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Newsletter
Volume 192
November 1, 2019

Passing of Mark Tarter

We were saddened to learn that Mark Tarter, co-owner of Tarter Feed & Fertilizer in Canton, Illinois passed away on Sunday, October 27th at the age of 59.  Together with his brother Kevin Tarter, he owned and operated Tarter Feed & Fertilizer which has been an Asmark client since 2004.

Mark was also very active with the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association where he served on the Board of Directors and was the Chairman in 2008.  Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to his family, friends and all of the employees at Tarter Feed & Fertilizer.

Asmark Institute Welcomes El Dorado Agricultural Products!

The Asmark Institute is proud to welcome El Dorado Agricultural Products as a new Lighthouse Retainer client!  El Dorado Ag, a subsidiary of LSB Industries, was one of the first ag retailers to sign up and participate in the Responsible Ag program.  They operate 9 retail locations in the cattle, cotton, and corn areas of East, Central and North Texas.  They are a full-service ag retail company specializing in dry fertilizer blends using E2 High Density Ammonium Nitrate.  El Dorado Ag also offers a full line of crop protection products, forage seed, and mineral/protein supplements for livestock.  The company also operates custom application equipment applying dry fertilizer as well as impregnated fertilizer.  A warm welcome to the El Dorado Ag team as they settle into the retainer program over the next few months!

Environmental Respect Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to the 2019 winners of the annual Environmental Respect Awards! The program is sponsored by Corteva Agriscience and presented by CropLife magazine. It is the agricultural industry's highest recognition for environmental stewardship. Our most heartfelt congratulations go to each of the winners for their achievement. Asmark Institute clients are denoted in red.

Regional Winners
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Melville, Canada
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Hendersonville, NC
Prairieland FS - La Belle, MO
Valley Agronomics - Pocatello, ID
State/Province Champions
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Holtwood, PA
Helena-Lenox - Lenox, TN
United Prairie, LLC - Tolono, IL
Premier Ag - Seymour, IN
J.R. Simplot Co - East Grand Forks, MN
Tyree Ag, Inc - Laverne, OK
Dakota Seed and Service - Irene, SD
Mid Valley Agricultural Services, Inc - Oakdale, CA
Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC - Mesquite, NM
Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC - Wharton, TX
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Carmen, Manitoba
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Provost, Alberta

Asmark Institute Welcomes Mason Mattingly!

We are excited to welcome Mason Mattingly as a new part-time employee.  As we enter our busy season here at Asmark, Mason will be a big help with projects such as boxing and shipping desk pad calendars and assembling boxes for the 2020 SDS Manuals and Applicator Manuals.  He will also be putting together NTIP inspection kits, helping fulfill product orders and shipping annual Handi-Plan orders.  Isaac Fulkerson, who manages our warehouses and online product orders, will be working closely with Mason to teach him the ropes.  Mason is a Junior at Daviess County High School here in Owensboro, KY and is considering following in his brother's footsteps in Electrical Maintenance when he graduates.  Welcome to the team Mason!

Ready...Set...Go! Annual Compliance Season Kicks Off

Annual Compliance Season kicked off Monday, October 28th with the launch of the Compliance Wizard.  The Compliance Wizard is a web-based feature that utilizes logic to guide the user through the annual compliance visit process.  Built-in checks and balances help ensure that all required reports are completed and accurate.

A refresher tutorial has been created to help prepare EHS&S staff and facility personnel for the changes in the process from last year and also serve as a refresher on the important aspects of retrieving the report data this year.  New topics for this year include the SARA Tier II Encamp Year Two States, Electronic Compliance Manual, FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and an Internet Bandwidth Speed Test.  The refresher tutorial can be found on the first page of the Compliance Wizard.  Instructions for completing your annual compliance visit using the Compliance Wizard have been sent out, so watch your mail.

The deadline to have compliance visits completed is January 15, 2020. For questions please contact Dustin Warder at 270-926-4600 Ext 203 or Customer Service at 270-926-4600 Ext 506.

Encamp SARA Tier II Filing  - Year Two of the Three-Year Roll-Out

We are excited to include an additional 23 states in year two of the three-year rollout of the Asmark + Encamp SARA Tier II filing program, making for a total of 37 states for 2019.  Asmark Institute partnered with Encamp last year to utilize their submission technology to file SARA Tier II reports with the State, LEPC and Fire Department on behalf of Asmark Institute clients.  Clients in the 14 states that were in year one provided great feedback on the overall time-savings, efficiency and accuracy using Encamp.

