The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Rural Development & Research and Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities & Risk Management.

The testimony, delivered by Jim Thrift, ARA's vice president of regulatory affairs & corporate relations, focused on the potential impact of Asian soybean rust on the U.S. farm sector.

Thrift noted the rapid spread and devastating impact of the Asian soybean rust problem in South America and discussed the U.S. ag retail industries proactive efforts to aggressively work with their farmer customers to address this new threat.

ARA suggested to House members that retailers could become an extension of the USDA's Technical Service Provider (TSP) program in the discovery of soybean rust, since agricultural retailers truly are the bridge between science and the soil. With over 90% of America's farmers relying on their local agricultural retailer as their primary source of agronomic technical information, ARA argued, it makes sense for USDA to work with the private industry through programs such as the TSP to address this disease now before it becomes an even bigger problem for American's soybean producers.

Source: Association Release