MACA 2010: Troubling Changes

As the Mid America CropLife Asso­ciation (MACA) began planning for 2010, there appeared to be three key issues that were of concern. The first issue is mini-bulk containers, the second one is water issues and the third is education regarding the benefits of crop protection products.

MACA hosted a mini-bulk summit in November 2009 with 80 people attending representing distributors, state associations, basic manufacturers, regulatory, and vendors. The purpose of the summit was to recognize the significance of unwanted mini-bulk tanks in the distribution channel and address issues related to the rule requirements per EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). Possible solutions were discussed for dealing with those surplus tanks in an environmentally responsible manner. The purpose of the rule is to minimize human exposure during container handling, facilitate container disposal, and recycling, and to encourage the use of refillable containers.

Among several other panelists and speakers, the program included Nancy Fitz, U.S. EPA OPP, who reviewed the new mini-bulk container rule requirements which become effective on August 16, 2011. Fitz provided specific examples of how the new regulation will impact new containers, what will be required in recycling existing ones, and provided a timeline of compliance dates.
The summit also included presentations from Don Bradley, AgData, on the different types of containers; Marty Fitzpatrick, CropLife America Stewardship Committee, who provided a detailed industry overview; and Dave Hoyt, United Suppliers, on the industry’s responsibilities.

The summit also highlighted a variety of program recycling options. These included the Illinois Project with Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association’s (IFCA) Jean Payne and Kevin Runkle and GROWMARK’s Mary Schoettmer; the Ag Container Recycling Council with Ron Perkins; and Winfield Solutions’ John Howe, United Suppliers’ Hoyt, and Crop Production Services’ Steve Wiest on their respective companies’ plans for handling mini-bulk containers.

The summit concluded with general discussion by all participants about possible actions to address the mini-bulk container recycling issue. Among other recommendations, these included establishing a coordinated communications initiative to keep all interested parties informed, creating a special industry task force representing all stakeholders, and the consideration of a public recognition program to highlight recycling achievements.

While this may sound simple, it is not. It will take a coordinated effort by the industry. For example, IFCA conducted a recycling program in which 65 ag retail members participated and collected 2,261 obsolete mini-bulk containers. This was only a small percentage of the containers collected. So much work remains.

Water Worries

The second issue is water. The Mid­west is known for the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes, and all of the other rivers and streams running through the region. Minnesota received a grant to establish aquatic standards for 11 chemicals using the Great Lakes Tier II methodology. The Tier II methodology was never meant to be used for analyzing pesticides and thus using the methodology could result in much more stringent requirement for these chemicals.

MACA has worked in cooperation with CropLife America and the chemical company representatives, while the Minnesota ag stakeholders worked with the state and U.S. EPA representatives to ensure that the standards are scientifically based.

Another water issue is the National Cotton Council vs. EPA. In this case, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that chemical pesticide residue is a chemical waste and biological pesticides are pollutants, both of which require permits and that the application equipment is a point source. This ruling flies in the face of the exemption pesticides applications have had under FIFRA and the Clean Water Act and would now require a NPDES permit before chemicals are applied.

Industry has been providing feedback to EPA regarding the general template that can be used by the states and the scope of the interpretation of the ruling. CropLife America filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court in November (see p. 16 for more details on this effort).

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is being revised by U.S. and Canada and one of the key issues is how to handle “emerging chemical of concern.” President Obama has requested $475 million to assist in the restoration of the Great Lakes including non-point invasive species and contaminated sediment.

The third issue is education to promote and inform the benefits of crop protection products. This is an ongoing issue to reach out to elementary students in the Midwest region via the CropLife Ambassador Network (CAN) program. The purpose of CAN is to provide scientifically based, accurate information to the public regarding the safety and value of American agricultural food production. No longer does everyone have a connection to farming or agriculture and thus it is important that we reach out to communicate the benefits of agriculture to ensure a safe and abundant food supply.
Through the efforts of 50 industry volunteers more than 7,900 students in 140 schools were informed. In addition, numerous people have accessed the CAN Web site and downloaded the presentations for their use. The presentations include Farming & the Water Cycle, America’s Abundance, Today’s Agriculture, Careers Across the Spectrum, Farm Fueled Biofuels, and Farmers Stewards of the Land.

These are three specific issue areas that are of key concern to MACA members as they will impact the future of the crop protection industry.