The data for the SARA reports will be gathered as usual during the annual compliance visit using Asmark's Compliance Wizard.  In order to facilitate the Encamp filing process, state-specific fields required for each state have been identified and programmed into the Compliance Wizard.  Entering data one time on one website requires us to ask for all required information in the Compliance Wizard to retrieve everything needed to submit.  After the normal review/proof process, the data will then be provided to Encamp for filing and certifying with the State, LEPC and Fire Department to submit on the facility's behalf by the March 1st deadline.

Encamps cost per facility for this submission service is $47.50, unless there are 2 or less reportable products, which reduces the fee to $27.50.  Encamp worked with us to significantly reduce their standard filing fee based on volume.  For states that have a fee structure, Encamp will pay those fees when submitting, while grouping submissions by company to reduce state fees when possible.  Encamp will then pass all fees on to Asmark which will show up on the facilities monthly invoice. Facilities in Encamp states will receive confirmation of the submission and a copy of the filed SARA Tier II, along with any receipts for agency fee payments, will be posted to Snapshots in the Archive file.

For 2019, Encamp will submit all SARA Tier II reports for Asmark Institute clients in the following states:

Arizona Arkansas Colorado
Connecticut Delaware Hawaii
Idaho Illinois Indiana
Iowa Kansas Kentucky
Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota
Missouri Nebraska Nevada
New Jersey New Mexico New York
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Pennsylvania South Dakota Texas
Utah Vermont Virginia
Washington West Virginia Wisconsin
Wyoming

For 2020, Encamp will submit all SARA Tier II reports for Asmark Institute clients in the above states and also include the following:


Alabama Florida Georgia
Mississippi Montana North Carolina
South Carolina Tennessee
Encamp Rollout
Next year will be the final year of the rollout and will include all states that Asmark prepares SARA Tier II reports for within our client base. If you have any questions on the Asmark + Encamp SARA Tier II filing process, please call Customer Service at 270-926-4600 Ext 506.

New FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse - Registration Open and Query Plan Available

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced they have opened registration for the new Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse which becomes mandatory on January 6, 2020.  The new Clearinghouse is aimed at closing the loop hole of drivers job-hopping to avoid impacts of failed drug and/or alcohol tests.

Employers will be required to register in the Clearinghouse database for the purpose of checking current and prospective employee's violations, in order to determine if they are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as driving a CMV, due to unresolved DOT drug and alcohol violations.  In order to do this, a "query" must be conducted by an employer or their designated consortia or third-party administrator (C/TPA), such as their drug testing provider.  Employers are charged a fee for conducting queries and must purchase a plan so they can run the required queries.  Although C/TPAs cannot purchase query plans, once registered themselves, they can conduct queries on behalf of the employers.

Queries must be run prior to hiring a CDL driver as part of the pre-employment investigation process and annually for currently employed CDL drivers.  In addition to Employers and C/TPAs, CDL drivers must also register in the Clearinghouse and provide consent to employer’s for running queries.

Please visit the Clearinghouse website to register, create an online user account and purchase a query plan. We encourage you to work with your C/TPA to ensure you have a plan in place for conducting queries when the Clearinghouse becomes fully operational in January.  For Asmark Institute retainer clients, we will work to help prompt this process prior to entering a DOT New Hire/Re-hire and will also work with clients to provide lists for conducting annual queries.  Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!

EPA Proposes Narrow Updates to the Worker Protection Standard

EPA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding application exclusion zones, known as AEZ.  The proposal would simplify the criteria for deciding whether pesticide applications are subject to the 25 or 100-foot AEZ.  It would also clarify that pesticide applications that are suspended due to individuals entering an AEZ may be resumed after those individuals have left the AEZ.  Another key modification would exempt immediate family members of farm owners from all aspects of the AEZ requirement. This will allow farm owners and their immediate family members to decide whether to stay in their homes or other enclosed structures on their property during certain pesticide applications, rather than compelling them to leave even when they feel safe remaining.

Last, EPA is proposing to modify the AEZ so it is applicable and enforceable only on a farm owner’s property, where a farm owner can lawfully exercise control over employees and bystanders who could fall within the AEZ.  As currently written, the off-farm aspect of this provision has proven very difficult for state regulators to enforce.  These proposed changes would enhance both enforcement and implementation of the AEZ for state regulators and farm owners respectively.  Off-farm bystanders would still be protected from pesticide applications thanks to the existing “do not contact” requirement that prohibits use in a manner that would contact unprotected individuals.  To read more or submit comments, click here.

It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg

More than 2,600 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program! With over 3,220 audits performed and more than 1,300 certified facilities, we encourage you to register your facilities today. Visit responsibleag.org to register and learn more about becoming committed, compliant and safe!

On the Road Again...Donna Just Can't Wait to Get on the Road Again!

