Introduction: This is the final entry in a series of three blog posts from Syngenta experts on the growing challenge of resistance. Allison Tally, Ph.D., technical product lead for fungicides at Syngenta, wraps the series with an overview of fungicide resistance and how industry stakeholders – from agribusinesses to farmers – can help fight against it. For more information on this as well as other agronomic topics, please visit www.syngentathrive.com, the companion website for Thrive magazine.
We’ve all heard about staph-resistant bacteria in hospitals and warnings not to use antibiotics when they aren’t needed to help prevent resistance. Microorganisms can reproduce quickly and mutate, developing resistance to the medicines that can help us. Plant diseases can also become resistant to “plant medicines,” rendering them either totally or partially ineffective.
Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) is now accepting nominations for the
Agricultural Retailer of the Year Award. The award, sponsored by Monsanto, ARA
and AgProfessional magazine, honors retailers who consistently exceed their
customer’s expectations and serve as a positive example for other retailers
through their outstanding, sustainable and innovative business practices.
of the ARA Retailer of the Year Award receives two round-trip airline tickets
and two nights of accommodations at the Sheraton New Orleans on Canal Street
during the ARA Conference & Exposition, Dec. 4-6, 2014; round-trip flight
to meet with Monsanto representatives and ARA officers for a VIP dinner and
tour of Monsanto’s state of the art research facilities in St. Louis, Missouri;
special award presentation at the ARA Conference; and a crystal award to
display at the retail facility. In addition, Monsanto and ARA will produce a
professional video about your operation and AgProfessional magazine will
include a two-page article featuring the winning agricultural retailer in their
magazine and on the ARA Retailer of the Year Award website at
a joint initiative by the Agricultural Retailers Association and The Fertilizer
Institute, recently announced the slate of Directors for the new organization.
The directors were carefully selected from a cross section of the agricultural
retail and fertilizer supply chain. ResponsibleAg’s Board will be comprised of
nine members, five representatives from ARA and four from TFI.
Manager, Human Resources & Regulatory Affairs, Lyman/Tremont Group; Tim
McArdle, Executive Vice President & COO, Brandt Consolidated; Billy Pirkle,
Sr. Director, Environmental, Health & Safety, Crop Production Services;
Scott Rawlins, Director, Regulatory & Governmental Affairs, Wilbur-Ellis;
and Rod Wells, Manager, Plant Food Division, GROWMARK will represent ARA.
Director, Health and Safety, Simplot; Justin Gough, Director, Agricultural
Products, LSB/El Dorado Chemical Company; Pete Mutschler, Environmental and
Safety Director, CHS Inc.; and Rosemary O’Brien, Vice President, Public
Affairs, CF Industries, Inc., will represent TFI.
Retailers Association (ARA), CropLife America (CLA) and The Fertilizer
Institute (TFI) expressed concern about the potential impacts of new Clean
Water Act (CWA) proposed regulations on crop protection product applications
regulations were released on March 25 by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).
As noted by
CLA, the "waters of the U.S." rulemaking intends to clarify
protections under the CWA and includes definitions of "navigable"
rivers, lakes, streams, coastal areas, wetlands and other water bodies.
Proposed regulations released by EPA and the Corps may greatly expand these
definitions to include additional bodies of water, and influence the jurisdictional
reach of all programs of the CWA, creating additional unnecessary regulatory
burdens for the agricultural community and applicators of pesticide products.
The rulemaking also impacts federal control over certain crop protection
product applications near bodies of water and enforcement of National
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permits for pesticides.
During the House Agriculture Committee meeting Thursday, March 13, the committee approved H.R. 935, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act.
The bill would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to clarify Congressional intent and eliminate the requirement of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the use of pesticides already approved for use under FIFRA.
ARA joined a large coalition of proponents in the agricultural community to voice support for the bill.
H.R. 935 is necessary to address the negative economic consequences of the ruling posed by National Cotton Council v. EPA (6th Cir. 2009), which requires pesticide users to obtain a redundant permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) or be subject to a costly fine.
11-12, ARA Senior Vice President of Public Policy & Counsel Richard Gupton
attended the American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance (AASA) board meeting
in San Antonio, Texas.
The AASA is a nonprofit
organization that has lead development of a stewardship inspection program for
agricultural retail facilities that store bulk, mini bulk, portable refillable
containers (PRC's) and packaged crop protection products. Gupton provided the
AASA Board with an update on the ResponsibleAg program recently launched by ARA
and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI).
