Farmers are still recoiling from the whiplash that comes from the transition from one of the most pro-agriculture administrations on record to an administration that is already showing just how hostile it can be to American farmers. The Biden Environmental Protection Agency is already attempting to restore a disastrous interpretation of waters of the U.S., and now the EPA is threatening to throw herbicide into disarray and ruin the 2022 growing season.
Emboldened by radical environmentalists, the EPA is considering changing the registration requirements for several herbicides that are vital to American agriculture interests. While “registration” sounds benign, this decision’s ramifications can send the 2022 growing season into chaos. Any change to the registration of pesticides now could result in those pesticides failing to reach the market, which means an already strained supply chain will be pushed to the breaking point.
As a 6th generation farmer, I understand the importance of planning ahead. Farmers have already planned for the 2022 growing season, which includes planning the herbicides they will use to keep their crops healthy and strong. In fact, advanced planning is sometimes all that keeps farmers out of the poorhouse. But if the EPA goes ahead with its changes, then thousands of farmers will have to make last-minute changes while the supply chain is curtailed even further. Our nation can hardly keep toilet paper stocked on the shelves, let alone meet the demand of farmers to help cultivate millions of acres. Not only will this EPA decision disrupt farmers, but it will affect every link on the supply chain from the farm to the family table.
A reduced growing season means less supply of food, which means higher prices for American families. We are facing ever-mounting inflation, and American families are feeling the crunch of out-of-control spending. The administration should not exacerbate the rising prices of basic goods by increasing the costs on farmers. What’s more, these essential pesticides have long met the statutory requirements as prescribed by Congress–the bureaucrats at the EPA should not now take it upon themselves to disrupt what Congress intended.
In fact, the absurd theory behind these ridiculous changes is that limiting pesticides will help protect the environment. Yet, registration changes would only worsen environmental practices by encouraging farmers to till more soil to control weeds, all in an attempt to maintain crop yields. This decision would diminish the ability of growers to manage noxious, herbicide-resistant weeds. If the EPA makes changes that undermine access to chemistry, then farmers are going to have to resort to other weed management strategies which are ultimately more harmful to the environment.
Our nation depends on its farmers to keep our economy strong and to keep food on the table. Given the unprecedented times farmers are facing from the supply chain crisis, our government should not be shoveling anymore manure on them. I urge the administrators at the EPA to use some common sense and hold off on any registration changes to the 2022 growing season.