The third season for the Asmark Institute "Tradeshow Truck" collectible program is now in full swing as Donna hit the road again heading to the Oklahoma Ag Expo in Norman, OK this week.  Last year Donna was able to meet and greet clients in 13 states, and she's looking forward to seeing them all again and hopefully meeting even more new faces this year.

Each year we produce a special limited-edition replica of a truck that is only be available to our Lighthouse retainer clients who register and attend the Tradeshow or Annual Meeting sponsored by their state association.  This year's collectible truck is a 1:34th scale 1960 Mack B61 with Full Stake Bed.  We encourage you to watch for our special invitation and make sure to register for the meeting in your area.  Support your state agribusiness association and pick up your collectible.  Hope to see you soon at the corner of Safe and Sound!

Video Based Training: 25 Years and Counting...

It all started 25 years ago. Allen Summers and Randy Lawrence would pack up for weeks at a time to conduct on-site training at client locations.  As Asmark's client base grew in numbers and spread out geographically, the need for a more efficient way to train employees was apparent.  The decision was made to begin filming training videos and off they went to Burroughs Ag Services in Illinois to start.  By the end of that year they had filmed and finished the eight basic OSHA subjects.

Back then, there was one camera used to film and the editing, graphics and audio were all outsourced. Editing consisted of watching the VHS tapes and writing down time codes of scenes to use.  A lot has changed since then!  Today, we use three state of the art 4k cameras and manage all of the editing, graphics and animation ourselves.  Our in-house studio and editing suite enable us to make better quality videos and the overall process more efficient.

One thing that hasn't changed since 1994 is the cooperation from our clients to provide willing actors and clean locations for filming. Over the past 25 years, we have had an enormous amount of support from our client base and our ag-specific training videos wouldn't be possible without their willingness to help and be a part of the process.  Thank You!

What's Your Speed?

This year during the annual Compliance Wizard, clients will notice a new page designed to run a bandwidth speed test.  The results from this test will help the Asmark Institute determine the average bandwidth among client locations and how many have the bandwidth necessary to stream training video content.

High speed internet availability has continued to rise over the years making it easier for rural locations to conduct business.  In addition to the rise of availability, speeds have also increased making the streaming of content more of a possibility than it has ever been.  Keep an eye out for this new page in the Compliance Wizard as you may be surprised by the speed you get.  Stay tuned for more information about the streaming of training videos as we continue to research solutions to meet our clients' needs!

Experienced Applicator Training Course - Registration Now Open!

Now in its second year, the Asmark Institute and AGCO Corporation are excited to announce registration is open for the Experienced Applicators Training Course.  This course is designed to help applicators hone their skills, allowing them to become the most professional applicators possible.  Not to be confused with the 4-day course for beginners, this 2-day course is designed specifically for applicators with three or more years of experience, and is dedicated to continuing the development and education of professional applicators.  The course is led by Greg Yoder and Gary Cornell, who have a combined total of 90 years of experience in the field.  Both instructors started their careers as professional applicators and bring a wealth of knowledge to the course.

This course is essentially a refresher and “re-boot” experience for seasoned applicators. Over the past two decades, operators have developed skills limited to certain products such as glyphosate.  Currently, we are entering an era of prescription weed control, where every field could require a different tank mix to control pesticide-resistant weeds.  Applicators need to be armed with all the skills and knowledge possible to perform their duties as a professional applicator.  This course will cover the following topics and help provide the tools necessary to accomplish this.

Topics covered:
  • Assessing Each Field
  • Safety on the Road
  • Maintenance
  • Understanding Product Labels
  • Field Math
  • Measurements
  • Calibration - Liquid and Dry
  • New Chemistry and Challenges
  • Difference in Tank Additives
  • Drift Management Options and Strategies
  • Tank Cleanout
  • Recordkeeping
  • Weed Identification
  • Tabletop Scenarios
The Experienced Applicator Training course is a very hands-on course held in a classroom filled with scenarios, demonstrations and exercises.  Participants will learn and build upon their experience to become proficient in the skills required of a professional applicator.  Each part of the course builds the participants knowledge-base and over the progression of the two days, creates a comprehensive thought process.

Classes are limited to 21 participants, so register today! For more information or questions please contact Patricia at patricia@asmark.org or 270-926-4600 Ext 234.

To Burn or Not to Burn...That is the Question

While no one ever plans to have a fire, pre-planning for one has been proven to save lives, preserve property and reduce the impact on the environment.  The Fire Prevention Plan (FPP), developed back in 2008, was designed to help bridge the gap between the efforts of agrichemical facilities and those of emergency responders, by encouraging the pre-planning of fire prevention activities.  The pre-determination of certain information can be critical to the decision-making process if a fire occurs.

