As part of a national, industry-wide AgGateway Tonnage Reporting Project, a group of agricultural companies is preparing to launch a pilot project with the states of Michigan, Virginia and Florida for more efficient reporting of fertilizer and feed tonnage.

"We've welcomed the opportunity to work with the AgGateway group on this project, because it's going to save time and improve accuracy for everyone down the line," said April Hunt, Feed and Fertilizer Specialist with the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. "In the end I think we'll have a more efficient system that can be duplicated in other states."

The Tonnage Reporting Project aims to help companies collaborate with state officials on a standardized format that can be used to streamline the industry's feed and fertilizer reporting. Today, 47 states require fertilizer and feed tonnage reporting, registration and payment of fees and taxes - with 47 different sets of rules and forms. In most states, reporting is achieved using hard-copy, paper-submitted forms, creating an administrative burden for both companies and the state governments.

"If all states can adopt a unified process, companies that report and make payments for tonnage fees and taxes can standardize their internal procedures as well, making the sharing of information and payments a much more efficient and timely process for everyone," says AgGateway President Rod Conner.

The pilot includes both fertilizer and feed tonnage reporting using a format that complies with the Uniform Fertilizer Tonnage Reporting System. Control officials from Missouri have also been working closely with the project group to provide support and direction.

Companies interesting in joining the Tonnage Reporting Project should contact Marilyn Hunter, AgGateway's Enabling Services Director, at Marilyn@AgGateway.org.

AFIA's IT Committee has worked with AgGateway on past projects and encourages members to consider getting involved. AgGateway is a non-profit consortium of businesses serving the agriculture industry, which helps member companies improve their profitability and productivity by promoting, enabling and expanding eBusiness in agriculture and agriculture related businesses. www.AgGateway.org