Speaking at the Far West Agribusiness Association (FWAA) 2016 January Winter Conference, President and CEO of CropLife America (CLA) Jay Vroom noted that continual innovation and the smart use of technology by farmers will make the promise of a bright future for agriculture a reality. FWAA held the meeting at the College of Southern Idaho and covered a number of challenges and opportunities for farmers in the western U.S. through sessions on labeling, new technology, safety & regulation, and other topics. In his address at the closing general session, Vroom highlighted farmers’ obligation to ensure the appropriate use of today’s technologies and stressed the need for science to remain as the centerpiece of agricultural technology regulation.

“Growers in states like Idaho have dramatically increased their potato, corn and other crop yields in the past 100 or so years, and crop protection technology is a vital and necessary part of that success story,” Vroom stated. “Corn yields across the nation increased almost 60 percent in just 20 years from 1993-2013.1 At this rate, we’ll add an additional 8.3 billion bushels to the U.S. crop alone by 2033. While losing millions of acres to development, our farmland continues to exceed production rates—which cannot be done without the proper armor to fight the incessant barrage of pests and crop threats.”

Vroom continued, “As we move forward every year with sustainable intensification on our farms, the crop protection industry continues to develop products that effectively control pests in a way that is protective of human health and the environment. Your businesses and your communications with your customers are an important link in making sure that products are used responsibly. We urge you to always emphasize safety and stewardship with retailers, custom applicators and farmers to help uphold our industry’s excellent record.”

“Pesticide policy is complex, scientific and detailed,” Vroom added. “Look to CropLife America as a resource for your local and state groups that want to become more involved in regional communication and solving regulatory questions. The strong voices of real, working agriculturists such as you and your customers can help ensure that we maintain a pesticide registration system founded in sound science at the national, state and local levels. Together, through constant dialogue and coordination among growers, government and industry, we can meet crop protection expectations and move pest control forward.”

FWAA’s mission is to enhance the business and safety environment for the fertilizer and agrichemical industry in Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Nevada and Washington. Agriculture is a major economic driver in each of the far west states, and crop protection products have elevated the industry’s regional impact. In a 2012 study on the economic contribution of crop protection products, CLA found that the far west states realized direct economic value due to incremental crop value from crop protection:2

  • Idaho − $1,978,299,000
  • Nevada − $114,757,000
  • Oregon − $744,925,000
  • Utah − $166,538,000
  • Washington − $1,773,706,000