The Fertilizer Institute has expressed support for quick Senate action to confirm three new Trump Administration appointments to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Iowa Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey, was picked as Undersecretary of Agriculture for Farm Production and Conservation. Greg Ibach, Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director was chosen as USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. And Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General David Ross was chosen to serve as Assistant Administrator of the Office of Water at the EPA.
"American agriculture could not find more knowledgeable and stronger advocates, said Chris Jahn, TFI President. “If confirmed, their decades of experience will be a tremendous asset to Secretary Perdue and EPA Administrator Pruitt and the entire agriculture community.
“Farm profitability depends on many uncontrollable variables, such as weather and global market forces," Jahn said. “Now, more than ever, it is necessary to ensure that farmers have the best information to manage those factors that are in their control.”
The US fertilizer industry is one of the world’s largest, and makes a tremendous contribution to US economic growth, employing American workers in manufacturing, wholesale, and retail agribusiness sectors. The industry generates more than US$154 billion in economic activity, and directly employs over 88 000 Americans in quality high paying jobs.
Research in support of 4R Nutrient Stewardship, a science-based framework to aid implementation of fertilizer best management practices on the farm, must be a high priority for USDA. The 4R concepts are being incorporated into USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service programmes, in state nutrient loss reduction strategies, and by the Soil Health Institute. While the fertilizer industry-supported 4R Research Fund has dedicated close to US$5 million to support this work, the need for competitive grant funds from USDA is still great.