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July 14-15, 2016
MO-AG Summer Meeting;
Lake Ozark, MO

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Our Mission

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 view the pyramid or click here for the participation form to become a 2016 program sponsor. Thank you to all of our Program Sponsors!

  

MO-AG Minute

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.
Source:  ARA
 

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

MO-AG Convention:
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
In recognition of OSHA's unlawful attempt to revoke the long-standing retailer exemption from the costly PSM standard, Congress included a rider to the appropriations bill.  The bill prohibits OSHA from enforcing its July 22 memo for fiscal year 2016 until the Census Bureau establishes a new North American Industry Classification System code for Farm Supply Retailers. OSHA must also conduct a formal rulemaking process with public comment before any guidance change may be implemented.

"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
The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) applauds Congress for approving the Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus spending bill (H.R. 2029).  We strongly support the repeal of mandatory Country of Origin Labeling. We are also gratified Congress orders USDA to finalize the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, focusing on nutrition and dietary information.  With these wins comes some disappointment. Congress failed to preempt state GMO labeling laws, which ultimately is critical for industries engaged in interstate commerce. The animal food industry is no exception.  We are confused and disappointed with Congress' decision to allow dried spent grain byproduct (dried distillers grains) to dodge Food Safety Modernization Act enforcement. AFIA strongly believes that implementation of an industry-wide food safety plan--while granting parochial exceptions--is problematic.  
Source:  AFIA

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
A deal to end the oil export ban in exchange for the removal of environmental riders in the Omnibus bill gained enough moderate Democrats to protect the rule, which a diverse coalition of industry groups, including the energy, agriculture and homebuilding sectors, opposed.  "I am stunned quite frankly," Don Parrish, senior director for regulatory affairs at the American Farm Bureau Federation, said by email Wednesday. "This was not a heavy lift, and it's a new low for Congress - the courts have signaled that the rule is illegal and GAO just issued a legal opinion finding that EPA broke the law during the comment period."
Source:  Politico

GAO says EPA Violated Federal Law on WOTUS
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the EPA violated federal law in promoting the agency's "waters of the United States" rule. The decision found the EPA engaged in 'covert propaganda' and 'grassroots lobbying' to support the WOTUS rule.   On Dec. 14, the GOA ruled the EPA broke federal law through an online campaign utilizing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Thunderclap to flood the public comment period in support of the rule under the impression that it was to protect the nation's drinking water.
Source:  AgWeb

Monsanto Looking for Synergies with other Companies
The leader of Monsanto's state and local government affairs says agribusinesses have to respond to the lower commodities prices by considering consolidation. Duane Simpson tells Brownfield Ag News that Monsanto is looking for synergies, "For Monsanto, when we were looking at Syngenta, for example, we were looking at their research capabilities around crop protection with our research capabilities around data science, biologicals and biotechnology and seed breeding - and finding ways to leverage the two of those together to find the best solution to problems for farmers at the lowest incremental cost for the R & D." Syngenta has rebuffed several offers by Monsanto to buy the Swiss company.

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.
Simpson is the outgoing chairman of the Missouri Agribusiness Association, MO-AG, and spoke with Brownfield at their recent annual meeting. Source:  Brownfield

Corn Growers to Study Dow-DuPont Merger
The National Corn Growers Association is committed to protecting the best interests of our members and our nation's corn farmers.  With respect to the proposed merger, we anticipate that we will have an opportunity to submit comments regarding the effect this merger may have on agricultural research, innovation, grain marketing, and the competitive pricing of farm inputs. We will do all we can to protect farmer interests and preserve an open and competitive marketplace. Source:  NGFA

Agri-Ready County
The Agri-Ready designation is designed to protect the 284,000 jobs created by agriculture and the family farmers who provide fresh, quality, locally grown food for our community.  Missouri Farmers Care (MFC) created the Agri-Ready designation program to support local agriculture and secure its influence in the state's economic future. The Agri-Ready program intends to promote counties committed to making sustainable, long-term decisions about agriculture and its growth and protection.
 
Thirty-six agricultural businesses and organizations have come together to create the Missouri Farmers Care organization. MFC was created to promote the continued growth of Missouri agriculture in rural communities through coordinated communication, education, and advocacy. MFC educates Missourians on the truth about modern agriculture, food production, farm life, and its connection to Missouri's food security, the economy and social well-being. Source:  Missouri Farmers Care

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
Senator Brian Munzlinger, Chairman of the Missouri Senate Agriculture Committee, has pre-filed Senate Bill 655 (SB655).  SB655 abolishes the current 'advisory' council and establishes a Fertilizer Control Board with authority to direct Missouri's Fertilizer Program.