Agricultural Retailers Association has joined with the United Soybean Board to
take action against herbicide resistant weeds, and we hope you will help. Take
Action is a program encouraging farmers to develop proactive strategies to
manage herbicide-resistant weeds. University weed scientists, major herbicide
providers and soy, corn, cotton, sorghum and wheat organizations are working
together to talk to farmers with a consistent message related to weed
Action program is focused on four major areas: weed biology, field-management
practices, understanding herbicides and the economics of weed control. Several
tools have been developed that may be useful to you.
educational resources and more are available at www.TakeActionOnWeeds.com.
We encourage you to use these resources and share them with your farmer
customers. If you would like additional copies, just visit
regulations are being considered, the agriculture community is launching a
proactive, responsible commitment aimed at the long-term improvement of Lake
Erie's water quality.
On March 18,
the Ohio Agribusiness Association launched a new 4R certification program
designed specifically for ag retailers and aimed at long-term improvement of
the quality of water in the Lake Erie Basin. A launch event was hosted March 18
at the Perrysburg Holiday Inn in Perrysburg, Ohio.
voluntary new program builds on the 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles to provide
a consistent, recognized standard for agricultural retailers in Indiana, Ohio
and Michigan where surrounding waters drain into Lake Erie," said Chris
Henney, president and CEO of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, which is the
administrator of the program. "While individual growers aren't included
under the scope of the standard, it's critical they work in concert with
agricultural retailers to adopt best practices to realize long-term
The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) is hosting a panel discussion on the economic and ecological benefits of agricultural conservation systems from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., April 2, at the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, D.C.
The five-member panel is made up of a farmer, a conservation advocate, a Congressional staffer, a Purdue professor and an ag journalist. They will combine to provide a dynamic discussion on the benefits of agricultural conservation systems, which are practices used on the farm to improve the soil, reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, keep nutrients on the farm and more (see below for a more comprehensive definition). Their extensive experience will provide an excellent overall look at the current state of conservation used in agriculture.
The discussion will include the following topics:
- Conservation in the Farm Bill
Watershed Academy is hosting a webcast from 1 to 3 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)
March 25 that will provide basic information on how cover crops and other
conservation systems can be used to provide environmental benefits in
watersheds across the U.S.
The webcast will explain
how cover crops can reduce nutrient losses to watersheds by scavenging nitrates
that would otherwise be lost to leaching. In addition, cover crops reduce
sediment and phosphorous losses to nearby waterways by acting as a vegetative buffer
to slow down surface erosion and increase water infiltration. By using cover
crops, farmers can provide environmental benefits while also providing other
on-farm benefits. Register for the Webinar to learn more about cover crops.
This is the second in a series of three blog posts from Syngenta experts on the growing challenge of resistance. Caydee Savinelli, Ph.D., pollinator and integrated pest management stewardship lead at Syngenta, continues the series with an overview of insecticide resistance and how farmers can manage it. For more information on this as well as other agronomic topics, please visit www.syngentathrive.com, the companion website for Thrive magazine.
Insecticide resistance can greatly diminish the value of products in the marketplace. It can lead to an increase in the number and frequency of applications to control insects at the same level as in the past. With the onset of insecticide resistance, product nonperformance complaints go up and grower confidence goes down—something ARA members, including Syngenta
This is the first in a series of three blog posts from Syngenta experts on the growing challenge of resistance. Les Glasgow, Ph.D., technical product lead for herbicides, kicks off the series with an overview of the history, implications and possible solutions for battling herbicide resistance. For more information on this as well as other agronomic topics, please visit www.syngentathrive.com, the companion website for Thrive magazine.
Over the last 10 years, we've seen a significant increase in the incidence of herbicide-resistant weeds. This trend was confirmed in a 2012 grower survey, which estimated that glyphosate-resistant weeds infested 61.2 million acres. Of the growers interviewed, 49 percent reported glyphosate-resistant weeds on their farms, representing a staggering 51 percent increase over the previous year.
Honor your company's commitment to environmental stewardship best practices by
entering DuPont's Environmental Respect Awards.
receive coverage of your environmental stewardship in the pages of CropLife
magazine and on CropLife.com and EnvironmentalRespect.com
and pride and staff morale is heightened as your stewardship efforts are
recognized locally and nationally. Awards will be presented at a special awards
ceremony in July.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced proposed revisions to
the Worker Protection Standard to safeguard farm workers from pesticide
proposing improvements to worker training regarding the safe usage of
pesticides, including how to prevent and effectively treat pesticide exposure.