The idea for the Fire Prevention Plan originally came from Jean Payne with the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association in response to better prepare and connect their members and the numerous state agencies that become involved when a fire occurs at a retail facility.  There has been much debate as to the proper course of action to take in the event an agrichemical facility catches fire.  The debate surrounds the decision as whether or not to let a facility burn or not.  Both options present potential consequences of polluting the environment.  Professionals with years of experience in making these decisions agree the circumstances for each facility fire are different and therefore the decisions should be made on-site at the scene.  Decisions of this nature should be made by emergency responders in cooperation with facility personnel and be based on accurate and current facility information.

This is where the Fire Prevention Plan comes in.  Facilities that have completed an FPP are able to access the document via Snapshots and share with their emergency responders.  Completing an FPP walks a person through a thought process that prevents and pre-plans for a fire.  Specifically, the web-based tool assists in the development of a Fire Prevention Plan that:
  • Has been developed in accordance with OSHA Standard 1910.39, Fire Prevention Plans.
  • Is personalized to a specific facility.
  • Generates a Checklist for Emergency Responders.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about the Fire Prevention Plan feature, please contact Cassandra at 270-926-4600 Ext 212 or cassandra@asmark.org.

California to End Sale of Chlorpyrifos

The California Environmental Protection Agency announced that virtually all use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos in California will end next year following an agreement between the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and pesticide manufacturers to withdraw their products.  Earlier this year, DPR announced it was acting to ban use of chlorpyrifos by canceling the pesticide’s product registrations.

The agreement with Dow AgroSciences and other companies means that use of chlorpyrifos will end sooner than anticipated had the companies pursued administrative hearings and potential appeals process, which could have taken up to two years.  Under the settlement, the companies agreed that:
  • All sales of chlorpyrifos products to growers in California will end on February 6, 2020.
  • Growers will no longer be allowed to possess or use chlorpyrifos products in California after December 31, 2020.
  • Until then, all uses must comply with existing restrictions, including a ban on aerial spraying, quarter-mile buffer zones and limiting use to crop-pest combinations that lack alternatives. DPR will support aggressive enforcement of these restrictions.
To ensure consistency for growers and for enforcement purposes, DPR is applying the terms and deadlines in the settlements to seven other companies that are not part of the settlement agreement but are subject to DPR’s cancellation orders.  A few products that apply chlorpyrifos in granular form, representing less than one percent of agricultural use of chlorpyrifos, will be allowed to remain on the market.

DOT Grants Extension for Indiana Ag CDL Holders

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has been notified that the seasonal period for a farm-related restricted commercial driver's license (CDL) may now be extended from 180 to 225 days for the remainder of 2019.  All drivers covered by the waiver must have held a motor vehicle operator's permit for at least 1 year and have a good driving record.  During the 45-day extension, farm-related restricted CDL holders will continue to be limited to operating Group B and C vehicles.  Restricted CDL holders will continue to be limited to operating no more than 150 miles from the place of business.  Click here to see the terms and conditions of the waiver.

OSHA Begins Using New Inspection Weighting System

OSHA recently implemented the OSHA Weighting System (OWS) for fiscal year (FY) 2020.  The new weighting system for workplace inspections will replace the current system that was initiated in FY 2015.  Under the current enforcement weighting system, OSHA weights certain inspections based on the time taken to complete the inspection or, in some cases, the impact of the inspection on workplace safety and health.  OWS recognizes that time is not the only factor to assess when considering the potential impact of an inspection.  Other factors - such as types of hazards inspected and abated, and effective targeting - also influence the impact on workplace safety and health.  The new system adds enforcement initiatives such as the Site-Specific Targeting to the weighting system.

The new system is based on an evaluation of the existing criteria and a working group’s recommendations regarding improvements to the existing weighting system.  OSHA has been running the new weighting system currently to confirm data integrity.  The system will continue to weight inspections, but will do so based on other factors, including agency priorities and the impact of inspections, rather than simply on a time-weighted basis.  The new OWS approach reinforces OSHA’s balanced approach to occupational safety and health (i.e., strong and fair enforcement, compliance assistance and recognition) and will incorporate the three major work elements performed by the field: enforcement activity, essential enforcement support functions (e.g., severe injury reporting and complaint resolution), and compliance assistance efforts.

National Labor Law Poster Updates

Considering the magnitude of state and federal agencies in existence today, it’s no surprise that labor laws are constantly changing.  The Federal Wage and Labor Law Institute (FWLLI) tracks these updates for us and we provide results for you.  Wondering if you need a poster update?  Click here to check for the latest Federal and/or State updates to the labor law posters.