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
Save the date to attend one of the Missouri Department of Agriculture Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Regional Training Meetings. These meetings will feature Matt Frederking, a national expert on establishing current Good Manufacturing Practices and Preventive Control programs in feed manufacturing facilities.  All of the meetings will start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. and will be held at the following dates and locations:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Springfield, MO
Darr Agricultural Center
Bond Learning Center
2401 W. Kansas Expressway
Springfield, MO  65807 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Cuba, MO
Recklein Auditorium
304 N. Smith Street
Cuba, MO  65453 

Thursday, February 18, 2016
 Macon, MO
Crossroads Christian Church
1816 N. Missouri Street
Macon, MO  63553 

Friday, February 19, 2016
Cameron, MO
Cameron Community Center
915 Ashland Drive
PO Box 472
Cameron, MO  64429

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:
The Bureau of Feed, Seed and Treated Timber
Attn: Joleen Winkelman
P O Box 630
Jefferson City, MO 65102
or by calling:  573-751-5474.

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
After many hours of work the Asmark Institute has put together compliance tools to assist ag retail ammonia facilities comply with the new Process Safety Management requirement. These tools are designed to help you set up a PSM program that you will have to maintain on daily basis. Unlike some other regulatory requirements it will take many hours of work to maintain the program throughout the year. Last week, OSHA announced they would be extending the compliance date for PSM at ag retail ammonia facilities from January 22, 2016 to July 22, 2016.  While this six month extension is welcome, it will still be extremely challenging given the complexity of this program. MO-AG encourages all ag retail ammonia facilities to begin work to comply as soon as possible.

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
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.

Six Month Extension of PSM Enforcement Delay
MO-AG has worked extensively with the Missouri Congressional delegation regarding OSHA's decision imposing Process Safety Management (PSM) onto anhydrous ammonia facilities.  MO-AG would especially thanks Congresswoman Hartlzer and her staff for their efforts on this issue.  As a result of these efforts, a letter dated October 22nd has been sent to the Secretary of the Department of Labor expressing concerns about OSHA's unrealistic low-cost estimate of this regulation and asking that OSHA rescind the July 22nd memorandum which invoked the changes.  A copy of the letter can be found here:  CLICK HERE.


OSHA Extends the Period of PSM Enforcement Discretion

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

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=29525

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:
*Exemption to a hazardous materials endorsement for custom harvesters and other operators of similar equipment to enable them to transport the amount of fuel necessary for a single day of field operations with today's agricultural equipment. Currently Class A CDL holders cannot haul more than 118 gallons of diesel fuel without a hazardous materials endorsement.
*Clarify that states may adopt standards on "covered farm vehicles" that are more reasonable to farmers and farm employees operating farm trucks near the farm, without jeopardizing federal transportation funding in those states.

*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
In previous editions of the MO-AG minute, we have discussed OSHA's new Process Safety Management (PSM) requirements for facilities that handle anhydrous ammonia.  On September 23rd, a Congressional committee held a hearing on the matter.  The Senate Homeland Security committee took testimony from OSHA's Mary Beth Maxwell.  More information on the hearing can be found HERE.

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
 
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster takes aim as MO-AG President, Steve Taylor, handles the controls.  Koster participated in MO-AG's Membership Appreciation Sporting Clay event.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has taken aim at the EPA disaster called WOTUS (see story below).  Koster has taken aim at EPA's newest disaster, called the EPA 'Clean Power Plan' (see story below).  But last week, Koster took aim at much less treacherous adversaries . . . he took aim at sporting clays.

Koster joined MO-AG members at the membership apperception event that took place on October 7th near Boonville, MO.  Members had a beautiful Missouri fall day to enjoy their choice of either golf or sporting clays.  After the event, a BBQ and reception was held with Koster as the guest of honor.  During the reception, Koster, who is currently unopposed for the democratic nomination for Governor, told MO-AG members that agriculture should be a top priority and provided specific examples of how he would make that happen.

