issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Services) that are in conflict with current EPA assessments remains a critical issue for CLA and the crop protection industry. As part of the ESA, a series of consultations between EPA and the Services is required, and this process is broken, hampered by disagreements over the methods used to reach conclusions and resultant recommendations. This issue gained attention in the U.S. House, eventually leading to a joint committee hearing on May 3 of this year. Now, there is a leading congressional call for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review all relevant, outstanding science disagreements in this process, as well as the economic impacts.

Congress continues to recognize the importance of this issue and the need for a resolution. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) offered an amendment to the House Interior Appropriations Act (H.R. 2584) which suspends implementation of National Marine Fisheries Service BiOps until the NAS review is complete and process improvements are in place. In addition, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) offered an amendment to the House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act (H.R. 2596) directing that the National Marine Fisheries Service to expand the scope of the NAS review per congressional direction. Both of these amendments were adopted by Congress and added.

Meanwhile, a new lawsuit has emerged in recent months which presents a new potential threat to U.S. agriculture; Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America v. Environmental Protection Agency. The suit could restrict the use of pesticides nationwide by claiming that EPA violated the ESA in failing to consult with the Fish & Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service on the registration of over 300 individual active ingredients. CLA was granted intervener status in the case, and is working to ensure that no settlement results in unnecessary product use restrictions.

Finally, CLA has filed a petition with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to request improvements be made to their ESA consultation process with EPA in order to help guarantee that ESA consultations are rooted in the best available science, sound policy and stakeholder collaboration. These steps are essential to making consultations work to ensure the availability of crop protection and pest control products across the country. CLA also led an effort to engage other organizations to become involved with this matter, bolstering support of this vital issue.

NPDES Permitting

National Pollutant Discharge Elimi­nation System (NPDES) permits are still an important issue, and again, one which Congress has begun to recognize.

Due to an erroneous court ruling, growers will require a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Sys­tem (NPDES) permit starting October 31, 2011, for certain pesticide applications to, over or near bodies of water. This redundant regulatory burden increases liability and cost with no added environmental benefit.

Already, CLA has successfully assisted the government in obtaining a six-month stay in the 6th Circuit Court’s mandate to finalize the NPDES permit program for pesticide applications. This action was imperative in providing EPA more time to develop and issue the state pesticide permit program and reduce the burden for American farmers and other applicators who might otherwise fall victim to costly lawsuits and litigation as result of unanswered questions pertaining to agricultural applications subject to the court ruling.

Legislation introduced in Congress, HR 872, “Reducing Regulatory Bur­dens Act of 2011,” passed in the House (292-130), and has reported out of the Senate Agriculture Committee by voice vote. It is now poised for Senate floor action this Fall, and the legislation has thus far demonstrated strong bipartisan support.

In the meantime, the National Marine Fisheries Service has issued BiOps on the pesticide general permit (PGP) which significantly increases the burden on small business, individual applicators and state and federal regulators who are forced to comply with the PGP.

Modern Agriculture Outreach

Equally important is remaining strong in speaking up on behalf of modern U.S. agriculture, and CLA continues to advance this priority issue.

This year CLA kicked off its “Tell Me More” program among member companies. Geared towards employees in our industry, the program educates and encourages them to speak up on behalf on U.S. agriculture.

CLA also held its second annual National Policy Conference last May in Washington, DC, titled “Lost in Translation? Deciphering the Dis­course of Modern Agriculture.” The event served as a forum for a frank discussion of modern agriculture, and the tools and technologies used. Special speakers included Robert Kenner, director of Food, Inc., and Senator Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Product Stewardship

Product stewardship continues to gain priority status and additional focus at CLA. As the final implementation date of EPA’s Pesticide Container and Containment (PCC) rule has passed, CLA stresses the importance of the safety and stewardship of crop protection products throughout their life-cycle, including safe storage and the reduction and recapture of packaging.

The primary objectives of EPA’s rule are to facilitate the disposal and recycling of pesticide containers and protect the environment from potential pesticide releases due to spills and leaks in storage, refilling containers, or dispensing of crop protection products. Industry organizations have played an active supporting role in the implementation of the new rule, and have led training, the development of retail center certification for compliance with storage requirements, and worked to ensure the smooth implementation of the rule so that the objectives are met and regulatory burden is minimized.

CLA has worked with a number of organizations, including the Ag Container Recycling Council, Agri­cultural Retailers Association and National Ag Aviation Association, to educate and train retailers and customers across the industry.

For more information about the organization and its key initiatives, visit www.croplifeamerica.org.

