Oily Residue

By any measuring stick, the BP Gulf oil spill is an environmental disaster of the first degree. For better than two months now, TV viewers and Internet surfers have been bombarded by images of browning coastal wetlands, dead sea birds covered in pitch-black crude, and undersea pictures of oil gushing out of the ruined feeder pipe embedded in the sea floor. For anyone involved in any of the industries impacted by this crisis, these pictures represent a depressing sight.

Although it hasn’t happened yet, the Gulf oil spill could directly impact the agricultural community in the coming months. According to John Cripe, director of Mid-Co Commodities, Inc., 55% to 65% of the Midwest’s grains are annually exported through the Gulf of Mexico. It’s possible these ships could eventually require routine cleaning due to oil build-up on their hulls, which would add to the upkeep costs and cause the price of shipping these grains to rise as a result.

But besides this direct by-product of the oil spill, agriculture could find itself under an increasingly watchful regulatory eye when its comes to anything that might impact the environment. I know many of the people I’ve spoken with during the past year have said that the level of environmental scrutiny in Washington, DC, and various state capitals has racheted up significantly since the beginning of 2009. Most observers have used a 10-point scale to describe the increased watchdog mentality at work, saying that we’ve gone from a 7 to around a 9.5.

Let me be the first to say it: If our industry was experiencing a 9.5 over the past year on the regulatory front, the Gulf oil spill has probably pushed this number up significantly. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say we are now at a 25.

As always, one of the chief weapons in agricultural’s war chest is education. Many ag retailers have practiced safe environmental stewardship for several decades, and spreading the word about these companies should be one of our main missions.

Throughout this issue, we are highlighting many of the industry’s exceptional environmentalists as winners in the annual Environmental Respect Awards program. Now in its 20th year, this program, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection, honors dozens of retailers across the country that have demonstrated outstanding environmental and community stewardship practices. Although they may have different ways of doing this, most of these winners share a respect for their surroundings and a desire to do what’s right, environmentally.

“It is our duty to ensure that our industry protects America’s groundwater, sub-surface water, and soil for generations to come,” says state winner Darrell Fellows of Ag Valley Coop. “If everyone in this industry does not do their part, we as an industry will be regulated out of business.”

I couldn’t agree more — especially now that the stakes have been raised as high as the rising tide of oil slowly spreading across the Gulf of Mexico.

Leave a Reply

Latest News
ManagementWashington Update, Dow-DuPont Earnings, and the Passing…
April 27, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the latest Beltway news, crop protection company 1st quarter numbers, and the Read More
BRANDT
CropLife 100Former PotashCorp COO Joins BRANDT Board
April 27, 2017
BRANDT has announced the appointment of another industry veteran to its board of directors. David Delaney, most recently EVP and Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsFortune: Inside China’s $43 Billion Bid for Food …
April 26, 2017
(Via Fortune.com) The worst famine in human history occurred in China from 1959 to 1961. An estimated 34 million people Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Changes in Board of Directors
April 26, 2017
ChemChina and Syngenta announced changes relating to the new Board of Directors of Syngenta following the closing of the ChemChina Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Introduces PerCarb Broad-Spectrum Bacte…
April 26, 2017
BioSafe Systems announces PerCarb (Sodium Carbonate Peroxyhydrate), a new alternative to potassium bicarbonate and lime sulfur products for use in Read More
Deere Twitter
EquipmentTop 10 Twitter Pics for #Plant17
April 26, 2017
Despite some wet weather in parts of the Midwest, growers and ag retailers are working feverishly to plant this year’s Read More
Donald Trump
Crop InputsTrump Targets Agriculture with Latest Executive Order
April 26, 2017
(Via UPI.com) President Donald Trump on Tuesday took executive action in an effort to help grow the domestic agriculture industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
EquipmentAGCO Mourns Passing of Company Founder, Industry Vision…
April 25, 2017
AGCO Corp., a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment and solutions, mourns the passing of founder and former President, Read More
Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsINNVICTIS CROP CARE Introduces VANDAL MOC Soybean Herbi…
April 25, 2017
INNVICTIS CROP CARE, LLC has announced the U.S. EPA registration for VANDAL MOC, a combination of sulfentrazone plus metolachlor. VANDAL Read More
Kochia
HerbicidesINNVICTIS CROP CARE Launches STAVE Post-Emerge Broadlea…
April 25, 2017
INNVICTIS CROP CARE, LLC has introduced STAVE as the newest addition to­ its expanding portfolio. STAVE will be a great Read More
Sonny Perdue
LegislationSonny Perdue Confirmed by Senate as Next Agriculture Se…
April 25, 2017
After months without a secretary of agriculture, the Senate voted Monday evening to confirm former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to Read More
BPIA logo
Seed/BiotechBPIA Files Comments with USDA
April 24, 2017
The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA) has filed comments with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Read More
Eric SfiligojHope for Application Equipment Sales
April 24, 2017
The old saying goes that a “rising tide lifts all boats.” If this is indeed the case, then things may Read More
Stewardship video screenshot
ManagementNew Video Raises Awareness of 2,4-D Stewardship
April 24, 2017
A new public service video developed and produced by the 2,4-D Research Task Force, in conjunction with the American Soybean Read More
ManagementAn Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tooteli…
April 20, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses An Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tootelian Read More
Students Soybean Field
Industry NewsMACA Announces 2017 Young Leader Scholarship Recipients
April 19, 2017
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) Board of Directors selected 11 college students to receive the MACA Young Leader Scholarship Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
SoftwareKnoa Software Solution Helps GROWMARK Boost System Perf…
April 19, 2017
Knoa Software, a leading provider of user experience management (UEM) software, has announced that GROWMARK, Inc., a regional agricultural cooperative Read More
Crop InputsFBN Publishes ‘Voice of the Farmer’ Agricul…
April 17, 2017
Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) released today its “The Voice of the Farmer”, which the company is describing as “a special Read More