Farmers of North America Strategic Agriculture Institute (FNA-STAG), applauds Minister Ritz for amending fertilizer registration requirements by removing the requirement for efficacy testing on fertilizers and supplements (i.e. inoculants). It is clearly a move to help farmers and the industry to become more cost competitive by eliminating redundant and costly regulation. What is also notable and positive is that there will be a streamlined process in place until the actual amendments are implemented in 2013.
“It will get more products in the market faster and at less cost,” says Bob Friesen, CEO of FNA-STAG, “and helps to increase farmers’ options, helps to reduce input costs, helps to introduce more competition and levels the playing field in the integrated grain industry that we share with the U.S., where efficacy testing is not a requirement.”
FNA-STAG recognizes the amendments do not jeopardize safety requirements or labeling integrity. And although there has been some rhetoric regarding the potential sale of products that don’t work, farmers are not naïve. When it comes to the millions they spend on inputs in an attempt to maximize profit, farmers are very careful. To be sure, this does increase responsibility on the industry to make sure that they do not let down their farmer-customers. We believe this is a responsibility the industry is ready for and from which everyone can benefit.
“Farmers are professionals, and are well aware of the importance of due diligence in their own business,” says Friesen. “Furthermore, they have almost unlimited access to industry experts and information.”