EPA Deputy Administrator meets with Texas Group—This week, in an effort to address producers’ ongoing concerns regarding pesticide and insecticide regulation, TGSP invited officials from the EPA to visit sorghum producer Paul Freund’s farm in Needville, Texas. Deputy Administrator Jim Jones and Directory of Chemistry, Economics & Sustainable Strategies David Widawsky joined TGSP staff, Agrilife Extension agents, and representatives from other crops on a tour of Mr. Freund’s operation. Mr. Freund walked the EPA officials through his chemical application practices in an effort to demonstrate how Texas producers prioritize safety and stewardship of the land.
“It’s important that the EPA understands what goes on at an actual farm where their decisions on chemical regulation can have a tremendous effect on profitability and production,” said Executive Director of TGSP Wayne Cleveland. “This is a great step in bridging that gap between producers and the EPA.”
As insecticide labels continue to be pulled, TGSP felt it was important to show the EPA how erratic and dangerous a sugarcane aphid infestation can be. The EPA officials were able to see the proliferate pest firsthand and better understand the pressing need for robust crop protection options. With many of the chemicals best suited for combatting the aphid facing prohibitive regulations, TGSP hoped to communicate the urgency and vigilance that the pest demands from sorghum producers each and every day. South Texas Cotton and Grain (STC&G) Executive Director Jeff Nunley, Ft. Bend Extension Agent John Gordy and CPS officials were also in attendance for the visit. These men echoed the producers’ call for accurate, empirical science and procedural transparency. TGSP is currently working toward sending a group of producers and staff to visit the EPA in Washington DC. The EPA officials who attended said they would be glad to provide the same level of transparency as to the regulatory process as Mr. Freund provided in regard to the application process. Stay tuned for future opportunities to engage with regulatory agencies and help build a more responsive, producer-friendly relationship.
Valley Sorghum—Harvest in the LRGV is expected gear up next week, below are a few from the field photos.
Monsanto Rejects Bayer’s Buyout Offer—Monsanto has rejected the $62 billion buyout bid from Bayer. The Monsanto board of directors unanimously voted against the offer, calling it “incomplete and financially inadequate.” Monsanto said in a press release it is “open to continued and constructive conversations to assess whether a transaction in the best interest of Monsanto shareowners can be achieved.” Bayer also released a statement saying, “Bayer announced today that it looks forward to engaging in constructive discussions with Monsanto regarding the proposed transaction.” Monsanto’s board of directors said there is no set timeline for when further discussions will take place.