Increased training and signage to inform farm workers about the protections
they are afforded under the law and will help them protect themselves and their
families from pesticide exposure.
others near treated fields would now be protected from pesticide overspray and
fumes. In addition, EPA has proposed that children under 16 be legally barred
from handling all pesticides, with an exemption for family farms.
reviewing the proposal and will submit comments during the 90-day comment
period. We welcome ARA member input on this important issue.
Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service
(NRCS) will provide close to $3 million in technical and financial assistance
for interested farmers and ranchers to help improve the health of bees, which
play an important role in crop production. The funding is a focused investment
to improve pollinator health and will be targeted in five Midwestern states,
Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
assistance will provide guidance and support to farmers and ranchers to
implement conservation practices that provide safe and diverse food sources for
honey bees. For example, appropriate cover crops or rangeland and pasture
management may provide a benefit to producers by reducing erosion, increasing
the health of their soil, inhibiting invasive species, providing quality forage
and habitat for honey bees and other pollinators, as well as habitat for other
are due March 21, 2014.
Faegre Baker Daniels for the Food & Agriculture National Conference
Wednesday, May 14, in Minneapolis. The event will bring together national
industry leaders, in-house counsel, business executives and regulatory
representatives from global, market-leading companies.
include Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine,
United States Food & Drug Administration; Jeffrey Ettinger, Chairman of the
Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hormel Foods Corporation; and
Ramona Romero, General Counsel, United States Department of Agriculture.
to plenary sessions, the conference will feature interactive panel sessions on
the Food Safety Modernization Act, consumer fraud class action litigation,
supply chain management, social media and brand protection, OSHA enforcement
actions, animal health, genetically modified organisms, strategies for doing
business in China, nutrient regulation, agribusiness bankruptcies, and
immigration and global mobility.
For the past
several months, the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer
Institute (TFI) have been working on a guidance document for agricultural
retailers handling ammonium nitrate. The document, available here,
covers safety, security and transportation at retail facilities.
ARA and TFI
felt it was a necessary effort because several government agencies have been
citing the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME) guidance document for
technical grade ammonium nitrate. Absent a document applicable to fertilizer,
the agencies have indicated to ARA and TFI that they will continue to reference
the IME document.
TFI and ARA
agree that the IME document is an excellent source of information; however,
much of the guidance is not applicable to fertilizer facilities.
By Douglas P.
Global Security Newswire
Democrats and labor union officials are raising concerns that a new bill meant
to extend the life of the Homeland Security Department's chemical-security
program will not fix a number of perceived problems with the initiative.
I see nothing in the scant 11 pages of H.R. 4007 to deliver the massive reforms
that will be required to make" DHS chemical-facility antiterrorism
standards and "other chemical security programs more efficient and
productive programs," Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said during
a Thursday hearing of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on
Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies.
Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Friday, Feb. 28, that it will
issue extensions of the State Emergency Declarations for the Midwest, Western,
and Eastern regions of the country.
Regional Declarations will provide relief for commercial vehicle operations
while providing assistance supporting the delivery of propane during the severe
weather emergency. The declarations are based on input from Governors or their
designated representatives as to the need for propane and other home heating
fuel, and for road salt. All of the new extensions will expire March 15,
2014. If a State was listed on an earlier declaration but not on the most
recent, drivers providing direct assistance to that State are covered by the
earlier declaration until it expires on March 1.
engaged with FMCSA to discuss the potential logistical issues that may impact
ammonia delivery this spring.
Last week, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released his plan for streamlining the tax code. Many of the items ARA has been working on in tax reform efforts such as retention of cash accounting for farmers and reduction of holding period of debt liabilities were included in his plan.
ARA will be closely following proposals in the tax plan effecting agriculture, including:
- Fertilizer tax deduction: The plan calls for the repeal of the deduction for expenditures for fertilizer and other farming materials in tax years after 2014, a move that would increase tax revenues by $3.4 billion by 2023.
- Conservation deductions: The proposal seeks to make permanent rules that allow for contributions of lands used for agriculture and livestock production to conservation easements to be deducted up to 100 percent of the donor's adjusted gross income.