Last year, we experienced regulatory pressures that could impact the choices available to growers in the fields. It was a time when the collective industry’s voice was more important than ever to maintain grower choice. Coverage of the issues and educating the community on what’s at stake was and is an essential part of the broader dialogue.  
 
I see this trend continuing in 2015 at the federal level with more state activity occurring as well. The year ended with the EPA extending its open comment period on the benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments to soybean production through January 24. To date, more than 2,000 people have submitted comments through AgVoice4Choice.com and we hope to see that continue. 
 
The focus is also shifting to include increased availability of herbicides to manage weeds in corn production in certain states. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reviewing isoxaflutole (IFT), contained in the products Balance Flexx and Corvus, for future use in the state. IFT would offer Minnesota growers another choice in weed management that brings a highly effective mode of action, low application rates and less environmental impact than some alternative products.
 
MDA is proposing restrictions that would significantly limit the utility of IFT. With the increased weed pressures in today’s fields, growers need flexibility in their management practices. We need to protect growers' rights to have choices in production practices for corn and other crops.  
 
Growers and concerned citizens can go to MNAgChoice.com to send a letter urging MDA to reconsider its current position on these restrictions and approve the use of this chemical like other corn herbicides.