Legislation has been introduced in both the Indiana House and Senate that will increase fees for pesticide registration and increase the financial penalty for someone who does not follow the label for pesticide application. House Ag Chair Representative Don Lehe (R-District 25) is the author of House Bill 1119.
“This whole drift issue and chemicals and herbicides, it’s a huge issue. We’re working with Farm Bureau, the Agribusiness Council, and the corn and soybean associations. We’re putting together some language trying to help alleviate the concern on the drift issue and liabilities there.”
Lehe adds, “If we don’t do something, my biggest concern is we lose access to these really important chemicals and herbicides and things that we really need in agriculture.”
Indiana Senate Ag Chair Jean Leising (R- District 42) hopes the Senate version of the bill she authored, SB438, will gain some traction, but it will take a lot of education on the issue.
“One of the things that concerns me is that we actually have so few farmers here in the building, period. There are a couple real farmers in the House. I still own my farm, my son-in-law farms it, but I’m really probably the only person that’s really living on a working farm at this point in the Senate out of 50 members and that’s pretty concerning.”
Where does this bill stand now? Leising says, “It’s kind of in flux right now. It’s still early in the session, so we’ll see what happens.”
Indiana Farm Bureau is in support of the proposed legislation.