The following synopsis is provided by the Legislative Action Committee of the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association on the proceedings related to bill HB 1171.
For the third year in a row, a bill (HB 1171) heavily supported by specialty crop growers, organic growers, beekeepers and even some conventional commodity crop growers was defeated by the South Dakota House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Feb. 11. The discussion on HB 1171 erroneously pitted organic growers, beekeepers and specialty crop growers against big agriculture cooperatives, chemical manufacturers, pesticide dealers, and commercial pesticide aerial and ground applicators. This bill would have required limited financial responsibility (surety bond, insurance, etc.) by commercial pesticide applicators for bodily injury or property damage in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars. This is much like the required on-road vehicle insurance requirement of the state.
Specialty crop growers and producers say the bill should be about public health, food safety, fairness and financial accountability and not the percentage of land farmed by specialty crop growers or…
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