Washington, DC – Crop protection products are a necessary tool in the efficient and effective production of crops. Take away just one of these tools, and the pest and plant diseases that these products defend against are free to potentially decimate acres of much needed food, fiber and fuel. As climate change issue awareness increases, preserving the world’s crops isn’t the industry’s only aim. Continued investment in the research and development of innovative crop protection inputs, like those produced and manufactured by CropLife America’s (CLA) members, has also resulted in protecting something essential not just to a productive agriculture but critical to mitigating atmospheric protection itself: the ozone layer.
“The importance of climate change and other atmospheric protection to agriculture cannot be understated,” said Jay Vroom, CLA president and CEO. “Farmers rely on the weather for the best time for planting and cultivating crops, and entire crops can be damaged with just one sudden shift in temperature or precipitation. Our industry is continuously working toward technological advancements that can meet these and many other climate considerations. This commitment has recently resulted in recognition by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for efforts toward developing products that preserve one of the earth’s most critical defenses.”
Arysta LifeScience and a team of independent scientists were honored in April by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with the Ozone Layer Protection Award for their work in bringing a new fumigant to market, a product with no depleting effect on the ozone layer. Registered by the EPA for use in agricultural crops and turf in 2007, MIDAS®, a broad spectrum fumigant used before planting, controls a wide array of pests, weeds and plant diseases, is one of several alternatives to methyl bromide and is part of a more than $150 million dollar research investment by USDA-ARS, EPA, university researchers and other stakeholders.
“Without pesticides, we could see a resurgence of plant diseases and pests that haven’t been seen in decades,” continued Vroom. “Innovative crop protection technologies have made it possible for older generation inputs to be to be kept available while more targeted products that have the added benefit of reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture become added tools for the farmer. All this is proof we can protect both our food supply and manage the effects of agriculture on atmospheric concerns.”
The Ozone Layer Protection Award is the EPA’s only international award and honors those organizations whose technologies and practices contribute significantly to the goal of preserving and protecting the earth’s ozone layer.