CropLife America: Farm Bill, Clean Water Act Among Top Issues For 2013

While the dust settles after the November 6 election, CropLife America considers the priorities and progress achieved by its members and allies over the past year, while also reviewing the unresolved work of 2012. To develop a comprehensive understanding of the work ahead in 2013, CropLife America must also review the state elections and what impact they will have on industry priorities. Policy priorities specific to the crop protection industry, like the Endangered Species Act, as well as broader agriculture matters like the Farm Bill are on CropLife America’s active to-do list for 2013.

From its headquarters in Washington, DC, CropLife America continuously looks for opportunities to work closely with both political parties to advance the science and technology of the pesticide industry. As a voice of the larger story of modern agriculture, CropLife America also strives to support the mission and responsibilities of a dynamic American agricultural production system that is a critical component of our national economy.

Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act

The Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act (PRIA) is a vital piece of legislation which allows a predictable and timely registration process for new crop protection products. PRIA requires applicants for pesticide registration actions to pay specific service fees which support EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs in processing pesticide registration requests. The authority to collect PRIA fees was set to expire on September 30, 2012, and it was therefore CropLife America’s single greatest legislative priority to successfully shepherd its reauthorization. Without the authority to collect PRIA fees, the registration process improvements that have been enjoyed over the past decade would be slowly phased-out, including product registration timelines.

The PRIA coalition, co-chaired by CropLife America, led the effort to renegotiate the reauthorization package with coalition partners, the environmental community and EPA. Through the leadership of  Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Reps. Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), this effort ultimately led to the enactment of S. 3552, the Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2012. This legislation was signed by President Obama on September 28.

The reauthorization of PRIA will ensure that all stakeholders to EPA’s regulation of the crop protection industry will have confidence in a predictable regulatory program. CropLife America and various other stakeholders will continue to work closely with EPA well into 2013 to implement this important extension of authority.

Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits

Despite multiple efforts in 2012 to advance legislation (H.R. 872) to clarify that Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits are not required for certain aquatic pesticide applications, the implementation of a ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court in National Cotton Council v. EPA has advanced. States are working through the various and multiple challenges associated with the court’s erroneous ruling, and the duplicative and unnecessary regulation by the EPA. CropLife America remains committed to ultimately seeing this court ruling overturned by Congress.

Most recently, the Congressional efforts to write new farm policy provided a vehicle for legislative activity on H.R. 872. Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) led a bipartisan effort to attach H.R. 872 to the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support for the amendment, it was not afforded the opportunity for a vote by the full Senate. The House Agriculture Committee version of the Farm Bill — passed under the leadership of Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and ranking Democrat Collin Peterson (D-MN) — does include the full text of H.R. 872.

CropLife America continues to work with and lead a broad group of allies determined to deliver a Farm Bill that includes clarification that CWA NPDES permits are not required for certain aquatic pesticide applications.

Endangered Species Act

No single environmental statute threatens the crop protection industry’s ability to manufacture, market and sell crop protection chemistry more than the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Pesticide registration actions are subject to a duplicative review of environmental risk to endangered species with a requirement for EPA to formally “consult” with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine and Fisheries Service. CropLife America and its allies have made great progress over the past several years in educating policy-makers regarding the failed process for ESA consultations on pesticide registrations, which is a disservice to stakeholders in the crop protection industry and those charged with protecting threatened and endangered species.

The implementation of flawed biological opinions, as required by a ruling in a federal district court, would have serious, negative impacts for the crop protection industry. CropLife America continues to work on all fronts to pursue a reasonable and science-based outcome for these biological opinions and a comprehensive resolution to the ESA consultations. CropLife America will continue to work closely with Congress and impacted stakeholders to build support for regulatory relief and will continue to lead the charge until such time that the politics are right for addressing ESA compliance in a responsible manner for all stakeholders.

Farm Bill

2012 marked another Farm Bill expiration and debate around all aspects of farm and rural policy. Like Farm Bill debates past, budget implications were a primary driver around policy decisions and this fact was ever more present in the 2012 negotiations. With the growing federal budget pressure, special attention was given to farm commodity, conservation and feeding and nutrition programs when Congress began its task of rewriting broad farm policy.

When Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed the CropLife America board of directors in February 2012, he stressed that behind the computer and information technology industry, the agriculture sector was the second largest economic driver of our national economy. While the crop protection industry is not impacted directly by the Farm Bill, CropLife America remains an aggressive advocate for industry priorities around the Farm Bill debate.

States

While much of the industry focus remains on Washington, the level of environmental activism in state capitals continues to increase. In addition to budget pressures in most states (which lead to efforts to increase pesticide fees), extremists continue to advocate for pesticide restrictions and bans, federal preemption repeals and human exposure concerns. Through a network of CropLife America member company representatives and state and regional partners, the industry has once again met these challenges with science-based, factual responses that address poor public policies designed to appeal to emotion and are not based in fact or sound science.