Passing of Mark Tarter

We were saddened to learn that Mark Tarter, co-owner of Tarter Feed & Fertilizer in Canton, Illinois passed away on Sunday, October 27th at the age of 59.  Together with his brother Kevin Tarter, he owned and operated Tarter Feed & Fertilizer which has been an Asmark client since 2004.

Mark was also very active with the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association where he served on the Board of Directors and was the Chairman in 2008.  Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to his family, friends and all of the employees at Tarter Feed & Fertilizer.

Asmark Institute Welcomes El Dorado Agricultural Products!

The Asmark Institute is proud to welcome El Dorado Agricultural Products as a new Lighthouse Retainer client!  El Dorado Ag, a subsidiary of LSB Industries, was one of the first ag retailers to sign up and participate in the Responsible Ag program.  They operate 9 retail locations in the cattle, cotton, and corn areas of East, Central and North Texas.  They are a full-service ag retail company specializing in dry fertilizer blends using E2 High Density Ammonium Nitrate.  El Dorado Ag also offers a full line of crop protection products, forage seed, and mineral/protein supplements for livestock.  The company also operates custom application equipment applying dry fertilizer as well as impregnated fertilizer.  A warm welcome to the El Dorado Ag team as they settle into the retainer program over the next few months!

Environmental Respect Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to the 2019 winners of the annual Environmental Respect Awards! The program is sponsored by Corteva Agriscience and presented by CropLife magazine. It is the agricultural industry's highest recognition for environmental stewardship. Our most heartfelt congratulations go to each of the winners for their achievement. Asmark Institute clients are denoted in red.

Regional Winners
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Melville, Canada
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Hendersonville, NC
Prairieland FS - La Belle, MO
Valley Agronomics - Pocatello, ID
State/Province Champions
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Holtwood, PA
Helena-Lenox - Lenox, TN
United Prairie, LLC - Tolono, IL
Premier Ag - Seymour, IN
J.R. Simplot Co - East Grand Forks, MN
Tyree Ag, Inc - Laverne, OK
Dakota Seed and Service - Irene, SD
Mid Valley Agricultural Services, Inc - Oakdale, CA
Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC - Mesquite, NM
Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC - Wharton, TX
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Carmen, Manitoba
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Provost, Alberta

Asmark Institute Welcomes Mason Mattingly!

We are excited to welcome Mason Mattingly as a new part-time employee.  As we enter our busy season here at Asmark, Mason will be a big help with projects such as boxing and shipping desk pad calendars and assembling boxes for the 2020 SDS Manuals and Applicator Manuals.  He will also be putting together NTIP inspection kits, helping fulfill product orders and shipping annual Handi-Plan orders.  Isaac Fulkerson, who manages our warehouses and online product orders, will be working closely with Mason to teach him the ropes.  Mason is a Junior at Daviess County High School here in Owensboro, KY and is considering following in his brother's footsteps in Electrical Maintenance when he graduates.  Welcome to the team Mason!

Ready...Set...Go! Annual Compliance Season Kicks Off

Annual Compliance Season kicked off Monday, October 28th with the launch of the Compliance Wizard.  The Compliance Wizard is a web-based feature that utilizes logic to guide the user through the annual compliance visit process.  Built-in checks and balances help ensure that all required reports are completed and accurate.

A refresher tutorial has been created to help prepare EHS&S staff and facility personnel for the changes in the process from last year and also serve as a refresher on the important aspects of retrieving the report data this year.  New topics for this year include the SARA Tier II Encamp Year Two States, Electronic Compliance Manual, FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and an Internet Bandwidth Speed Test.  The refresher tutorial can be found on the first page of the Compliance Wizard.  Instructions for completing your annual compliance visit using the Compliance Wizard have been sent out, so watch your mail.

The deadline to have compliance visits completed is January 15, 2020. For questions please contact Dustin Warder at 270-926-4600 Ext 203 or Customer Service at 270-926-4600 Ext 506.

Encamp SARA Tier II Filing  - Year Two of the Three-Year Roll-Out

We are excited to include an additional 23 states in year two of the three-year rollout of the Asmark + Encamp SARA Tier II filing program, making for a total of 37 states for 2019.  Asmark Institute partnered with Encamp last year to utilize their submission technology to file SARA Tier II reports with the State, LEPC and Fire Department on behalf of Asmark Institute clients.  Clients in the 14 states that were in year one provided great feedback on the overall time-savings, efficiency and accuracy using Encamp.

The data for the SARA reports will be gathered as usual during the annual compliance visit using Asmark's Compliance Wizard.  In order to facilitate the Encamp filing process, state-specific fields required for each state have been identified and programmed into the Compliance Wizard.  Entering data one time on one website requires us to ask for all required information in the Compliance Wizard to retrieve everything needed to submit.  After the normal review/proof process, the data will then be provided to Encamp for filing and certifying with the State, LEPC and Fire Department to submit on the facility's behalf by the March 1st deadline.

