The Missouri Agribusiness Association is committed to the agribusiness industry within the Show-Me State by offering services that will enhance the day-to-day operations of agribusinesses now and in the future.
MO-AG's mission simply states, "The mission of the Missouri Agribusiness Association (MO-AG) is to advocate for the business of agriculture while offering services and networking opportunities for the agribusiness community."
2016 Pyramid of MO-AG Program Sponsors
Click here to get the latest MO-AG Minute.
News You Can Use
Fertilizer Bills Advance in Missouri General Assembly
Legislation that MO-AG supports is off to a fast start in the Missouri General Assembly. SB655 and HB1728 both create the Fertilizer Advisory Board. SB655 was 'perfected' on the Senate floor and now moves to the House. HB1728 was approved by the House Agricultural Policy committee. SB769 and HB1729 affirms that it is the State's responsibility to regulate the use of fertilizer. HB1729 also was
approved by the House Agricultural Policy Committee. SB769 is expected to be heard by the Senate Agricultural Committee this week. One of the quickest moving pieces of legislation this session has been a resolution (HCR58) to disapprove the State Tax Commission's assessment that taxes on agricultural land be increased by 5%. HCR 58 was approved last week and became the first legislation to be Truly Agreed and Finally Passed this session. The Show Me Rural Jobs Act, HB 1927, was heard this week in the House Economic Development Committee. The bill creates economic incentives for businesses that invest in rural business concerns. Transportation funding is a top topic again this year. Last week the Joint Committee on Transportation met to hear testimony from MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna. According to McKenna the quality and funding of Missouri's infrastructure is still behind the majority of the nation. Their current operating budget covers general maintenance but does not provide enough funding to respond to a large emergency or any significant repairs. This coupled with the number of aging and weight deficient bridges means that the infrastructure is continuously deteriorating, with no funding cushion to react in the event of a major problem. To see other 'legislation of interest', CLICK HERE.
The PrecisionAg Conference Tops 200 Attendees
"I'm scared to death of doing poorly with the amount of money on the line." This was a comment from one of the several farmers who attended the PrecisionAg Innovation Series Conference recently held
in St. Louis, MO. The conferenced focused on 'data' and what works and what is not working. Besides farmers, the conference was attended by data scientists and precision ag and UAV service
providers as well as ag retailers.
MO-AG President Steve Taylor addressed the crowd and stated that "I
realize data is becoming woven into what my members do and I realize the potential for data in the future." Ownership of data, reporting processes, and the role of the traditional ag retailer was discussed at the conference. Croplife Editor Paul Schrimpf commented later that growers who attended seemed to have less than 'a solid relationship with ag retailers'.
A Win For Cruz, A Loss For Ethanol
Corn country just picked a candidate who wants to put an end to one of its favorite government programs. Sen. Ted Cruz's victory in the Iowa Republican caucus, besting Donald Trump by 3.3 percent, is the first time a candidate opposed strongly by the state's ethanol industry came in first - and some observers predict that in the future, GOP presidential candidates won't be as willing to bow before King
Corn. America's Renewable Future tried to stay positive about the result. In a statement, Eric Branstad, state director for the group, said: "We feel good about our results. The vast majority of our candidates
and the vast majority of caucus-goers realize the economic, national security, and environmental benefits of the RFS. Source: Politico
Enlist Duo Remains Fully Labeled
In November 2015, EPA filed a motion asking the Ninth Circuit Court to vacate the existing Enlist Duo registration, which if granted, would have required EPA to cancel the existing product registration. EPA
stated that it needed time to review data it recently received to determine whether there is synergy between 2,4-D choline and glyphosate that could negatively impact threatened or endangered
plant species via off-target movement. The court denied EPA's motion to vacate the Enlist Duo registration. As a result of the decision, the current U.S. registration for Enlist Duo remains fully intact for all labeled uses. Source: Dow AgriSciences
After Two Years, CSB Releases Report
Following more than two years of investigation, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board released its final report and safety recommendations resulting from the fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Company. On April 17, 2013, this tragic event took the lives of 12 emergency responders and three individuals, and caused millions of dollars in property damage. ARA appreciates the hard work and commitment of the CSB to conduct an extensive investigation and develop a comprehensive report, which is dedicated to those who lost their lives in this disaster."Agricultural retailers remain committed to the safety and security of their employees and the communities where they operate," said Daren Coppock, ARA President and CEO. "Since the accident, ARA has worked closely with the CSB and other key federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to determine the cause of the detonation and take prudent steps to prevent future accidents."
