The lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over fertilizer runoff in the Mississippi River Basin could have a costly impact on farmers and ag retailers. Daren Coppock, president and CEO of Agricultural Retailers Association, and Richard Gupton, vice president of legislative policy and counsel for ARA, discussed the implications with Mike Adams on Monday’s AgriTalk radio program.

“Our concern here is that if the plaintiffs prevail in this lawsuit, the EPA would be required to step in and enforce numeric nutrient criteria on all of the states that have tributaries to the Mississippi River,”
Coppock said. “And so you’re talking about a huge swath of agricultural land and a big part of our nation’s breadbasket. If EPA steps in and forces the states to set different criteria than what they are already working with, or tightening those up or setting arbitrary timing requirements, there are all kinds of things that could happen that could turn out negatively for agriculture.”

Gupton explained that ARA is concerned over this new lawsuit because of what happened in Florida where a similar lawsuit was brought. In that case, EPA set new criteria for fertilizer use that went beyond natural conditions and usurped the state’s own limits.

With this most recent case in mind, Coppock and Gupton shared that ARA is concerned similar stringent nutrient criteria could be set in the Mississippi River Basing, which would impact a large number of farming and ag retail operations. Gupton reminded listeners that nearly 60 percent of all fertilizer used in U.S. farming is used in the farmland surrounding the Mississippi River, which would be a bigger impact than the lawsuit in Florida.

Full story and AgriTalk audio interview