The trade association for the nation’s fertilizer producers is adding a cache of members with a slightly different set of interests to its growing organization.

Members of the BioStimulant Coalition, a nonprofit coalition made up of parties interested in addressing legislative and regulatory issues for biological or naturally-derived additives, will officially join The Fertilizer Institute Monday, TFI CEO Corey Rosenbusch tells Agri-Pulse. The coalition, which currently boasts 20 members, included members focused on the production of substances like amino acids, seaweed extract, and other materials.

Rosenbusch, pictured above, tells Agri-Pulse many existing TFI members are already looking into biostimulants, making the move a good fit for the organization.

“We already have been working in this area … fertilizer manufacturers are investing a lot in research and technology of that next generation of plant nutrients,” he said. “This was already part of our agenda.”

The move will also lead to the creation of a formalized council within TFI to allow specific focus for the involved companies within the organization’s policy agenda.

Rosenbusch said the familiarity with the policy issues will come in handy as TFI staff works on the biostimulants issue set, which is currently focused on achieving consistent regulatory treatment for its products by different federal agencies.

“Standard definitions still need to be adopted and accepted, more information needs to be provided to regulatory agencies, and I think the primary objective is to ensure biostimulants are really treated as a plant nutrition product and not a pesticide,” he said.   

Specifically, TFI hopes to keep biostimulants – which Rosenbusch said are at “the nascent stages” of sales and use – from being regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the legislation governing other major crop inputs.

The addition of the Biostimulant Coalition members comes a few months after TFI merged with the Micronutrient Manufacturers Association in September.

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