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ARA Sends Statement to Congress WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 16, 2016) - For magicians, misdirection is the key to a successful illusion. And, although fooled by the distraction, the audience responds with awe and applause. However, when it comes to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration's latest trick, the Agricultural Retailers Association is not amused. On May 6, OSHA sent a letter to Congress and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia indicating the agency is "considering" initiating rulemaking to apply the Process Safety Management standard to farm supply retailers. Moreover, until the rule is complete, OSHA said it will enforce...
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Earlier today the House of Representatives failed to pass H.R. 897, the Zika Vector Control Act , under Suspension of the Rules by a vote of 262 Yeas and 159 Nays. A two-thirds vote is required to pass any legislation under Suspension of the Rules. ARA issued the following statement in support of the bill: “We would like to thank Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) for his leadership and continuous efforts to address an important regulatory burden that directly compromises public health missions to combat Zika, West Nile, and other mosquito-borne viruses impacting communities. H.R. 897, the Zika Vector Control Act would save state and local governments a...
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The Power of Choice

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As one of the earliest ways to make a living, farming is also one of the most transformational. Almost 12,000 years ago, the advent of agriculture created a more reliable food supply and ignited the flames of innovation from which civilizations grew. Today, those flames are still illuminating the path to a brighter tomorrow. But to keep moving forward, the American farmer needs choice in the marketplace—and so do you. The proposed acquisition of Syngenta by ChemChina, if approved later this year, will allow you and your customers to continue benefitting from multiple choices and competition in a market where consolidation is considerable. Equally important,...
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With a dozen expansion projects in various stages of development and construction, producers of nitrogen fertilizers in the U.S. are set to embark on a major effort to regain domestic market share. Based on a recent analysis conducted by the Knowledge Exchange Division of CoBank, one of the nation’s largest agribusiness lenders, some 6 million tons of new ammonia capacity should come online over the next three years, driving the domestic producers’ market share to a level not seen in more than 20 years. Domestic Production: Primed For Expansion Throughout the 1970s, U.S. producers were responsible for 85 percent of the domestic nitrogen fertilizer...
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Farming is a risky business filled with uncertainties. Unpredictable variables such as weather, yields, crop disease, commodity prices, government policies, land management and equipment leave growers vulnerable to a lot of unknowns each season. “The uncertainties that surround farming make it one of the riskiest, rapidly changing professions in the world,” said Scott Kay, Vice President, U.S. Crop, BASF. With today’s volatile market, farmers are more concerned than ever before about managing risk and increasing efficiency in their operations. And farmers should not have to shoulder that risk on their own. To better understand the challenges growers...
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Precision agriculture can help farmers maintain or improve profit margins despite low commodity prices. Equipment manufacturers and retailers play an important part in helping farmers understand and realize the value of these new tools and methodologies, and the importance of industry collaboration in meeting this challenge. For agricultural producers in the U.S., low commodity prices present considerable challenges. The price of corn and soybeans has halved since 2012, due in part to strong harvests over the last three years. For many farmers, this means that prices have dropped below the cost of production. There is an urgent need for producers...
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Sponsored content from ESN SmartNitrogen Why Nitrogen ? Nitrogen (N) is one of the primary essential plant nutrients. It is required in large amounts for high-yielding, quality crops. It is critical throughout a plant’s lifecycle. Plants require nitrogen most during rapid vegetative growth and early reproductive phases. Nitrogen is essential for: The formation of living cells Chlorophyll production Synthesis of enzymes that drive metabolism Formation of nucleic acids needed for metabolism How N Losses Occur Nitrogen applied to the soil is susceptible to loss . Loss may occur as it converts into...
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Right: Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) accepts the 2015 Agricultural Retailers Association Legislator of the Year award from ARA President & CEO Daren Coppock. They are joined by ARA Chairman Harold Cooper, Premier Ag; Andrew Duff, Pinnacle Ag Holdings; and Dave Dufault, J.R. Simplot. Left: Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) accepts his award from Steve Briggs, South Dakota Wheat Growers; and Dufault during a visit to the Congressman's office February 2. Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers...
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By Michael Boden Head, U.S. Sales Syngenta Few industries experience more unexpected twists and turns than agriculture. Often at the mercy of wayward weather and market conditions, growers need someone they can lean on who’s reliable and steady. That someone is usually you—their trusted retailer who can help them hold onto the reins of their livelihoods and move ahead with confidence. We, at Syngenta, understand that you, too, depend on proven partnerships to grow your business. For more than 15 years, we’ve worked to earn your trust with a diverse, total-acre portfolio backed by exceptional service. The strong link between what we hear on the...
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OSHA PROCESS SAFETY MANAGEMENT RETAIL EXEMPTION Issue Summary Last year, OSHA changed the definition of the Process Safety Management retail exemption through a guidance memo, instead of a rulemaking. Ag retail facilities selling anhydrous ammonia have been exempt from PSM since the regulation’s inception, but will no longer be exempt. Industry estimates total compliance costs to be more than $100 million. The average initial cost per facility is $27,500, which far exceeds OSHA’s estimate of $2,160 per facility. The storage and handling of anhydrous ammonia is already regulated...
