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

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