Ag retailers and suppliers play a vital role in the success of the nation's food security. These businesses are responsible for getting the right crop inputs to their farmer customers at the right time, which can be difficult in the short timeframe farmers have to plant. The following are issues of importance to the ag retail industry in the next Farm Bill.
Crop Insurance Program
- Preserve the crop insurance program, and like important safety nets; improve preventative planting dates. In order to provide a reliable inventory of crop production inputs to farmers, ag retailers take on a significant amount of risk. Crop insurance gives input suppliers the reassurance that repayment for crop inputs supplied at the beginning of the growing season is likely.
- However, Congress should ask USDA to consider changes to the crop insurance program, like extending the preventative planting date, to reflect the advances in improved technologies. These changes would help provide farmers and suppliers with more certainty while perhaps saving money expensed on crop insurance payments.
"Retail Facilities" Definition
- Codify the definition of "retail facilities" using the "fifty percent" rule as it has been since the inception of the OSHA's Process Safety Management Standard (PSM) in 1992.
- To prevent OSHA from removing ag retailers, also known as farm supply dealers, from the retail exemption, Congress should codify the definition of “retail facilities” using the “fifty-percent” rule as it has been since the inception of the PSM regulations.
The definition of a “retail facility” was outlined in 1992 to mean “an establishment … at which more than half of the income is obtained from direct sales to end users,” otherwise known as the “fifty-percent” rule. These facilities are already required to comply with OSHA standards at 29 CFR 1910.111, for the storage and handling of anhydrous ammonia.
Congress could accomplish codifying the definition of "retail facilities" using the "fifty-percent" rile by amending 29 USC § 652 by adding a definition for “retail facility”:
29 USC § 652 (15) The term “Retail facility” means “an establishment, which would otherwise be subject to the PSM standard, at which more than half of the income is obtained from direct sales to end users or consumers. A qualified end user includes a farmer or rancher. Fertilizer establishments meeting this criterion would be exempt from the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.119.