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Earlier today, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board released a draft of its report on the fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Company. CSB investigators will present their findings to the board in a public meeting in Waco, Texas, on Thursday. The Agricultural Retailers Association has conducted a preliminary review of the draft report's findings. "ARA agrees with several points within the Chemical Safety Board’s report concerning the West Fertilizer Company Fire and Explosion. First and foremost, agricultural retailers remain committed to the safety and security of their employees and the communities where they operate. Since the tragic accident...
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In Good Company

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Post brought to you by Syngenta To mark the 15th anniversary of Syngenta, the co-leaders of the North America region, Ponsi Trivisvavet, North America region director and president of Syngenta Seeds, LLC and Vern Hawkins, North America region director and president of Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC reflect on the company’s journey so far—and the exciting road ahead. Q. What do you consider to be the greatest accomplishment of Syngenta? A. Vern Hawkins, North America region director and president of Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC: I’ve been with Syngenta and its legacy companies for more than 30 years, and I think our most important...
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On December 23, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a revised Interim Enforcement Policy on its website, addressing enforcement of Process Safety Management (PSM) requirements for agricultural retailers. These facilities became newly subject to the PSM standards pursuant to a prior OSHA enforcement memorandum, dated July 22, 2015. The revised policy is the result of language included in the Joint Explanatory Statement, which accompanied the FY2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. The language specifically prohibits OSHA from enforcing or implementing its July 22, 2015, memorandum until: The Census Bureau creates...
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PALM DESERT, CALIF. – Harold Cooper, CEO and General Manager of Premier Ag Cooperative, was installed as the 2016 Chairman of the Board during a December 3 ceremony at the ARA Conference and Expo. He succeeds 2015 Chairman Dave Dufault. “To say Harold is passionate about the agricultural retail business and our freedom to operate would be a huge understatement,” said Dufault, Vice President and General Manager of Simplot AgriBusiness Retail. “His knowledge, experience and enthusiasm will add to the success of the Agricultural Retailers Association.” As he passed the gavel, Dufault complemented the ARA staff and remained humble about the organization's...
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Mid Valley Agricultural Services, Inc. (MVAS) recently opened its seventh state-of-the-art plant health and crop protection facility on a 14-acre site in Oakdale, Calif. This project has been the vision of the MVAS Management Team and Board of Directors for several years. In its unique location, a 7,000 square foot retail agriculture hardware store, BG Agri-Sales and Services, was also added. To commemorate the event more than 600 growers, vendors and guests enjoyed the food, music and fun provided by the newest agriculture employer in the area. "Oakdale is a great community and we look forward to continuing to grow our business in the surrounding area,"...
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 18, 2015) - Congress just put the brakes on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's regulatory overreach. On July 22, OSHA released an enforcement memorandum rescinding all prior policy documents, letters of interpretation, and memoranda related to the retail exemption to Process Safety Management, a set of procedural, operational and organizational design standards intended to prevent the release of highly hazardous chemicals at manufacturing facilities. The memo, released without opportunity for public comment and outside of the formal rulemaking process, would force virtually all agricultural retailers that...
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The Agricultural Retailers Association recognized 12 top performers in the agricultural retail industry as members of the Rising Stars Class of 2015. ARA introduced Rising Stars in 2013 as a recognition and development program for high achievers and future leaders within the ag retail sector. This special distinction provides ARA member companies with a hands-on opportunity to introduce new and rising leaders to ARA and its conference. The Rising Stars Class of 2015 includes: Joe Bridges, J.R. Simplot Company Ryan Brooks, MFA Inc. Wes Carmony, Yargus Manufacturing Tom Curtiss, International Raw Materials Ltd. ...
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AgProfessional Magazine presented the Precision Impact Award to three retailers leading the way in precision agriculture. Accepting the awards on behalf of their company were Elliott Marsh, East Georgia Agronomy Services, Southern States Cooperative; Glen Franzluebbers, Central Valley Ag Cooperative with headquarters in Nebraska, and Luke Lightfoot, Co-Alliance, LLC with headquarters in Indiana. The award, sponsored by the Agricultural Retailers Association, MapShots AgStudio and AgProfessional Magazine and presented December 3, recognizes local retail operations for their input efficiency, grower engagement, environmental stewardship, innovation...
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Four retail facilities were recognized for their stewardship efforts with the Environmental Respect Award. Mike Hemman , DuPont Western Business Unit Leader, conferred the awards in a ceremony December 3. “The companies recognized today are true ambassadors of our industry,” said Hemman . “Over the years, we have seen this program encourage retailers to improve the environmental footprint of their businesses and take a leadership role in their communities highlighting the environmentally responsible practices of the ag industry.” The international award is presented by DuPont Crop Protection, CropLife and Farm Chemicals International magazines....
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PALM DESERT, CALIF. – The Agricultural Retailers Association today named The Andersons as its Retailer of the Year for 2015. The award was presented to Joe Hodges, Vice President of the Southern Region Plant Nutrient Group, Wednesday, December 2, during the ARA Conference and Expo. “On behalf of all the employees of The Andersons – Thank you for this special recognition,” Hodges said. “It’s extra special when you are recognized by your peers, and to be included in the same circle with prior winners; The Tremont Group, Willards and Morral Company, just to name a few, makes it that much more prestigious.” The award, sponsored by Monsanto, ARA and AgProfessional...
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