Encamps cost per facility for this submission service is $47.50, unless there are 2 or less reportable products, which reduces the fee to $27.50.  Encamp worked with us to significantly reduce their standard filing fee based on volume.  For states that have a fee structure, Encamp will pay those fees when submitting, while grouping submissions by company to reduce state fees when possible.  Encamp will then pass all fees on to Asmark which will show up on the facilities monthly invoice. Facilities in Encamp states will receive confirmation of the submission and a copy of the filed SARA Tier II, along with any receipts for agency fee payments, will be posted to Snapshots in the Archive file.

For 2019, Encamp will submit all SARA Tier II reports for Asmark Institute clients in the following states:

Arizona Arkansas Colorado
Connecticut Delaware Hawaii
Idaho Illinois Indiana
Iowa Kansas Kentucky
Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota
Missouri Nebraska Nevada
New Jersey New Mexico New York
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Pennsylvania South Dakota Texas
Utah Vermont Virginia
Washington West Virginia Wisconsin
Wyoming

For 2020, Encamp will submit all SARA Tier II reports for Asmark Institute clients in the above states and also include the following:


Alabama Florida Georgia
Mississippi Montana North Carolina
South Carolina Tennessee
Encamp Rollout
Next year will be the final year of the rollout and will include all states that Asmark prepares SARA Tier II reports for within our client base. If you have any questions on the Asmark + Encamp SARA Tier II filing process, please call Customer Service at 270-926-4600 Ext 506.

New FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse - Registration Open and Query Plan Available

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced they have opened registration for the new Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse which becomes mandatory on January 6, 2020.  The new Clearinghouse is aimed at closing the loop hole of drivers job-hopping to avoid impacts of failed drug and/or alcohol tests.

Employers will be required to register in the Clearinghouse database for the purpose of checking current and prospective employee's violations, in order to determine if they are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as driving a CMV, due to unresolved DOT drug and alcohol violations.  In order to do this, a "query" must be conducted by an employer or their designated consortia or third-party administrator (C/TPA), such as their drug testing provider.  Employers are charged a fee for conducting queries and must purchase a plan so they can run the required queries.  Although C/TPAs cannot purchase query plans, once registered themselves, they can conduct queries on behalf of the employers.

Queries must be run prior to hiring a CDL driver as part of the pre-employment investigation process and annually for currently employed CDL drivers.  In addition to Employers and C/TPAs, CDL drivers must also register in the Clearinghouse and provide consent to employer’s for running queries.

Please visit the Clearinghouse website to register, create an online user account and purchase a query plan. We encourage you to work with your C/TPA to ensure you have a plan in place for conducting queries when the Clearinghouse becomes fully operational in January.  For Asmark Institute retainer clients, we will work to help prompt this process prior to entering a DOT New Hire/Re-hire and will also work with clients to provide lists for conducting annual queries.  Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!

EPA Proposes Narrow Updates to the Worker Protection Standard

EPA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding application exclusion zones, known as AEZ.  The proposal would simplify the criteria for deciding whether pesticide applications are subject to the 25 or 100-foot AEZ.  It would also clarify that pesticide applications that are suspended due to individuals entering an AEZ may be resumed after those individuals have left the AEZ.  Another key modification would exempt immediate family members of farm owners from all aspects of the AEZ requirement. This will allow farm owners and their immediate family members to decide whether to stay in their homes or other enclosed structures on their property during certain pesticide applications, rather than compelling them to leave even when they feel safe remaining.

Last, EPA is proposing to modify the AEZ so it is applicable and enforceable only on a farm owner’s property, where a farm owner can lawfully exercise control over employees and bystanders who could fall within the AEZ.  As currently written, the off-farm aspect of this provision has proven very difficult for state regulators to enforce.  These proposed changes would enhance both enforcement and implementation of the AEZ for state regulators and farm owners respectively.  Off-farm bystanders would still be protected from pesticide applications thanks to the existing “do not contact” requirement that prohibits use in a manner that would contact unprotected individuals.  To read more or submit comments, click here.

It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg

More than 2,600 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program! With over 3,220 audits performed and more than 1,300 certified facilities, we encourage you to register your facilities today. Visit responsibleag.org to register and learn more about becoming committed, compliant and safe!

On the Road Again...Donna Just Can't Wait to Get on the Road Again!

The third season for the Asmark Institute "Tradeshow Truck" collectible program is now in full swing as Donna hit the road again heading to the Oklahoma Ag Expo in Norman, OK this week.  Last year Donna was able to meet and greet clients in 13 states, and she's looking forward to seeing them all again and hopefully meeting even more new faces this year.