To view a copy of the full CSB report, CLICK HERE.
Lynas to Farm Bureau: Let The Sunshine In
Biotech proponent Mark Lynas believes labeling foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients would eliminate one of the most persuasive arguments that opponents make against biotechnology. Lynas, of the Cornell Alliance for Science, said consumers would likely stop worrying about transgenic ingredients once they realized how common they are in food. "You can dispel fear by letting the sunshine in, essentially," Lynas said on Jan. 11 during the American Farm Bureau Federation's convention in Orlando, Fla. "The more transparency you have, the more comfortable people feel with it," he said. Lynas acknowledged that there's no scientific justification for GMO labels, but said they may be worth adopting to calm the current rancor. "This is a political solution to a polarized situation that needs to be resolved," he said. "You are compromising on a matter of principle but it may be politically justified."
Charlie Arnot, CEO of the Center for Food Integrity consumer research nonprofit, said he applauds the recent decision by the Campbell Soup Co. to voluntarily label products made with GMOs. However, it would be impossible for food manufacturers to disclose all the information that consumers care about - such as worker and animal welfare - unless they attach a scroll to their products, he said. Source: BIO
Environmental Respect Awards Steps Up Efforts in Response to Increased Participation
The Environmental Respect Awards has launched its 26th year of honoring stewardship among agricultural retailers with an improved online entry process and a new deadline. And as an association serving the retail agriculture market, we ask for your help in letting your members know about the program and how to enter to win this prestigious award.
Retailers and past winners will have until March 14, 2016 to submit their Environmental Respect Award Self-Audit. The deadline is earlier to accommodate the significant rise in applications and entrants over the past two years. "Participation in this program has more than doubled since 2010," explains Michael DeLuca, president of Meister Media Worldwide and program lead. According to DeLuca, retailers across the U.S. and Canada are eager to demonstrate their stewardship and share that information with others.
"Our right to operate as an industry depends on our ability to work safely and effectively," says DeLuca. "There are good things happening out there. The Environmental Respect Awards is about honoring those in our industry who are doing it right - and sharing that good news with the rest of the world."
For 25 years, the Environmental Respect Awards, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection and Meister Media's CropLife magazine, have been the agricultural industry's highest recognition for environmental stewardship. Participating entries are examined by an independent panel of industry experts for excellence in site design, in-plant storage and handling procedures, emergency preparedness, proper application and leadership among customers and employees. "The bar is higher now that it has ever been," says DeLuca. "Those who serve in this industry must not only do their work with great care, but communicate their efforts so others understand. There's a new story to tell and retailers are responding through the Environmental Respect Awards." Retailers can enter online at www.environmentalrespect.com. For questions on how to enter, call Sue Betteley, Environmental Respect Awards Entry Coordinator at 440.602.9131.
PSM: To be, or not to be...
In Shakespeare's play, a despondent Hamlet bemoans the pains and unfairness of life but acknowledges the alternative might still be worse. Like Hamlet, PSM is a complicated topic both in content and politics. Based on everything we are aware of on the subject of PSM, it's not going away. We recommend our clients use this extra time wisely to move forward in developing their PSM program. Industry efforts have been successful in obtaining more time for implementation with the latest announcement released from OSHA on December 23rd. This latest extensioncomes as a direct result of language that was included in the 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Joint Explanatory Report advising OSHA to go through a formal notice and comment rulemaking process.
While the language doesn't carry the weight of law, OSHA did move to align an additional two month extension with the appropriations bill. The bill is only effective through September 30, 2016, the end of the Federal fiscal year and thus, OSHA has been asked to refrain from implementing the retail facility interpretation change until then.