WOTUS Update
Lawsuits against EPA's WOTUS (Waters of the U.S.) have been filed throughout the country in district courts and in courts of appeals.  Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed, along with 13 other states, in the district court of North Dakota and that court issued an injunction that stays the rule in the 13 States.  Currently a judicial panel is deciding if the district court cases should be consolidated in DC or kept as separate cases in multiple courts around the U.S.  Also, all of the court of appeals cases have been consolidated in the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati.  That Sixth Circuit Court has issued a stay nationwide which means EPA's implementation of the WOTUS rule is paused pending further legal review.  Absent an appeal by EPA, it is expected that EPA will issue a notice indicating that for now the old rules defining WOTUS are in effect nationwide.

But is the stay all good news?  Some see the stay as a two-edged sword.  First, the Court did not actually decide whether it has jurisdiction of the case.   If the Court ultimately decides that it doesn't have jurisdiction, as some opponents of WOTUS are wanting, then it would seem that its nationwide stay would be dissolved.  If, on the other hand, EPA wins on jurisdiction, and the Court keeps the case, then the stay remains in effect.

In deciding to issue the stay, the Court did express serious doubt as to whether EPA acted legally in issuing the WOTUS rule.  The Court was particularly concerned about the distance-based limitations in the rule, indicating doubt as to whether those aspects of the rule had sufficient scientific support, and questioning whether EPA had followed required procedures in including those limitations in the final rule, when they had not been present in the proposed rule that was issued for comment.  Based on those concerns, the Court held that the State and non-State challengers "have met their burden of showing a substantial probability of success on the merits."

MO-AG again thanks Attorney General Chris Koster for his leadership on this issue.

Rail Shutdown Looming
MO-AG joined with many of its state counterparts and national affiliates in signing onto two separate letters asking Congress for action in order to avoid a shut-down of the nation's rail system.  In a letter to all members, the agricultural groups asks Congress to "enact legislation that would extend the current Dec. 31, 2015 deadline by which Class I rail carriers are to develop, test and implement Positive Train Control (PTC) on their rail networks."  The letter states that the agricultural groups "are deeply concerned that failure to extend the current deadline for installation and implementation of PTC technology may well have disruptive ripple effects on the rail transportation network as a whole, resulting in severe service disruptions and inefficiencies in moving a projected near-record harvest during the peak fall shipping season."  To view this letter, CLICK HERE.

MO-AG also joined with other groups on a separate letter to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.  This letter describes how  "a service stoppage would also force fertilizer manufacturers to curtail or cease production. Manufacturers have only limited storage capacity at their facilities, and therefore must ship anhydrous ammonia and other products year-round to continue production and work within the capacity constraints of the transportation network.  Without access to rail transportation, on-site storage would quickly reach capacity."  To view this letter, CLICK HERE

Some feel that any legislation moving forward will most likely be a combination of H.R. 3651 and the Senate-passed PTC language that was included in the Senate's Highway bill.  However, with issues ranging to election of a Speaker of the House, & House leadership to increasing the debt limit and funding the government all on the agenda now, it is hard for Congress to focus on moving legislation.  Stay tuned to MO-AG for updates.

Update on PSM & Anhydrous Ammonia
As stated in previous MO-AG minutes, OSHA's decision to require Process Safety Management (PSM) for facilities that handle anhydrous ammonia will have a major impact on those facilities.  To prepare for PSM, MO-AG has suggested members avail themselves to information from Asmark (CLICK HERE).   Asmark is launching the new MyPSM+RMP Suite of Guidance Materials as well as launching "MyPSM+RMP  Workshops:  A to Z."  MO-AG will be providing more information on Asmark activities soon.

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) recently hosted a webinar on PSM.  The webinar was led by OSHA Safety Engineer Jeff Wanko.  Wanko joined OSHA in 2011 and is now in OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement in Washington, D.C.  In the webinar, Wanko provided an overview of the basic steps retailers must take in order to be in compliance.  Wanko will also be participating in the ARA Convention (CLICK HERE)  Below is the OSHA PSM process encapsulated in one slide from the webinar.

The slide shows 'The Process' (PSM) is at the center of all the activity.  For a complete copy of the slideshow, CLICK HERE.  To see a copy of the Q&As after the webinar, CLICK HERE.

Mr. Wanko suggested ag retailers utilize the OSHA Compliance Assistance Program.  In Missouri, that program is ran through the Missouri Dept of Labor & Industrial Relations (MDLIR).  The MDLIR website can be found HERE or by phone at 573-751-3721.

 


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