Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20) and Jim Baird (R-IN-3) have introduced legislation protecting the production and availability of plant biostimulants,
a broad class of nutrients used by many superintendents that include humic and fulvic acids and seaweed and plant extracts. These important products can improve natural plant nutritional processes, which can result in improved plant health and
tolerance to abiotic and other environmental stresses. Currently there is no consistent and predictable path to market in the United States for biostimulants, which threatens their availability. H.R. 7752, the “Plant Biostimulant
Act”, would address these concerns and protect biostimulant access for golf course management by:
- Establishing a uniform definition for plant biostimulants, as well as definitions for similar products such as “nutritional chemicals” and “vitamin hormones”.
- Amending federal regulations to include these new definitions.
- Excluding these definitions from regulation under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
- Requiring the US Department of Agriculture to study how plant biostimulant products can contribute to soil health.
GCSAA supports this bipartisan legislation. GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said, “I’d like to thank Congressmen Panetta and Baird for sponsoring H.R. 7752. Plant biostimulants help superintendents provide healthy greenspaces that benefit everyone. This legislation will help ensure golf’s access to this valuable product.”
The Plant Biostimulant Act has been referred to the House Agriculture Committee. GCSAA will continue to advocate in support as well as identify potential legislative vehicles for its inclusion, such as the 2023 Farm Bill.