We continue to recommend our clients use this extra time wisely (upgrading their installations, lining up contractors, etc.) to move forward in developing their PSM programs with the goal of substantial compliance by July 22, 2016. This includes the upgrade and preparation of the RMP Program 3 submissions. Retailers have become accustomed to a June anniversary date for their RMP, considering the seasons and time requirements for preparation. Based on our experience, we recommend adopting the July 22, 2016 as the new date in association with the PSM requirements. Source: Asmark Institute
Preventive Controls for Animal Food Rule Finalized
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Animal Food rule is now final. In this rule, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) for animal food production to specifically address the manufacturing, processing, packing and holding of food for animals. These requirements apply to facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for animal consumption in the United States. There are requirements for animal food facilities to establish and implement hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls. Examples include requirements to maintain a food safety plan, perform a hazard analysis and institute preventive controls for mitigating hazards. Facilities must also document how they monitor their controls, conduct verification activities and take appropriate corrective actions.
These preventive controls provide assurances that hazards will be significantly minimized or prevented and the animal food will not be adulterated. Every facility that produces animal food with a hazard requiring a preventive control must have a recall plan. The rule has several exemptions including facilities that are solely engaged in the storage of raw agricultural commodities (other than fruits and vegetables) intended for further distribution or processing. Facilities have different dates for compliance based on business size, with the earliest compliance dates beginning in September 2016 for businesses other than small and very small. For details on the compliance dates or more information including guidance, fact sheets and frequently asked questions, click here. To view the complete publication of the final rule in the Federal Register, click here.
Source: Asmark Institute
Pesticide Applicator Deadline to Comment
EPA added another 30 days to the comment period for its proposed pesticide applicator certification rule, making the new deadline to comment January 22, 2016. The update of the standards for the applicators of restricted use pesticides includes provisions requiring certification to be renewed every three years and putting in place new training and licensing requirements for certain applications. For the first time ever, certified applicators and persons working under their supervision would have to be at least 18 years old. Click here for details. Source: Asmark Institute
Drone Owners Must Register Equipment with FAA
If you own a drone, you must now register it with the Federal Aviation Administration's Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry. A federal law effective December 21, 2015 requires unmanned aircraft registration, and you are subject to civil and criminal penalties if you do not register. Click here to access the FAA Registration website. Source: Asmark Institute
P&ID Service Launches Soon
For those retailers that are not clients of the Asmark Institute, help will soon be available to assist in drawing the Piping and Instrumentation Diagram or "P&ID" for short. The availability of providers to draw the P&IDs is very limited for several reasons. The Asmark Institute is offering this special service as a national resource center to assist all retailers in developing their Process Safety Management (PSM) program. A P&ID is a diagram (not a site plan) that visually represents the equipment and piping present in an installation identified as a PSM-regulated process. Graphic symbols are used to denote the appropriate equipment and piping. The P&ID is one of the first elements of your process safety information that should be completed, as it plays an integral part in developing other requirements of PSM such as Mechanical Integrity, Process Hazard Analysis and the Operating Procedures. Source: Asmark Institute
Senator Roy Blunt Recognized
State Senator Mike Parson addresses the MO-AG Annual Convention
Phrases like “getting better every year” were used to describe this year’s MO-AG Convention held December 15-16 in Columbia, MO. Once again, MO-AG partnered with University of Missouri to hold the its Annual Convention in conjunction with the UMC’s ‘Crop Conference’. State Senator Mike Parson was our special guest and spoke to the over 300 attendees. Afterwards, Senator Parson spoke with members of the MO-AG Board of Directors
Also during the luncheon, MO-AG President Steve Taylor announced that U.S. Senator Roy Blunt was to receive MO-AG’s ‘Advocate for Agribusiness’ award. Taylor cited several examples of Senator Blunts efforts on the behalf of agribusiness. But for MO-AG members with anhydrous ammonia facilities, perhaps the greatest example is Sen. Blunt’s effort to provide some relief from OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) regulations. See more on this in the stories below. Taylor cited several reasons MO-AG bestowed its highest award to Sen. Blunt during an interview with KRES radio. To hear a segment, CLICK HERE.