Each year we produce a special limited-edition replica of a truck that is only be available to our Lighthouse retainer clients who register and attend the Tradeshow or Annual Meeting sponsored by their state association.  This year's collectible truck is a 1:34th scale 1960 Mack B61 with Full Stake Bed.  We encourage you to watch for our special invitation and make sure to register for the meeting in your area.  Support your state agribusiness association and pick up your collectible.  Hope to see you soon at the corner of Safe and Sound!

Video Based Training: 25 Years and Counting...

It all started 25 years ago. Allen Summers and Randy Lawrence would pack up for weeks at a time to conduct on-site training at client locations.  As Asmark's client base grew in numbers and spread out geographically, the need for a more efficient way to train employees was apparent.  The decision was made to begin filming training videos and off they went to Burroughs Ag Services in Illinois to start.  By the end of that year they had filmed and finished the eight basic OSHA subjects.

Back then, there was one camera used to film and the editing, graphics and audio were all outsourced. Editing consisted of watching the VHS tapes and writing down time codes of scenes to use.  A lot has changed since then!  Today, we use three state of the art 4k cameras and manage all of the editing, graphics and animation ourselves.  Our in-house studio and editing suite enable us to make better quality videos and the overall process more efficient.

One thing that hasn't changed since 1994 is the cooperation from our clients to provide willing actors and clean locations for filming. Over the past 25 years, we have had an enormous amount of support from our client base and our ag-specific training videos wouldn't be possible without their willingness to help and be a part of the process.  Thank You!

What's Your Speed?

This year during the annual Compliance Wizard, clients will notice a new page designed to run a bandwidth speed test.  The results from this test will help the Asmark Institute determine the average bandwidth among client locations and how many have the bandwidth necessary to stream training video content.

High speed internet availability has continued to rise over the years making it easier for rural locations to conduct business.  In addition to the rise of availability, speeds have also increased making the streaming of content more of a possibility than it has ever been.  Keep an eye out for this new page in the Compliance Wizard as you may be surprised by the speed you get.  Stay tuned for more information about the streaming of training videos as we continue to research solutions to meet our clients' needs!

Experienced Applicator Training Course - Registration Now Open!

Now in its second year, the Asmark Institute and AGCO Corporation are excited to announce registration is open for the Experienced Applicators Training Course.  This course is designed to help applicators hone their skills, allowing them to become the most professional applicators possible.  Not to be confused with the 4-day course for beginners, this 2-day course is designed specifically for applicators with three or more years of experience, and is dedicated to continuing the development and education of professional applicators.  The course is led by Greg Yoder and Gary Cornell, who have a combined total of 90 years of experience in the field.  Both instructors started their careers as professional applicators and bring a wealth of knowledge to the course.

This course is essentially a refresher and “re-boot” experience for seasoned applicators. Over the past two decades, operators have developed skills limited to certain products such as glyphosate.  Currently, we are entering an era of prescription weed control, where every field could require a different tank mix to control pesticide-resistant weeds.  Applicators need to be armed with all the skills and knowledge possible to perform their duties as a professional applicator.  This course will cover the following topics and help provide the tools necessary to accomplish this.

Topics covered:
  • Assessing Each Field
  • Safety on the Road
  • Maintenance
  • Understanding Product Labels
  • Field Math
  • Measurements
  • Calibration - Liquid and Dry
  • New Chemistry and Challenges
  • Difference in Tank Additives
  • Drift Management Options and Strategies
  • Tank Cleanout
  • Recordkeeping
  • Weed Identification
  • Tabletop Scenarios
The Experienced Applicator Training course is a very hands-on course held in a classroom filled with scenarios, demonstrations and exercises.  Participants will learn and build upon their experience to become proficient in the skills required of a professional applicator.  Each part of the course builds the participants knowledge-base and over the progression of the two days, creates a comprehensive thought process.

Classes are limited to 21 participants, so register today! For more information or questions please contact Patricia at patricia@asmark.org or 270-926-4600 Ext 234.

To Burn or Not to Burn...That is the Question

While no one ever plans to have a fire, pre-planning for one has been proven to save lives, preserve property and reduce the impact on the environment.  The Fire Prevention Plan (FPP), developed back in 2008, was designed to help bridge the gap between the efforts of agrichemical facilities and those of emergency responders, by encouraging the pre-planning of fire prevention activities.  The pre-determination of certain information can be critical to the decision-making process if a fire occurs.

