MANHATTAN, Kan., Aug. 24 – CropLife America president and CEO Jay Vroom spoke to attendees of the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association’s (KARA) Annual Meeting in Manhattan, Kan., about regulatory concerns in U.S. agriculture and the important role of state-level outreach.
“Modern agriculture needs more ambassadors to spread the news of the accomplishments farmers and ranchers have made in producing the nation’s food, fiber and fuel using the crop protection products and modern agricultural techniques that are now available,” Vroom said. “Even more importantly, we must communicate these messages to legislators and regulatory agencies so that agriculture may flourish in a regulatory system based on the best available science.”
Vroom specifically highlighted a call for grassroots action in support of the following issues outlined by CropLife America:

•    H.R. 872, “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011”: This bill will amend an erroneous court ruling requiring growers to acquire an NPDES permit starting October 31, 2011, for certain pesticide applications to, over or near bodies of water, said Vroom. H.R. 872 has been passed by the House and is currently awaiting action on the Senate floor.

•   Endangered Species Act (ESA): As part of the ESA, the consultation process between EPA and the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service has led to the result of faulty Biological Opinions (BiOps) on pesticides. Congress continues to recognize the importance of this issue and the need for a resolution. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) offered an amendment to the House Interior Appropriations Act (H.R. 2584) which suspends implementation of National Marine Fisheries Service BiOps until the National Academy of Sciences reviews all outstanding scientific disagreements between EPA and the Services. This amendment was adopted by Congress and added to the House Appropriations Bill, indicating strong congressional support for the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and science-driven regulation of crop protection products.

•    Spray Drift: The agricultural industry faces a growing trend of litigation and liability for spray drift incidents, and growers have even seen a rise in claims of trespass for spray drift. In addition, EPA has introduced proposed spray drift label language and enforcement guidance which calls for a “zero-drift” that is largely impractical for agricultural use.

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