Not So Appealing

Are you, Mr. Ag Retailer, a polluter of the environment? Although you may not think so, at least one federal court has a different opinion. This could mean more permits to conduct business-as-usual in a few years.

In January, a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated an EPA rule allowing crop protection products to be applied to U.S. waters without a Clean Water Act (CWA) permit. The judges ruled the agency’s view that applications of chemical and biological products over or near water runs contrary to the CWA and that residues and crop protection products constitute pollutants under federal law and must be regulated “to minimize any impact on our health or the environment.”

This decision overturned a Novem­ber 2007 EPA ruling which stated that crop protection products applied in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) were exempt from CWA requirements. Now, applicators and growers could need to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit before applying crop protection products near water sources.

Industry trade groups are unhappy with the decision, arguing that this could lead to additional, “needless” regulations on the use of crop protection products. “Farmers should not need a permit under another law when they already are following an existing law,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman.

Jay Vroom, president/CEO of CropLife America, echoed this view. “Pesticides are well regulated by the FIFRA and EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs. Over three decades and through two CWA amendments, EPA has never issued an NPDES permit for pesticide application.” He added that the permits referenced by the decision could take months or years to develop while leaving growers and applicators vulnerable to possible litigation.

Both trade groups, along with several industry interests, have petitioned the full 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to review this ruling.

What does this mean for ag retailers? For 2009, says CropLife America’s General Counsel Doug Nelson, nothing. “Until it’s decided whether a rehearing is granted, the decision is stayed,” says Nelson. “Even if the rehearing request is rejected, the government has filed a motion asking the court to delay enforcement of the ruling for two years to provide time to develop a permitting protocol.” In the interim, he encourages retailers to write to their Congressional and local representatives, asking them to support the rehearing effort.

The prospect of more permits/regulations entering the picture cannot be appealing to our already heavily regulated industry. Besides, equipment advances, such as boom section control, have made it easier for today’s custom applicators to do their jobs without harming the nation’s waterways. This is a message ag retailers need to get across to everyone, loud and clear.

Leave a Reply

Latest News
ManagementDow Field Day and More Cooperative Consolidation
June 28, 2017
CropLife Editor discusses his recent attendance at the Dow AgroSciences Field Day in Indiana and shares news on another pair Read More
Young Corn Plants
Eric SfiligojLaunching New Seed Traits: Wait on China . . . Or Else!
June 26, 2017
In life, no one likes the waiting game. In agriculture, however, playing the waiting game is very important – especially Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Speaks on Dicamba Issues in Arkansas
June 26, 2017
Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer, Robb Fraley, issued the following statement following the Arkansas State Plant Board’s proposal to ban dicamba, Read More
Corn Field
Seed/BiotechCorn Insect Bt Technologies Offer Cost-effective, Proac…
June 26, 2017
When farm economics are challenging, farmers look for ways to bolster profit margins, including reducing input costs. Some may think Read More
Crop InputsArkansas Plant Board Votes to Ban Dicamba — Now W…
June 23, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has voted to pass a proposed emergency rule to ban the use of in-crop dicamba, Read More
Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsBASF: ‘Closely Monitoring’ Dicamba Situatio…
June 22, 2017
BASF, whose Engenia herbicide is the target of more than 200 drift complaints in Arkansas, emailed the following statement to Read More
ManagementConsolidation Update
June 22, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss progress on manufacturer consolidation, and another big move for Midwest cooperative Central Valley Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
Crop InputsThreat of Dicamba Ban Looms in Arkansas
June 22, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has rejected a proposed ban on the use of dicamba herbicide, but a procedural error Read More
Potash Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium-PotashCorp to become Nutrien upon Merger Complet…
June 21, 2017
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. have announced today that once the anticipated merger transaction closes, the new Read More
Crop InputsMidwestern BioAg Hosts TerraNu Fertilizer Plant Opening…
June 20, 2017
Last Friday, Midwestern BioAg was joined by over 80 local farmers, media and staff to celebrate the grand opening of Read More
Soybean Field
Industry NewsAligned Ag Distributors Names New President
June 19, 2017
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC announced this morning the appointment of Mary Tolke to the position of President/CEO, effective July 1. Read More
ManagementPlotting Corn, AGCO/Asmark’s Applicator Training Center…
June 15, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about their recent visits to Columbus, OH, and Bloomington, IL, along with an Read More
Seed/BiotechDow AgroSciences Announces Launch of Enlist Corn for 20…
June 14, 2017
Enlist corn will be commercially available in the U.S. for the 2018 growing season. Dow AgroSciences announced the launch today Read More
ASMARK AGCO Applicator Training Center
EmployeesAsmark, AGCO Open Training Center for Beginning Applica…
June 13, 2017
AGCO Corp. and the Asmark Institute have opened a new Applicator Training Center, created in a collaboration between the two Read More
Power to Do More Contest Winners
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Announces Three Winners in Power to Do…
June 13, 2017
Thousands of votes have been cast and three farmers have been awarded the power to do more with a $10,000 Read More
Frogeye leaf spot
FungicidesStrobilurin-resistant Frogeye Leaf Spot Threat Looms wi…
June 13, 2017
Heavy spring rainfall throughout the South and Midwest delayed planting and created the perfect environment for diseases like frogeye leaf Read More
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
LegislationICGA Praises President Trump’s Remarks on Waterwa…
June 12, 2017
Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan, a farmer from Utica, issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s comments Read More