1. How did this year’s legislative session turn out for FFAA?
Pfeiffer: Good, but not as great as we wanted. FFAA supported sound science in urban fertilizer regulation this session. HB 457/SB 606, as initially drafted, would have given the Florida Department of Agriculture the exclusive authority to regulate fertilizer, including its sale, composition, formulation, packaging, use, application, and distribution. What ended up passing was a preemption of any local ordinance enacting fertilizer sales bans in fertilizer or water quality ordinances adopted after July 1. So, a partial victory.
2. What are FFAA’s major goals in the coming months?
Pfeiffer: FFAA’s Board spent the last 18 months on a strategic planning initiative that refocused our association efforts on FFAA’s core mission: to promote the benefits and responsible use of plant nutrients and plant protection products in Florida. The upcoming year will see the implementation of these strategic plans with a major emphasis on staying relevant to our members’ needs and being a more effective advocate for the ag inputs industry in Florida and our nation’s Capitol.
3. What technologies should growers be on the lookout for from BASF?
Pfeiffer: BASF currently has several new products in its pipeline, with 28 products expected to be introduced during the next four years.
– Xemium fungicide, a new mode of action in disease protection, is being studied in a wide range of specialty crops including fruits, vegetables, as well as row crops.
– Initium fungicide is being researched on a number of specialty crops and will bring growers added disease protection. By providing a premium preventative shield for crops and a favorable environmental profile, both Xemium and Initium will give growers the confidence and convenience they need from a fungicide.
BASF also is researching new insecticides for this category. Alpha-cypermethrin insecticide is being tested globally in several row and specialty crops.
4. In what ways is BASF working to ensure the sustainability/viability of growers in Florida and the nation?
Pfeiffer: We share our customers’ focus on sustainable development, which recognizes that business can only be successful in the long-term if we act responsibly toward the environment and society. Our Eco-Efficiency Analysis tool, for example, helps customers quantifiable and holistically measure the economic and environmental sustainability of products and processes. Developed on the premise that properly measuring sustainability is crucial to managing sustainability, the tool factors in energy use, emissions, land use, and consumption of raw materials. Customers can then consider how to improve sustainability. We support other industry efforts to measure sustainability, such as the Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture’s development of the Field to Market Fieldprint Calculator. We are the first chemical company and founding member of The Sustainability Consortium, which works collaboratively to improve consumer product sustainability.