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

Green Valley Ag facility
Retail FacilitiesGreen Valley Ag Adopts A.J. Sackett’s Precision Fertilizer Blending® Technology At New Facility
July 8, 2014
Sackett's Precision Fertilizer Blending® Technology is making huge strides around the world. Green Valley Ag adopts the technology at its new facility to support its advancing agronomic needs. Read More
Retail FacilitiesWaconia Manufacturing Builds Facility Designed For Speed, Efficiency
July 7, 2014
To make its new hub facility more efficient, Cooperative Elevator enlisted the aid of Waconia Manufacturing. Read More
EquipmentSummer Show Preview 2014: Superior Sprayers Take The Field
July 3, 2014
In this final installment of our coverage of the major categories of Big IRON that retailers can expect to test-drive at this summer’s events, here is a look at 19 sprayers. Read More
Scouting a soybean patch at Green Valley Ag.
EmployeesCropLife Compensation Survey: Battling Talent Drain
July 2, 2014
Retailers too often lose employees to companies outside of agriculture, while recruiting efforts are most often limited to competitors and other ag-focused organizations. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Introduces SureStart II Herbicide
June 16, 2014
The enhanced formulation has improved viscosity and increased stability under heat and controls more than 60 high-anxiety grasses and broadleaf weeds found in corn fields. Read More
HerbicidesBASF Investing $270 Million To Expand U.S. Herbicide Production
June 11, 2014
BASF has invested more than $270 million to expand herbicide production capacities in the U.S., including more than 20 new products to be launched over next two years. Read More

Latest News

HerbicidesWillowood To Market Glufosinate
July 28, 2014
Willowood USA recently announced that Federal EPA has approved its technical registration for glufosinate. Read More
InsecticidesHow To Scout For Corn Earworms In Corn
July 28, 2014
In her weekly report, University of Missouri Agronomy Specialist Jill Scheidt discusses what to look for when scouting for corn earworm. Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Pioneer, Weyerhaeuser Enter Technology License A…
July 28, 2014
The agreement brings together agricultural and forestry know-how to sustainably improve crop productivity for corn growers around the world. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Launches Global iPad App
July 28, 2014
The free AGCO Global iPad App can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes Store and features the full family of RoGator self-propelled sprayers and TerraGator high-floatation spreaders. Read More
Eric SfiligojYuma Centennial Ag Supply Earns 2014 National Environme…
July 28, 2014
Colorado-based ag retailer receives top trophy in 24th annual DuPont Crop Protection/CropLife ceremony. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Forms Alliance With Wildlife Managment, Seed O…
July 25, 2014
The strategic alliance will provide Tecomate with key wildlife products, processing facilities, distribution centers and sales through Pinnacle’s ever-growing retail network. Read More
ManagementFranken Presses White House On RFS Support
July 25, 2014
Al Franken and a group of Senate democrats recently met with senior White House official John Podesta to urge the administration to change its position on an EPA proposal. Read More
ManagementASA, FarmLink To Launch ‘Operation Benchmark̵…
July 25, 2014
The American Soybean Association (ASA) and FarmLink are teaming up to help farmers close the $11 billion gap between what they harvested in 2013 and what they could harvest annually. Read More
StewardshipNorthey: Farmers Commit $1.4 Million to Try New Water Q…
July 25, 2014
The practices that are eligible for funding include cover crops, no-till or strip till and using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer. Read More
Precision AgFarmers Learn How Changing World Will Impact Iowa
July 24, 2014
Technology and understanding global consumer demand for Iowa farm products brought hundreds of farmers and agribusiness leaders to Ames recently for the annual Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Economic Summit. Read More
HerbicidesPurdue: Late Season Weeds May Require Manual Removal
July 24, 2014
Hand-rouging and pulling late season weeds by hand may be the best way to remove them, more so than using a herbicide, a Purdue Extension weed scientist says. Read More
Soybean Field
InsecticidesTransform WG, Closer SC Insecticides Receive R&D 10…
July 23, 2014
Dow AgroSciences has received the award from R&D Magazine for Transform WG insecticide and Closer SC insecticide with Isoclast active. Read More
EquipmentKinze, Raven Team Up On 4900 Planter Monitor
July 23, 2014
Kinze Manufacturing announces a partnership with Raven Industries to develop a standalone monitor solution for the Kinze 4900 series planter. With this new Read More
LegislationNew Farm Bill Continues To Confuse As Growers Await USD…
July 23, 2014
The new five-year Farm Bill eliminates many of the direct payments previously payed to growers and could benefit from USDA clarification, reports a Toledo Blade columnist. Read More
EquipmentPrecisionAg.com Relaunches With Responsive Design For M…
July 22, 2014
PrecisionAg, the worldwide leader in precision agriculture information and analysis, announces the launch of its completely redesigned website, PrecisionAg.com. Read More
FungicidesEPA OKs Two Willowood Fungicides
July 21, 2014
The EPA has approved Willowood Azoxy 2SC and Willowood AzoxyProp Xtra. two widely used broad spectrum, preventative fungicides with systemic and curative properties. Read More
Precision AgFarmers Learning Fast As UAVs Take Off
July 17, 2014
Farmers and others interested in how UAVs can be used in agricultural applications were able to learn more about the technology during the recent Precision Aerial Ag Show. Read More
CropLife 100Bobby Knight, Richard Petty To Highlight Ag PhD Field D…
July 17, 2014
Attendees at the July 24 Ag PhD Field Day at Hefty Farms will learn about the latest agricultural technologies, and get a chance to meet legendary sports figures Bobby Knight and Richard Petty. Read More