The idea for the Fire Prevention Plan originally came from Jean Payne with the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association in response to better prepare and connect their members and the numerous state agencies that become involved when a fire occurs at a retail facility.  There has been much debate as to the proper course of action to take in the event an agrichemical facility catches fire.  The debate surrounds the decision as whether or not to let a facility burn or not.  Both options present potential consequences of polluting the environment.  Professionals with years of experience in making these decisions agree the circumstances for each facility fire are different and therefore the decisions should be made on-site at the scene.  Decisions of this nature should be made by emergency responders in cooperation with facility personnel and be based on accurate and current facility information.

This is where the Fire Prevention Plan comes in.  Facilities that have completed an FPP are able to access the document via Snapshots and share with their emergency responders.  Completing an FPP walks a person through a thought process that prevents and pre-plans for a fire.  Specifically, the web-based tool assists in the development of a Fire Prevention Plan that:
  • Has been developed in accordance with OSHA Standard 1910.39, Fire Prevention Plans.
  • Is personalized to a specific facility.
  • Generates a Checklist for Emergency Responders.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about the Fire Prevention Plan feature, please contact Cassandra at 270-926-4600 Ext 212 or cassandra@asmark.org.

California to End Sale of Chlorpyrifos

The California Environmental Protection Agency announced that virtually all use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos in California will end next year following an agreement between the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and pesticide manufacturers to withdraw their products.  Earlier this year, DPR announced it was acting to ban use of chlorpyrifos by canceling the pesticide’s product registrations.

The agreement with Dow AgroSciences and other companies means that use of chlorpyrifos will end sooner than anticipated had the companies pursued administrative hearings and potential appeals process, which could have taken up to two years.  Under the settlement, the companies agreed that:
  • All sales of chlorpyrifos products to growers in California will end on February 6, 2020.
  • Growers will no longer be allowed to possess or use chlorpyrifos products in California after December 31, 2020.
  • Until then, all uses must comply with existing restrictions, including a ban on aerial spraying, quarter-mile buffer zones and limiting use to crop-pest combinations that lack alternatives. DPR will support aggressive enforcement of these restrictions.
To ensure consistency for growers and for enforcement purposes, DPR is applying the terms and deadlines in the settlements to seven other companies that are not part of the settlement agreement but are subject to DPR’s cancellation orders.  A few products that apply chlorpyrifos in granular form, representing less than one percent of agricultural use of chlorpyrifos, will be allowed to remain on the market.

DOT Grants Extension for Indiana Ag CDL Holders

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has been notified that the seasonal period for a farm-related restricted commercial driver's license (CDL) may now be extended from 180 to 225 days for the remainder of 2019.  All drivers covered by the waiver must have held a motor vehicle operator's permit for at least 1 year and have a good driving record.  During the 45-day extension, farm-related restricted CDL holders will continue to be limited to operating Group B and C vehicles.  Restricted CDL holders will continue to be limited to operating no more than 150 miles from the place of business.  Click here to see the terms and conditions of the waiver.

OSHA Begins Using New Inspection Weighting System

OSHA recently implemented the OSHA Weighting System (OWS) for fiscal year (FY) 2020.  The new weighting system for workplace inspections will replace the current system that was initiated in FY 2015.  Under the current enforcement weighting system, OSHA weights certain inspections based on the time taken to complete the inspection or, in some cases, the impact of the inspection on workplace safety and health.  OWS recognizes that time is not the only factor to assess when considering the potential impact of an inspection.  Other factors - such as types of hazards inspected and abated, and effective targeting - also influence the impact on workplace safety and health.  The new system adds enforcement initiatives such as the Site-Specific Targeting to the weighting system.

The new system is based on an evaluation of the existing criteria and a working group’s recommendations regarding improvements to the existing weighting system.  OSHA has been running the new weighting system currently to confirm data integrity.  The system will continue to weight inspections, but will do so based on other factors, including agency priorities and the impact of inspections, rather than simply on a time-weighted basis.  The new OWS approach reinforces OSHA’s balanced approach to occupational safety and health (i.e., strong and fair enforcement, compliance assistance and recognition) and will incorporate the three major work elements performed by the field: enforcement activity, essential enforcement support functions (e.g., severe injury reporting and complaint resolution), and compliance assistance efforts.

National Labor Law Poster Updates

Considering the magnitude of state and federal agencies in existence today, it’s no surprise that labor laws are constantly changing.  The Federal Wage and Labor Law Institute (FWLLI) tracks these updates for us and we provide results for you.  Wondering if you need a poster update?  Click here to check for the latest Federal and/or State updates to the labor law posters.
Asmark Institute, Inc. This information is believed to be reliable by the Asmark Institute, however, because of constantly changing government regulations, interpretations and applicability or the possibility of human, mechanical or computer error, the Asmark Institute does not guarantee the information as suitable for any particular purpose.