Former MO-AG President Jim Russell (left) brings a smile to the face of Tom Payne, Dean of the UMC College of AgriculturePrecisionAg Innovation Series Comes to St. Louis
Congress Halts OSHA Overreach - Provides Relief on PSM Enforcement
"This bill puts a stop sign in front of a runaway agency," said ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock. ARA's public policy team spearheaded a grassroots effort - involving several national and state agribusiness associations and ARA members - to insert a rider in the bill to reverse OSHA's rule change. ARA appreciates the bipartisan, bicameral support from House and Senate Appropriators and leadership, who were instrumental in including the language in the bill. Passage of the appropriations bill provides regulatory relief through the end of the fiscal year. ARA will continue to aggressively pursue a durable solution on the Hill and in the courts, if necessary. Source: Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA)
AFIA on Omnibus
Editor's Note: MO-AG joined others in urging Congress to enact a full repeal of the offending provisions in the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law. To see a copy of the letter, CLICK HERE.
To End Oil Export Ban, WOTUS Rule Allowed to Stand
GAO says EPA Violated Federal Law on WOTUS
Monsanto Looking for Synergies with other Companies
Simpson says consolidation has to happen in agribusiness, "Obviously, there's been news with a couple of our competitors recently and we expect that you're going to see more attempts to consolidate and we're looking forward to seeing what that looks like in the coming months. I don't have anything specific about where we're at with negotiations with any of the companies." Late last week, Dow Chemical and DuPont agreed to merge.
Corn Growers to Study Dow-DuPont Merger
Editor's Note - MO-AG is a founding member of Missouri Farmers Care. For more information on MFC and the Agri-Ready County program, CLICK HERE.
State Fertilizer Bills Pre-filed In State Senate
SB655 is identical to last year's SB469. SB655 will create the new Fertilizer Control Board which will have the authority to conduct 'general supervision of the administration and enforcement of all rules and regulations'. In testimony at the Senate hearing last year, MO-AG President Steve Taylor noted how the University of Missouri, at the request of others, proposed increasing the fertilizer fee to $1.00 per ton. Taylor noted that "MO-AG supports efforts to reduce nutrient runoff and specially endorses the fertilizer stewardship program, the '4R's, but noted that legislation is needed to give Missouri farmers and the fertilizer industry, the ones who pays the fees, greater assurance of influence over how Missouri's fertilizer program operates and how fees are expended, now and in the future."
Last year, SB469 passed through committee hearings with no opposition. It was stopped short by a final vote on the Senate floor during the last week of session. MO-AG will advocate for swift action to make sure we do not run out of time again in 2016. On the House side, MO-AG has been visiting with Rep Bill Reiboldt, Chairman of the Select Committee on Agriculture. As this MO-AG minute goes to print, we expect companion bills to be filed in the House. MO-AG sincerely thanks our friends, Chairman Munzlinger and Chairman Reiboldt, for their leadership on this issue. To view a summary of SB 655, CLICK HERE.
Another bill filed by Senator Munzlinger relating to fertilizer is SB769. The entire text of SB769 is "No political subdivision shall adopt any ordinance, rule, or regulation relating to the labeling or use of fertilizers or soil conditioners, as such terms are defined in sections 266.291 and 266.361, respectively." Missouri state statute (RSMo 281.005) already contains similar language for pesticides. This language is modeled after that language keeping this area of the law consistent with other similar state regulations. Over 20 other states already have similar law, including our neighbors Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and others. The sad fact is that environmental organizations have promoted the elimination of commercial fertilizer in certain areas. In times like these, we must insist that the state step up and provide consistent regulations based on sound scientific principles. Statewide enforcement and constancy in the application of state fertilizer laws is essential in protecting Missouri agriculture.
FSMA Regional Training Meetings
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Friday, February 19, 2016
We strongly encourage you to attend one of these meetings. As a feed manufacturing firm, these meetings will benefit you by providing critical information needed to comply with the FSMA requirements. The meetings were located to allow travel and attendance on the same day, but feel free to attend any of the meetings, regardless of location.
