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S.F. No. 1674 - Omnibus Agriculture Policy (First Engrossment)
 
Author: Senator Bill Weber
 
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
 
Date: March 20, 2017



 

 ARTICLE 1. AGRICULTURE POLICY.

Section 1 [Advisory inspections] removes an exception for dairy and food inspections to the general law on state agency advisory inspections.

Section 2 [Tractor rollover protection grants] modifies the tractor rollover protection grant program to provide grants for 100 percent of the cost to schools for rollover protection structures.  This is from SF 357, Frentz.

Sections 3 to 5 [Corn check-off] provides for the corn check-off payments to be collected on corn grown outside of Minnesota and first purchased in the state.

Sections 6 to 7 [Technical] are technical changes related to the dairy law recodification in Article 2.

Sections 8 to 9 [Pesticide law definitions] adds definitions for “experimental use permit” and “experimental use pesticide product” for the purposes of the pesticide law.

Section 10 [Label compliance] prohibits the Commissioner of Agriculture from requiring an applicator to demonstrate label compliance and need prior to use of a pesticide.

Sections 11 and 12 [Pesticide testing] allows testing of pesticides that are not registered.

Section 13 [Experimental pesticide use product application] makes technical changes to the experimental use pesticide product labeling.

Section 14 [Pesticide education and training] adds pest management concerns to the pesticide education and training program.

Section 15 [Structural pest control applicator notice] requires a notice inside a renter’s apartment when a structural pest application has occurred within the apartment by a licensed structural pest control applicator.

Sections 16 to 17  [Minnesota Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Program] extends the expiration dates for both the Minnesota Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council and the Minnesota Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Program to June 30, 2020.  Under current law, the council and the program expired on January 8, 2017.  The bill provides a retroactive effective date of January 7, 2017, for the extension in order to revive the council and program.  This change will line up these expiration dates with the current expiration date for the Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education account.  The council decides on grants for agricultural fertilizer research and education from money collected on an additional fee of 40 cents per ton on fertilizer.  The additional fee expires on June 30, 2019.  This is from SF 960, Westrom.

Section 18 [Nursery stock sales; municipalities] allows municipalities to sell certified nursery stock without a nursery stock certificate under certain conditions.

Section 20 [Nursery stock dealer certificate] allows applications for nursery stock dealer certificates to be electronically date stamped.

Sections 21 to 24 [Certified seed potatoes; lab] allows potatoes grown in a lab to be certified seed potatoes based on an examination of the lab protocol and inspection of the seed potatoes.

Sections 25 to 45 [Feed law update] makes a number of changes to the feed law to update the law.  Most of the changes are technical.  One more substantive change is to provide for administrative appeals of penalties to the Commissioner of Agriculture in a contested case procedure before appealing to the Court of Appeals (Section 45).

Sections 46 to 47 [Wholesale produce dealer licensing] removes financial information on the whole produce dealer application and specifies specific bond amounts required for licensed wholesale produce dealers that are based on monthly produce purchases.

Section 48 [Food Safety and Defense Task Force] extends the Food Safety and Defense Task Force an additional ten years to June 30, 2027.  This is from Sf 1545, Westrom.

Section 49 [Meat inspection; definition of animals] will allow the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to provide meat inspection for other domesticated animals, regardless of size.  Current law limits this to large domesticated animals.  One of the reasons for the change is to clearly allow inspection services for rabbits.  This is from Sf 1545, Westrom.

Section 50 [Dairy Authority facility development] provides that the Dairy Research, Teaching, and Consumer Education Authority does not need to acquire a site used for its activities.  This section also provides that the authority only needs to provide facilities and activities where “practicable.”

Section 51 [Dairy Authority expiration] eliminates the need to acquire a site for the purposes of the expiration provision and extends the expiration date for when the dairy facility must be identified to August 1, 2020.

Section 52 [Technical] is a technical change related to the dairy law recodification in Article 2.

Sections 53 to 57 [RFA; net worth limits] updates the net worth limitations for Rural Finance Authority Loans to reflect 2017 values.  The loan programs updated are:

  • restructured loans;
  • beginning farmer loans;
  • agricultural improvement loans;
  • livestock expansion loans; and
  • agricultural bond beginning farmer loans.

Section 58 [Entrepreneurs eligible] eliminates the requirement that only Minnesota entrepreneurs are eligible for assistance from the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI).  The projects will continue to be required to benefit Minnesota’s agricultural commodities and products.

Section 59 [AURI Board of Directors] expands the AURI board to include two at-large representatives.

Section 60 [Research grants to other organizations] removes language for AURI on the duty to provide research grants to other organizations.  AURI will continue to be able to make grants to other organizations under Minnesota Statutes, section 116Y.01, subdivision 5, but it will not be listed as a duty.

Section 61 [AURI staff] provides that the AURI Board of Directors will hire AURI’s executive director, but will not need to vote on all staff hired.

Section 62 [AURI bylaws] provides for publishing AURI’s bylaws on their Web site rather than in the State Register.

Section 63 [Meetings] clarifies that the AURI board will be able to conduct meetings by telephone or other electronic means under existing provisions related to state boards and other agencies, commissions, or departments.

Section 64 [Conflict of interest] provides that an AURI director, employee, or officer may not advocate for or vote on a decision where the person has a conflict of interest.  Current law prohibits participation and voting in these decisions.  This section also adds clarifying language on the employees and officers conflicts.

Section 65 [Funds] increases the amount of expenditures that must be approved by the AURI board to $50,000 from $25,000.  This section also provides the board approval requirement for receipts over $50,000 and removes language on placing nonstate source money received into depositories.

Section 66 [Audits] removes the requirement for an annual audit of AURI by the Legislative Auditor and replaces it with an annual financial audit by an independent auditor.  The Legislative Auditor will continue to audit AURI, based on the auditor’s schedule for auditing.  It also requires that the annual audit be filed with the Office of Attorney General, Charities Division, rather than with the Secretary of State.

Section 67 [Grain buyer’s bond disbursement] requires grain buyer’s bonds to be dispersed within 200 days from the date the Commissioner of Agriculture publishes public notice of a claim.

Section 68 [Public grain warehouse operator’s bond disbursement] requires public grain warehouse operator’s bonds to be dispersed within 200 days from the date the Commissioner of Agriculture publishes public notice of a claim.

Section 69 [Revisor’s instruction] directs the Revisor to renumber definitions in the pesticide law.

Section 70 [Repealer] repeals Minnesota Statutes, sections:

               18B.01, subdivisions 10a, 10b, and 22a – genetically engineered pesticide definitions;

               18B. 285 – genetically engineered pesticide registration;

               25.371, subdivisions 1 and 3 to 15 – good manufacturing practices for feed; and

               41D.01, subdivision 4 – Agriculture Education Leadership Council expiration.

 

ARTICLE 2. DAIRY LAW REORGANIZATION.

               Article 2 recodifies the current dairy law into new Minnesota statutes, chapter 32D, from the current Minnesota Statutes, chapter 32.

 

 
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