On the regulatory front, retailers say that the hoops they must jump through are getting higher and more challenging. “In general, we are finding that compliance with government regulations is getting more time consuming and expensive,” says Frank Schumacher, agronomy division manager for Mountain View Co-op, Black Eagle, MT. These include ones dealing with fertilizer storage. “The new regulations on portable storage are going to force us to operate a little differently,” he says.
According to Wade Blowers, COO for Hamilton Farm Bureau, Hamilton, MI, EPA’s interpretation of the 1987 exemption within the SARA Tier II reporting on requirements for fertilizer held for sale by a retailer is concerning. “An interpretation change which drives an outcome of retailers being cited is troubling,” he says.
Others are worried about water. “The Clean Water Act is generating greater pressures toward regulating nitrogen and phosphorous use,” says Doug Busdeker, area general manager, farm centers for The Andersons, Inc., Maumee, OH. “The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits for pesticide applications near water would be a burdensome process for spray applicators.”