Coalitions

Federal and state coalitions and associated stakeholder groups are instrumental in reaching out to policy-makers at the grassroots level and on Capitol Hill. CropLife America’s commitment to lead or share leadership on numerous coalitions ensures that the industry’s voice has its largest impact. National and state-based commodity groups, agribusiness allies and state and regional associations work closely with CropLife America to identify industry challenges and opportunities and develop strategies for advancing industry policy. This work continued in 2012 and will again serve as the foundation of the industry’s advocacy efforts in 2013.

There will never be a “mission accomplished” moment for CropLife America and its allies. Advancing necessary science and technology is an ever-evolving process leading to new and exciting discoveries that will serve the broader agriculture sector in the future. Modern agriculture technology and practices are the foundation of our national agricultural system and CropLife America remains steadfastly optimistic about the future of agriculture.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Legislation Stories

Pipe rack
LegislationCourt Sides With Ag Retailers On PSM
September 23, 2016
The D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Pat Tiberi Legislator Of The Year
August 3, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More
Soybean Field
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Brian Hill Legislator Of The Year
July 19, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More
Grower Truck at retailer
CropLife 100ARA Seeks Comment on Ag Driver Sleep Apnea Issue
July 5, 2016
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) are seeking public Read More
Trending Articles
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More
Potash Corp Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium, Potash Corp To Merge To Create $36 Billion Company
September 12, 2016
Canada’s Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc. have agreed to combine in a deal that would create a Read More
Osage Co-op Elevator Osage, IA Finished Building
OpinionAre We Crazy?
September 8, 2016
At some point in the first few months of my employment here at CropLife® magazine, I started getting curious about Read More
ManagementMAGIE 2016 Highlights and Deere Anti-Trust
September 1, 2016
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the recent Midwest AG Industries Exposition and the Department of Justice’s objection to John Deere Read More
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
Retail FacilitiesMarcus Construction Builds High-Speed Agronomy Center For Key Cooperative
July 7, 2016
Key Cooperative in Grinnell, IA, wanted a state-of-the-art Agronomy Center to better serve its customers. Marcus Construction delivered exactly that. Read More
Latest News
Syngenta Seedcare Institute
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Opens New North America Seedcare Institute In …
September 23, 2016
Syngenta unveiled its new Seedcare Institute in Stanton, MN, during a recent grand opening celebration. More than 150 industry leaders, Read More
StewardshipMonsanto Invests $1.6 Million In System To Quantify Gre…
September 23, 2016
The USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) recently awarded the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and its Soil Health Read More
Pipe rack
LegislationCourt Sides With Ag Retailers On PSM
September 23, 2016
The D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when Read More
ManagementPacific Coast Fertilizer Announces Interest In Longview…
September 22, 2016
Pacific Coast Fertilizer LP (PCF) announced at the Cowlitz Economic Development Council board of directors meeting its interest in developing Read More
Young corn plants in soil
UncategorizedCool Planet Raises Additional $9 Million To Commerciali…
September 22, 2016
Cool Planet has announced the first close of a new financing round to commercialize the company’s Cool Terra Engineered Biocarbon Read More
Crop InputsJim Loar Promoted To President And CEO Of Cool Planet
September 22, 2016
In a move that reflects and reinforces the company’s commitment to the agricultural market, the Cool Planet board of directors Read More
BlendersNorth Dakota Coop Debuts Dry Fertilizer Plant
September 22, 2016
North Central Grain Cooperative has begun operations at a new dry fertilizer plant at its Rolla, ND, site. It is Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, Bayer Officials Defend Proposed $66 Billion M…
September 21, 2016
Top officials for Monsanto and Bayer defended their proposed $66 billion merger before skeptical senators on Tuesday, insisting that the Read More
ManagementUpcoming Shows & Recent Events
September 19, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about upcoming trade shows and events and review the Mid America CropLife Association Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Appoints New CEO
September 19, 2016
Verdesian Life Sciences, a plant health and nutrition company, today announced that its board of directors has named Kenneth M. Avery Read More
Corn
Crop InputsEPA Settles With Syngenta For Alleged Multi-Regional Pe…
September 19, 2016
The U.S. EPA has announced a multi-region settlement with Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC (Syngenta) in Greensboro, NC, for alleged violations of Read More
ManagementMerger Mania
September 16, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss this week’s mega-ag mergers of Bayer and Monsanto and Potash and Agrium. Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Ends Up Being A Bargain For Bayer
September 16, 2016
History will say Bayer got a bargain in its $66 billion purchase of Monsanto, writes David Nicklaus, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
CropLife 100California Ag Retailer Steps Up To Feed Families Affect…
September 16, 2016
GAR Tootelian, Inc. (GAR) in Reedley, CA, is challenging the Central Valley to help raise enough money and provide 525,000 meals Read More
Crop InputsBayer, Monsanto CEOs Discuss Merger
September 15, 2016
Werner Baumann, Bayer CEO, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto CEO, discuss why they decided to merge their companies. Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsNY Times: Bayer-Monsanto a Bad Deal for Farmers
September 15, 2016
Via NY Times: Don Halcomb, a 63-year-old farmer in Adairville, KY, is expecting his profit to vanish this year, largely Read More
Werner Baumann, Bayer AG, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Merger Creates New Global Ag Giant
September 14, 2016
During the whole of 2016, many of the companies that do business in the agricultural industry have concluded the best Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More