CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Governmental relations efforts by farm organizations had to battle many efforts this spring focused on prohibiting the use of herbicides and insecticides. But President Kevin Johnson of the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association said farm interests prevailed.

“There was a lot of pesticide, talk about banning products; dicamba, neonics, chlorpyrifos, Roundup. Those type of products,” Johnson said. “We were very much heavily watching those. They actually did not move. There was a subject matter hearing on dicamba, but none of those legislations on pesticides moved at the end of the day in Springfield.”

He says its better for governmental agencies to establish regulations than lawmakers.

“We try to talk with legislators especially when they are talking about banning products. Is these products are all registered through U.S. EPA and Illinois Department of Ag? They have went through background and research and everything from there,” Johnson said. “That is based on science or U.S. EPA and Department of Ag reapproving those type of products. And most products get a re-review every five years anyway. And that is what we’ve been talking about on dicamba; there is going to be a re-review at the end of this 2022 crop.”

When the next General Assembly convenes next year, Johnson said the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association will lobby for more ways to get more truck drivers.

“The biggest issue we are taking on here at IFCA is trucking issues,” Johnson said. “Trying to hire truck drivers, there were some new federal rules on the entry level driving training. If you have to hire a new truck driver and they have a class D license, just a regular license, to get them up to a class A, its going to talk about four weeks of training. If you need to get into a class A with a hazmat license, that’s about six weeks. So, any way that we can get more truck drivers hired, but also trying to tweak some of the ELDT stuff here at the state legislature through rules or progressive legislation, trying to help that process for our retailers.”