Leave a Reply

Legislation Stories

Legvold Farm, Northfield, MN
LegislationASA Notes Progress, Urges EU To Improve Biotech Approval Process
January 29, 2016
The American Soybean Association (ASA) urged the European Commission today to continue its work in addressing delays in the approvals Read More
LegislationARA, TFI: Retailers Urged to Consider PSM Compliance
January 20, 2016
In December, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a revised Interim Enforcement Policy addressing enforcement of Process Safety Read More
United States Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
LegislationCongress Halts OSHA Overreach; Significant Victory For Ag Retailers
December 21, 2015
Congress just put the brakes on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regulatory overreach. On July 22, OSHA released an Read More
LegislationFall Fertilizer Transportation Could Be At Risk With Possible Rail Stoppage
October 1, 2015
Failure by Congress to extend the deadline for the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on the railroads could gridlock Read More
Top 100 Articles
Elburn Cooperative
CropLife 100Elburn Cooperative Members Vote To Join CHS
December 28, 2015
With 81% of eligible producers voting, 94% cast an affirmative ballot for Elburn Cooperative, a diversified agricultural retailer based out Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Farmers Cooperative-West Central Merger Approved
December 21, 2015
The members of Farmers Cooperative Co. (FC), Ames, IA, and West Central Cooperative, Ralston, IA, have both approved the merger Read More
Wheat Growers Innovation Center, Bath, SD
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Opens Innovation Center
December 21, 2015
Wheat Growers’ commitment in providing its farmer-owners with the latest in technological advancements now has a one-of-a-kind focal point, as Read More
CropLife 100ARA Selects The Andersons As 2015 Retailer Of The Year
December 9, 2015
The Agricultural Retailers Association today named Maumee, OH-based The Andersons as its Retailer of the Year for 2015. The award Read More
CPS Washington Court House John Deere Sprayer
CropLife 100Application Equipment Report: It Is Easy Being Green For Top 100 Ag Retailers
December 5, 2015
On The Muppets television show, Kermit the Frog is famous for singing a song about the troubles he encounters in Read More
Fertilizer Bin
CropLife 100Fertilizer Sales: Another Down Year For Top 100 Ag Retailers
December 4, 2015
In pure number terms, the fertilizer category still dominates all crop inputs/services among CropLife 100 ag retailers. In 2015, for Read More
Latest News
Crop InputsBayer Contests EPA’s Decision On Valuable Insecticide F…
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, has announced it has refused a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Wins Seed Fraud Suit Against South Dakota Grow…
February 5, 2016
Syngenta has obtained a $25,000 settlement from Paul and John Mayclin, Mayclin Farms, Plankinton, SD, in response to their Plant Read More
ManagementOABA Annual Conference Wraps Up In Columbus
February 5, 2016
More than 300 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) members and industry professionals were on hand to engage in collaborative learning and Read More
Crop InputsBayer To Contest EPA Flubendiamide Decision
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, announced today it has refused a request by EPA to voluntarily cancel the uses Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechNot So Fast: ChemChina Syngenta Takeover Could Draw Nat…
February 5, 2016
State-owned China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina), which plans to buy Swiss seeds and pesticide maker Syngenta, will promptly start preparations Read More
Rendering of Syngenta Seedcare Institute expansion
Seed/BiotechExpansion Of Syngenta’s North America Seedcare In…
February 4, 2016
As demand for seed treatment knowledge and products grows among farmers, retailers and others in the seed industry, Syngenta is Read More
Soybean Field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Strengthens Sales Team
February 4, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced three new personnel additions: Jake Cook and Peter White are Territory Sales Managers for Read More
Davor Pisk Syngenta COO
Crop InputsSyngenta COO: Why ChemChina Offer Beat Monsanto’s
February 4, 2016
Syngenta Chief Operating Officer Davor Pisk says he is confident the proposed acquisition by ChemChina will ultimately help preserve choice Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsKoch Biological Solutions Invests In Pathway Biologic
February 4, 2016
An affiliate of Koch Biological Solutions, LLC has acquired a minority equity position in, and entered into collaboration with, Pathway Read More
Crop InputsABG: China Signs Off On Monsanto’s Roundup Ready …
February 3, 2016
Monsanto Co. on Wednesday announced it plans to launch its Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans in time for the 2016 Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop Inputs6 Things To Know About The ChemChina-Syngenta Deal
February 3, 2016
After months of rumors and speculation, Syngenta has announced that ChemChina has offered to acquire the Swiss-based company. “In making Read More
FertilizerPhosphorus: Is Band Or Broadcast Application The Better…
February 3, 2016
Is band or broadcast application the better method when it comes to phosphorus? The answer to this question depends mostly Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsChemChina Nearing Deal To Buy Syngenta For Record $43 B…
February 3, 2016
China National Chemical Corp. is nearing an agreement to buy Swiss pesticide-and-seeds-maker Syngenta AG for about 43.7 billion francs ($42.8 Read More
Herbicides2015 ASA Trials Demonstrate Valent Fierce XLT Herbicide…
February 2, 2016
Valent U.S.A. today announced that new Fierce XLT Soybean Herbicide ranks in the top tier among growers for length of Read More
Crop Protection Products in storage
Paul SchrimpfCrop Input Selling: Return Of The Price List
February 2, 2016
It was a good 15 years ago, shortly after I first started writing for this esteemed publication, that it all Read More
Potash storage at Growmark
FertilizerThe Phosphate And Potash Outlook For 2016
February 2, 2016
Like other commodities, prices of the leading plant nutrient products dropped sharply in 2015. At this writing, the price of Read More
Chesapeake Bay
StewardshipKeeping A Watch On Water Issues
February 2, 2016
During a down cycle in the market, it’s difficult to think about investing for the long term. For retail businesses, Read More
Young Corn Plants
FertilizerNutrient Considerations For Low Corn Prices
February 2, 2016
Corn prices are low and many producers are asking tough questions about their nutrient management programs. Here are some suggestions Read More