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
UncategorizedPrecision Ag, Iowa Water, and GM Corn Updates
March 24, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj look at the state of precision agriculture, the dismissal of the Des Moines Water Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Enters Biostimulants Market Wit…
March 23, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. is expanding beyond biopesticides and crop protection and into the biostimulant market by commercially launching Haven Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teach…
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
ManagementThink You Know Water? Take WinField United’s R…
March 22, 2017
Water is among our most precious resources, and arguably the hardest working, with just one percent available for human use, Read More
Corn Field
LegislationTFI Hopes Court Dismissal Is ‘Final Chapter’…
March 20, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) released the following statement from President, Chris Jahn on the March 17, 2017, federal court dismissal Read More
Wheat Growers
Industry NewsWheat Growers CEO Dale Locken To Retire
March 20, 2017
CEO Dale Locken has announced that he plans to retire from Wheat Growers. Locken has served almost 15 years as Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Eric SfiligojBayer-Monsanto: Life, LibertyLink, And The Pursuit Of R…
March 20, 2017
As the calendar officially turns to spring, life is in full renewal mode. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and Read More
Corn Field
Crop InputsUltra Yield Micronutrients Acquires Kronos Micronutrien…
March 16, 2017
Ultra Yield Micronutrients, Inc. ”Ultra”, an affiliate of Cameron Chemicals, Inc., is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Read More
ManagementSnowstorms, Asset Sales, and Soybeans Prices
March 16, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the weather, precision ag, crop protection company mergers, and commodity prices in this Read More
Soybean Field
Seed/BiotechBayer Invests $8.1 million In Soybean Advancement In Th…
March 16, 2017
Growers in Illinois and across the Midwest now have the added benefit of a state-of-the-art soybean research facility, increasing accessibility Read More
CHS
CropLife 100CHS Acquires Western Co-op Transport Association
March 16, 2017
CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has purchased Western Co-op Transport Read More
Young corn plants in soil
HerbicidesBest Management Practices To Control PPO-Resistant Weed…
March 14, 2017
Weeds resistant to the class of herbicides called protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors are spreading at a faster rate than weed Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Eric SfiligojFungicide Resistance On The Horizon
March 13, 2017
For many years now, the agricultural market has struggled to keep ahead of an ever-growing number of herbicide-resistant weeds. According Read More
Management2017 Commodity Classic Review
March 10, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss what happened at the recent Commodity Classic in San Antonio. Read More
Farmer using AgriSync
ManagementMajor AgriSync Update Aims To Extend Ag Experts’ Power …
March 10, 2017
AgriSync announced a major update to its leading collaboration and service management tool for professional ag advisors and their farmer Read More
Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App
EquipmentNew Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App Alleviates Spraying …
March 10, 2017
There’s a new app to help farmers decide when to spray their fields. Pocket Spray Smart is a free iOS Read More
BPIA logo
Crop InputsBiological Products Trade Association Changes Name, Exp…
March 9, 2017
The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA), formerly the BioPesticide Industry Alliance, is the new name of the rapidly growing U.S.-based Read More
BBI MagnaSpread Salford BBI
Equipment14 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2017
March 9, 2017
Application equipment manufacturers stressed flexibility and accuracy with this year’s crop of fertilizer spreaders. From AGCO’s TerraGator TG9300B and Case IH’s 810 Read More