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As port Remains Closed, Concerns Rise Over Fertilizer

A week after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, there are signs that shipping channels may be reopening sooner than expected.   Cranes have busy clearing the debris from the Dali, the ship that collided into one of the bridge’s columns in the early-morning hours of March 26, sending the bridge tumbling into the Patapsco River and likely killing six people.   Click Here to read more.

Bayer Applies for New Dicamba Label

A new chapter in the saga of dicamba herbicides began on Monday, March 11, as Bayer once again initiated the registration process with EPA for its product, XtendiMax, for use in dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton in 2025.   The move comes just more than a month after a federal court in Arizona vacated the 2020 registrations of three "over-the-top" dicamba products previously approved by EPA, including XtendiMax, BASF's Engenia and Syngenta's Tavium. The court's action led EPA to issue an existing stocks order for the 2024 season on Feb. 14. This allows use of the herbicides already distributed from the ...

Bayer Leads New Group to Defend Herbicide Glyphosate

Dozens of agricultural organizations led by Bayer AG have joined to push for continued use of the herbicide glyphosate, a move that comes as the crop sciences giant looks to overcome mounting litigation against its products containing the active ingredient.   The Modern Ag Alliance, supported by more than 60 national and state industry groups, said it will work with agricultural partners and policymakers to ensure that pesticides registered and labeled through the Environmental Protection Agency are considered compliant with health and safety warning requirements.   Click Here to read more.

Bumblebees Threatened by Pesticides? Independent German University Study Finds Wild Bees 'Relatively Resistant' to Even Potent Chemical Cocktails

Bumblebees appear to be quite resistant to common pesticides. This is shown by a new study, the results of which have now been published by scientists from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in the journal Environment International.   The team from the University’s Biocenter divided a bumblebee colony and exposed the animals to individual insecticides and fungicides as well as combinations of these pesticides. The scientists then examined the learning ability and flight activity of the bumblebees treated in this way. No negative effects were found. The study was carried out in cooperation with the University ...

CropLife America Announces New Vice President of Government Relations

CropLife America (CLA) is pleased to announce that Jeff Blackwood has been selected as Vice President of Government Relations (VP of GR). Blackwood joins CLA on May 28, after more than a decade as the policy lead for the agricultural solutions business of BASF Corporation. He brings years of expertise working with Congress, associations, coalitions, and other stakeholder groups on pesticide issues. Prior to BASF, Jeff spent time working in government relations with associations and as a staffer for two senators and a member of Congress.   “The CLA Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Jeff Blackwood as the ...

CropLife Retail Week: IFCA’s Kevin “K.J.” Johnson on MAGIE '24, Illinois Pesticide Regulations to Watch

Eric Sfiligoj hosts Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association President Kevin “KJ” Johnson to discuss MAGIE and key ag issues in the Land of Lincoln.   Click Here to watch the video.

Dicamba: They’re Not Kidding About the Paperwork

It’s been a big year for dicamba.  First, a court vacated registrations. Then U.S. EPA said folks could still sell what was already on hand. Now farmers are looking at a new climate for application in 2024, and one where agencies are following the rules to a T.   KJ Johnson, executive director of the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, has real advice for farmers: Fill out the record-keeping sheets for each dicamba product. Don’t forget them. Don’t skip questions. Johnson says if you are turned in to the Illinois Department of Agriculture ...

EPA Releases Herbicide Strategy Update

Farmers and pesticide applicators grappling with how to comply with EPA's impending Herbicide Strategy learned this week that new requirements may not be as stringent or widespread as the agency initially proposed in its draft strategy released last summer.   On Tuesday, EPA announced it had published an update regarding progress on the strategy -- the agency's plan to meet its obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).   Click Here to read more.

Farm Bill Vote in Committee Before Memorial Day, Says House Ag Chairman

After repeated delays, House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson said on Tuesday that his committee, “without a doubt, will mark up a farm bill before Memorial Day.” Republicans on the Senate Agriculture Committee plan to release a farm bill framework soon after the House panel acts, but Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, cautioned, “We haven’t set an exact timeline” to move the bill.   Farm bill leaders said they were working earnestly to pass legislation this year — the new farm bill is six months overdue already — notwithstanding impasses on crop subsidies, ...