Space is limited so reserve your spot as quickly as possible.
You should RSVP by contacting:
PTC Extension Heads To President
The U.S. Senate has approved H.R. 3819 extends implementation of the Positive Train Control (PTC) deadline for three years with an additional 2 years possible if certain benchmarks are met. It is anticipated that the President will sign the bill into law very soon.
MO-AG joined a multitude of other organizations seeking the extension CLICK HERE. Several members of Missouri’s Congressional delegation also supported movement of legislation CLICK HERE. As reported in earlier editions of the MO-AG minute, if PTC extension had failed, the railroads had threatened to shut down rail shipments of many agricultural products.
Asmark PSM Compliance Tools
If you have anhydrous ammonia, you will be required to register a Program Level 3 RMP with USEPA, and USEPA will likely share their list of RMP facilities with OSHA for audits and compliance purposes. Although USEPA has not yet said when they expect ammonia facilities to file a Program Level 3 plan, that announcement may coincide with the new OSHA compliance date of July 22, 2016 so we need to get ready. If you want to preview the Asmark PSM and RMP compliance tools, go to www.asmark.org and click on the yellow and red PSM icon on their homepage. If you are an Asmark client, you can enter your password, or if you registered with Responsible Ag, you can enter your RA password. All others can use the public access portal, which shows all the documents but does not save any of your information for future use. Asmark clients and those registered in Responsible Ag can use the site to save all of their facility information, and return to the site to pick up where you left off as you build your PSM and RMP plans. PSM is definitely not something you will be able to do in one sitting.
We recommend you take a look at the Asmark tools to get a feel for the extent of the documentation that will be required. All the forms are under the RMP section of the PSM/RMP screen, but they correlate to the PSM requirements since many of the requirements are similar. If you have any questions please contact Jeff Leonard at the MO-AG Office.
EPTC Extension Heads To President
MO-AG joined a multitude of other organizations seeking the extension CLICK HERE. Several members of Missouri's Congressional delegation also supported movement of legislation CLICK HERE. As reported in earlier editions of the MO-AG minute, if PTC extension had failed, the railroads had threatened to shut down rail shipments of many agricultural products.
Six Month Extension of PSM Enforcement Delay
On October 21, OSHA posted the memo extending the period when OSHA will exercise discretion and not enforce the PSM requirements at agricultural retail facilities from January 22, 2016 to July 22, 2016. Please see the note from OSHA below addressing the change along with a link to the place on the OSHA website where it is posted.
OSHA Announcement of the Change in Policy:
On July 22, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) posted a new policy for the retail facilities exemption under the Process Safety Management Standard (29 CFR 1910.119). To read the new policy memo, please visit 07/22/2015 - Memorandum to Regional Administrators - PSM Retail Exemption Policy.
OSHA received a letter on behalf of the Agricultural Retailers Association, The Fertilizer Institute, and their respective members, asking OSHA to stay enforcement of the Agency's July 22, 2015 PSM Retail Exemption Policy memorandum until final resolution of the legal challenges to the memo, currently pending in the D.C. Circuit. OSHA has decided to grant the stay requested, in part. OSHA intends to extend the PSM Retail Exemption Interim Enforcement Policy, which currently expires on January 22, 2016, for an additional six months. This means that through July 22, 2016, OSHA will continue to exercise its enforcement discretion with 1 respect to the PSM retail exemption in the manner described in the Interim Enforcement Policy. The new interim enforcement policy is posted at
PSM Frequently Asked Questions
A series of frequently asked questions and associated responses regarding the PSM program and its impact on agricultural retail facilities was prepared earlier this fall by TFI and is available here.
TFI and ARA Plan Soon to File Motion to Stay Change to PSM Retail Exemption
TFI and ARA are putting the finishing touches on a motion to stay the change to the PSM retail exemption. The motion will be filed in the coming week with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. A number of affidavits from several affected agricultural retailers will support the motion. They will document the substantial harm sudden imposition of PSM requirements will have on their operations. A copy of the motion and associated affidavits will be circulated once they have been filed with the court.
