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
Farm Bill
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
Top 100 Articles
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Match Made In Deviation
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
Winter Wheat
CropLife 100South Dakota Co-op Member Owners Vote No On Unification
June 26, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have announced that member-owners have voted Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manufacturer Kay-Flo
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
CropLife 100AgGateway’s Barcoding Initiative Progressing Nicely
May 8, 2015
According to legend (or Wikipedia), the first step towards modern bar codes came back in 1948, when Bernard Silver, a Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
Latest News
Measuring Bulk Tanks
ManagementBulk Pesticide Compliance: Top 10 Areas Of Improvement …
July 1, 2015
  In honor of the 33-year run of David Letterman’s Late Show, the American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance (AASA) is happy Read More
Industry NewsArysta North America Hires Midwest Sales Manager
July 1, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the hiring of Brian Battles as the Senior Technical Sales Manager for the Midwest Read More
Farmer on tablet
Eric SfiligojThe Never-Ending Battle Against Modern Agriculture
July 1, 2015
In the world of comic books, the character of Superman often refers to the fight to save the world as Read More
Retail FacilitiesBuilding Up Ag Retail
July 1, 2015
In the oftentimes unpredictable world we live in, it’s nice to know some things can be reliably countered on to Read More
Retail FacilitiesMaple River Grain And Agronomy Phases In Site Developme…
July 1, 2015
Marcus Construction helped Maple River Grain and Agronomy in Casselton, ND, with the design-build of its dry fertilizer, liquid chemical/seed Read More
Retail FacilitiesA&B Welding Builds A New Liquid Terminal Hub For Br…
July 1, 2015
To build its new hub facility, Briggs Crop Nutrients enlisted the help of A&B Welding. The result, an efficient facility Read More
Edon Farmers Co-op
Retail FacilitiesNew Marcus Facility At Edon Farmers Co-op Provides More…
July 1, 2015
Edon Farmers Co-Op in Edon, OH, needed a new facility to consolidate outdated locations. Marcus Construction was able to design Read More
Retail FacilitiesKinder Morgan Expands Its Storage With A New Dome Barre…
July 1, 2015
Kinder Morgan wanted additional covered storage at its Dakota Bulk Terminal on the Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN. With Read More
Retail FacilitiesHeartland Tank Protects Fertilizer From Extreme Cold At…
July 1, 2015
The Arthur Companies in Harvey, ND, enlisted the help of Heartland Tank Companies to develop a new liquid fertilizer facility Read More
The McGregor Co. fertilizer loadout
Retail FacilitiesThe McGregor Co. Partners With Kahler Automation To Cre…
June 30, 2015
Kahler Automation helped The McGregor Co. expand its Clarkston, WA, operation with unstaffed loadout technology that enables customers to pick Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Helps CHS Dakota Ag Cooperative Build…
June 30, 2015
CHS Dakota Ag Cooperative in Mooreton, ND, wanted a liquid/dry blender system that could meet the needs of its customers Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes, United Suppliers To Merge Crop Inpu…
June 29, 2015
Land O’Lakes, Inc. and United Suppliers, Inc. of Ames, IA, today announced their intent to merge their crop inputs businesses. Read More
FungicidesHelena To Distribute Unique Summit Agro Fungicide
June 29, 2015
RANMAN 400 SC fungicide, the only fungicide with a FRAC group 21 designation, is now part of the innovative Summit Read More
Eric SfiligojIARC Targets 2,4-D In Latest Report
June 29, 2015
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has struck again. Earlier this year in March, this agency of the Read More
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Ma…
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
EquipmentCase IH Launches New Precision Air 5 Series Carts
June 29, 2015
Case IH recently introduced its new Precision Air 5 series air carts, developed to get the most from every plant’s Read More
InsecticidesVestaron Biopesticide Approved In California
June 29, 2015
Vestaron Corporation, a developer of insect control products derived from naturally occurring peptides, today announced that its VST-006330-EP biopesticide has received Read More
InsecticidesValent’s Zeal SC Miticide Receives EPA Approval
June 29, 2015
Valent U.S.A. Corporation announced today that Zeal SC Miticide has been registered by EPA with a new liquid formulation that Read More