Farmers Call on FTC to Halt Iowa Fertilizer Plant Sale to Koch Industries

Lina Kahn, the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, appeared to listen intently as farmers told her why her agency should step in and block the $3.6 billion sale of an Iowa nitrogen fertilizer plant to Koch Industries.   More than 100 farmers attended a listening session on Saturday with Kahn and FTC staff organized by the Iowa Farmers Union. The farmers oppose Netherlands-based Orascom Constructions Industries (OCI) selling the seven-year-old fertilizer plant on the Mississippi River near Wever, Iowa, in the state's southeast corner.   Click Here to read more.

Illinois Fertilizer Applicators Feel “Ahead of the Game”

The slow start to the planting season isn’t a concern for most fertilizer applicators.   Kevin Johnson, president of the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, tells Brownfield.  “We had a tremendous fall season last year, so I think most retailers are still ahead of the game going into the season.”  He says, “A lot of dry fertilizer, a lot of ammonia went out last fall.”   Click Here to read more.

Legislation Could Speed Up Domestic Fertilizer Production

A bipartisan bill in the U.S. Senate would streamline the permitting process for more domestic phosphate and potash production.   Ed Thomas with The Fertilizer Institute says, “We certainly do see a need for permitting reform. This is just a first step.” Thomas tells Brownfield they’ve been trying to increase the domestic supply of fertilizer by pushing for government policy changes. “One of those is getting USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) to list phosphorus and potash as critical minerals, and what that does for the industry is it really just helps permitting, so it ...

NAAA Urges Drone Operators to Operate Safely Near Low-Altitude Manned Agricultural Aircraft This Growing Season

As the U.S. agriculture industry enters the upcoming growing season, the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) is asking all uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) operators (or drones) to be mindful of low-altitude crewed (or manned) agricultural aircraft operations. Agricultural aviators treat 127 million acres of cropland in the United States each year in addition to pastureland, rangeland and forestry that help farmers increase productivity and protect their crops.   UAS are not allowed above 400 feet without a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and manned agricultural aircraft fly as low as 10 feet off the ground when making an application, meaning ...

Paraquat Goes to Court

And for the crop protection industry, the courtroom drama continues. This time, an older active ingredient, paraquat, is in the cross-hairs in the Land of Lincoln.   In March, CropLife magazine looked at all the legal issues surrounding many of the industry’s most popular products, including glyphosate and dicamba. However, now one of the older chemistries, paraquat (first marketed as Gramoxone in 1962), is being targeted.   Click Here to read more.  

Senate Legislation Includes Phosphate and Potash as Critical Minerals

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has praised the U.S. Senate for introducing bipartisan legislation to include phosphate and potash on the final list of critical minerals of the Department of the Interior. Introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Thom Tills (R-NC), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), and Rick Scott (R-FL), the legislation will recognize the importance of ensuring a strong and sustainable domestic fertilizer supply for American farmers.   “We thank Senators Brown, Tillis, Baldwin, Marshall, Ricketts, and Scott for coming together and introducing this important legislation,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. &...

The Scoop Podcast: Ag Retailers’ Policy Priorities for 2024

Hunter Carpenter and the Agricultural Retailers Association team just wrapped up organizing its 2024 fly-in bringing members from across to the country to Washington D.C. to unite their voice with law makers.   Carpenter says ARA remains focused on the issues most likely to impact the ag retailer’s bottom line.  By collaborating with its membership, ARA has identified this year’s public policy priorities that will steer its grassroots advocacy efforts. According to ARA those include:   Click Here to read more.

Top 10 Ag Retailers With the Most Fertilizer Revenue in 2023

On the surface of things, the fertilizer category did not have a good year in 2023. But looking deeper at all the facts tells a slightly different story. According to data collected on the 2023 CropLife 100 survey, the nation’s top ag retailers saw their fertilizer revenues drop off significantly during this past growing season – from $23.4 billion in 2022 to $22.4 billion in 2023.   “According to most ag retailers, the culprit for this sales declines in 2023 tied back to higher fertilizer prices coming back down to earth,” said CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj. “Not too long ago, exceptionally high fertilizer ...

Who Is The Driving Force Buying Farmland?

David Muth of Peoples Company Capital Markets, the Investment platform for Peoples Company, shares how institutional investors have reacted to higher interest rates on their land investments pursuits.   “There's certainly a significant infrastructure of institutional farmland investment groups that are committed to this to the asset class,” he says. “They're committed to continue maintaining their portfolios and we'll continue to see quite a bit of activity from those folks, but certainly there is there is a bit of a changing dynamic in their capital stack overall.”   Click Here to read more.