State Affairs Update

  • On March 20, 2019

The playing field has generally been set for the 2019 state legislative sessions. Without a doubt, the issue garnering the most attention, in almost every state, is hemp. To date, 352 bills have been filed in the states relating to hemp. This flurry of activity is a direct response to the recent deregulation of hemp production in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Beyond the topic of hemp we haven’t seen any surprises in terms of legislation impacting the seed industry. Quite a few bills have been introduced to address pollinator protections; a few would modify state noxious weed and weed seed lists and/or processes; and others would ban crop protection materials commonly used as seed treatments. While nothing significant has passed thus far, the next 45 days will be critical in determining the legislation that has potential to move to the governor’s desk.

ASTA is watching 137 bills closely at this point. Of those, the Northeast region has the most by far, with 46. The next closest region is North Central, with 23. While not included on its official “watch list,” ASTA is monitoring the hemp bills, to see which ones get “legs.” Stay tuned – it’s about to get interesting! If you have any questions, contact Pat Miller, ASTA’s Director of State Affairs.