Leave a Reply

Legislation Stories

LegislationUSDA: Quick Implementation Of Disaster Assistance Programs A ‘Top Priority’
July 9, 2014
USDA has processed 106,000 payments to farmers in 40 states across the country who suffered livestock and grazing losses between Oct. 2011 and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Read More
LegislationTFI Praises White House For Signing WRRDA Into Law
June 11, 2014
The bill streamlines U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects, prioritizes authorized waterway improvements and provides needed adjustments to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. Read More
LegislationAg Policy: Plenty Of Fertilizer Issues Ahead
January 2, 2014
From West Fertilizer to the Chesapeake Bay, fertilizer producers and dealers are keeping an eye on several Beltway developments in 2014. Read More
LegislationLack Of Farm Bill Leaves Farmers Facing Uncertainty In 2014
December 13, 2013
With just a few legislative working days remaining in 2013, the likelihood of a new farm bill is waning, leaving farmers in limbo once again. Read More

Trending Articles

FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More
EquipmentNew Holland Acquires Miller-St. Nazianz
September 3, 2014
The assets of Miller acquired as part of the transaction will become part of New Holland Agriculture, a CNH Industrial brand, building on a successful four-year partnership between the two companies. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires East Kansas Chemical
September 2, 2014
Ranked 82nd on the CropLife 100, East Kansas Chemical will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science Review
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More

Latest News

Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
Many new products were introduced to the ag retail marketplace this year. From this group, CropLife IRON and its consulting partners have selected five finalists for the Product of the Year award. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Crowd Tops 2013 Show
September 19, 2014
The 52nd annual Ohio State University Farm Science Review welcomed more than 130,000 farmers, industry professionals, FFA students and agricultural enthusiasts during the three-day event. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Approves Enlist Following Rigorous Review
September 18, 2014
Dow AgroSciences now awaits EPA registration of Enlist Duo herbicide, the companion herbicide to the Enlist traits, which is expected in the near future. Read More
BlendersYargus Appoints New Plant Manager
September 18, 2014
Steve Shaffer will direct and coordinate daily operations at the company’s Marshall, IL, manufacturing plant, where the Layco line of material handling equipment is produced. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires Kansas-Based Cedar Ridge Supply
September 16, 2014
Cedar Ridge Supply will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
StewardshipSecretary Vilsack Highlights Innovative Conservation Ef…
September 15, 2014
Nearly $16 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) will be awarded to 47 organizations to help develop cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Cargill Lawsuit
September 15, 2014
Syngenta believes that the lawsuit is without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Launches Mobile App
September 15, 2014
Smartphone and tablet users planning on attending the 2014 Farm Science Review can now download this year’s customized mobile application. Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Grower Sets Georgia Soybean Yield …
September 15, 2014
Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy's soybeans yielded an astonishing 110.66 bushels per acre, crushing the previous record of 82 bushels-per-acre. Read More
NIMITZ Treated vs Untreated pepper plant
InsecticidesNIMITZ Nematicide Approved By EPA
September 12, 2014
NIMITZ is a novel, non-fumigant nematicide with simplified application features, user safety and an active ingredient with a unique mode of action. Read More
InsecticidesMarrone Bio Innovations Receives Patent For Chromobacte…
September 11, 2014
The patent is the first step for MBI in developing a commercially viable product to inhibit infestations of corn rootworm larvae across America and other regions. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences: Keeping The Pipeline Stocked
September 11, 2014
Dow AgroSciences is embracing product diversity to drive the company’s future. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Is Official Partner Of New St. Paul Ballpark
September 10, 2014
The new ballpark in St. Paul, MN, officially became CHS Field with Twin Cities-based CHS Inc. revealed as the naming rights partner. Read More
EquipmentHagie Honors Farming Stewardship Leaders
September 10, 2014
The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader award recognizes Iowa farmers as environmental leaders that are committed to healthy soils and improved water quality. Read More
Precision AgPlantBeat: Your Plants’ Pulse In The Palm Of Your Han…
September 10, 2014
A new agronomic monitoring and recommendation service from Phytech could rewrite the book on real-time plant health status monitoring. Read More
StewardshipCCAs Making Headway With 4R Program In Lake Erie Wester…
September 9, 2014
Certified Crop Advisers are implementing the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program in Lake Erie's Western Basin to improve water quality. Read More
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
Crop InputsFMC Announces Cheminova Takeover
September 8, 2014
FMC Corporation today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cheminova, a wholly owned subsidiary of Auriga Industries. Read More