House Weighs in on Change to Retail Exemption
Thirty Eight members of the House of Representative, many with a large agricultural retailer presence, weighed in on the OSHA change to the PSM retail exemption on October 22. They requested that OSHA withdraw the change to the retail exemption and, if believed necessary by the agency, solicit comment on a potential change to the exemption through formal notice and comment rulemaking. A copy of the letter is available here. Source: TFI
Mississippi River gets a D+ on infrastructure
America's Watershed Initiative issued a report card assessing the state of infrastructure on the Mississippi River last week. The report gave the Mississippi a D+, citing aging locks and dams, problems with water supply, flood control and flood risk reduction as the factors contributing to the grade. America's Watershed Initiative is a collaboration working with business, government, academic and civic organizations to find solutions for the challenges of managing the Mississippi River and the more than 250 rivers that flow into it. The report card was the first released by the organization formed in 2010, with private and public sector experts in the various issues affecting the river, including commerce, agriculture and ecosystem protection. The deteriorating infrastructure was identified as the biggest problem along the waterway. Source: AgProfessional
House Committee Marks-Up Highway Bill
The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee marked-up its draft Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRRA) of 2015 (aka Highway Bill) late last week. The bill is a multi-year reauthorization of highway transportation programs, which would provide certainty for state and local governments to maintain and move forward with transportation projects. It also provides new flexibilities and streamlines environmental review and permitting processes aimed at accelerating projects. The bill also establishes a National Highway Freight Policy, Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program, and National Multi-modal Freight Network, which are aimed at improving freight movement and strengthening U.S. economic competitiveness. It includes an extension of the deadline for implementing Positive Train Control (PTC), which the American Soybean Association (ASA) strongly supports.
While there are numerous positive aspects of the Committee passed bill, there are several issues important to ASA that are not yet addressed in the bill. Most significantly, the bill does not address the ability for states to allow increased truck weights on federal interstates within their state for trucks with an additional (sixth) axle. Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) has indicated his intent to offer an amendment, when the bill reaches the House floor, to include the increased truck weight provisions. The bill could be considered on the House floor the week of Oct. 26 or the week of Nov. 2.
Some other issues impacting farmers that the agricultural community is seeking to address in the STRRA include:
*Hours-of-Service Rule for Livestock and Poultry: removing the 30-minute break after eight hours of service requirement. Permanently removing this rule will avoid unnecessary discomfort for livestock and poultry. Source: AgProfessional
Anhydrous Ammonia Update
TFI and ARA sent a letter to the committee expressing the industry's concern (CLICK HERE). Many good points were contained in the letter. One specific point concerned the cost to comply with OSHA's new regulation. The letter states "It will cost agricultural retail facilities tens of millions of dollars to implement. Taken together, the costs imposed by the changes will easily exceed the $100,000,000.00 threshold used by the OMB when determining whether a regulatory action is "major," thereby requiring review." The letter continues stating "Most agricultural retailers estimate it will cost anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 to either hire contractors or divert internal resources to comply with PSM."
ARA is hosting a webinar on PSM on Tuesday, September 29th at 1pm Central Time. Jeff Wanko, OSHA Safety Engineer, will address PSM requirements and provide an overview of the basic steps retailers must take in order to be in compliance. For more information on the webinar, CLICK HERE.
For several weeks now, MO-AG has been in contact with our Missouri Congressional delegation. We would particularly single out Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler and Senator Roy Blunt and their staff for their efforts to help agribusinesses in this matter. MO-AG will continue to look for ways to bring relief to agribusinesses. If MO-AG members would like more information concerning PSM compliance, please contact MO-AG's Director of Member Services, Jeff Leonard, at the MO-AG office.
In a separate issue also concerning anhydrous ammonia, railroads are threatening to stop transportation of anhydrous ammonia due to a Congressional deadline to implement Positive Train Control (PTC). MO-AG has joined with its state counterparts and national affiliates is asking Congress to extend the deadline for PTC. Railroad have indicated that they will stop carrying anhydrous ammonia after October 31st due to the fact that Congress's PTC deadline has not been met.
Koster Takes Aim