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
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
corn field
CropLife 100The Andersons’ Humic DG Now Available In Canada
February 13, 2015
The Andersons, Inc. Turf & Specialty Group has announced its Humic DG product is now available to customers in the Canadian turf, agriculture and horticulture markets. Read More
Farmer on tablet
CropLife 100Southern States Co-op: An Inside Look At Our Aerial Imagery Program
February 8, 2015
Now is as good a time as any to explore the basics of what a retail aerial imagery program looks like today. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Inks Satellite Imagery Agreement
February 3, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Company has reached an agreement with Planet Labs to bring satellite imagery to the AgVerdict software platform. Read More
Latest News
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location I…
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Management2,4-D Celebrates 70 Years; GROWMARK Uses Super Bowl Ad …
February 27, 2015
Jim Gray, executive director of the 2,4-D Research Task Force, lays out planned activities to mark the chemistry’s 70th anniversary. Read More
HerbicidesUniversity Of Arkansas Flag The Technology Program Adds…
February 27, 2015
Started in 2010, the Flag the Technology program provides a visual reference for applicators to distinguish between fields planted with different herbicide-tolerant trait technologies. Read More
Luckey Farmers, Inc.’s Berkey Farm Center
Industry NewsLuckey Farmers’ Berkey Branch Certified In 4R Nut…
February 26, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Luckey Farmers Inc.’s Berkey Farm Center in northwest Ohio has been added to its growing list of nutrient service providers to achieve certified status. Read More
Crop InputsWinField Unveiling NutriVision Technology, Ascend Dry F…
February 24, 2015
New for 2015 are NutriVision Technology, a unique tool for monitoring in-season plant nutrient availability, and Ascend WSG plant growth regulator, a new dry formulation of Ascend plant growth regulator. Read More
FertilizerNew Formulation Of NutriSphere-N Protects High Volume U…
February 24, 2015
Verdesian Life Sciences is launching NutriSphere-N HVTM, a new polymer formulation of the proven NutriSphere-N Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager that protects high-volume applications of UAN. Read More
EquipmentIowa Ag Secretary Northey Names Hagie Water Quality Lea…
February 24, 2015
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has named Hagie Mfg. as a recipient of the Secretary’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI) Leader Award. Read More
FungicidesEvito Fungicide Gives Canadian Wheat Growers New Diseas…
February 24, 2015
EVITO fungicide from Arysta LifeScience North America gives Canadian wheat and barley growers a new option for disease control. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Commodity Classic Turns 20
February 23, 2015
Two decades in, this annual gathering of all things agriculture has become a must-see event. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
ManagementCropLife Retail Week: On The Road Edition
February 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent trips to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville and the Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes Acquires FLM+ Assets
February 19, 2015
FLM+ will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O'Lakes, Inc., and the company will retain its employee base after closing of the deal, which is scheduled for the second quarter of the year. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnited Suppliers, Stine Seed Form Marketing Alliance
February 19, 2015
The new alliance will greatly expand sales opportunities for Stine Seed with the United Supplier Seed Link Owners. Read More
Crop InputsVilsack To Deliver Commodity Classic Keynote Address
February 19, 2015
The secretary will deliver a keynote address to several thousand farmers and ag allies during the event's General Session, to be held Friday, February 27, in Phoenix, AZ. Read More
Crop InputsSoybean Storage Tips
February 19, 2015
On-farm storage of soybeans requires some special considerations compared to corn. Read More
Monsanto Sign
Crop InputsBioAg Alliance Delivers Promising Field Trial Results
February 19, 2015
In its first full year of field trials, the BioAg Alliance reported that the top 10 microbial strains tested in corn and soybeans showed very promising results. Read More
National Farm Machinery Show overview
EquipmentNational Farm Machinery Show Attendance Up By 16K
February 18, 2015
The 2015 event saw the second highest attendance total of all time as 310,589 attendees that included exhibitors and agribusiness professionals traveled to the Kentucky Exposition Center to participate in the nation’s largest indoor ag trade show. Read More