Welcome to AGRO

AGRO, a Division of the American Chemical Society, brings together a worldwide community of scientists and stakeholders to advance knowledge and promote innovative solutions for the protection of agricultural productivity, public health and the environment.


250th ACS National Meeting
August 16-20, 2015, Boston Massachusetts
Program Theme: Innovation from Discovery to Application
AGRO Program Chair, Pamela Rice, USDA-ARS

Download the AGRO Detailed Call for Papers

Abstract submission for the 250th ACS National Meeting is now open at the ACS WebsiteThe deadline for abstract submission is March 16, 2015.  Due to requirements of a new abstract submission system, the deadline will not be extended and late abstracts will not be accepted.


2015 AGRO Education Awards for Student Travel– Provides funding assistance for university students who wish to present research and participate in AGRO events at National ACS meetings.  The deadline for applications for the 250th ACS National Meeting is March 16, 2015. Applications for Student Travel Awards should be submitted to posters@agrodiv.org.  Students should also submit a regular short abstract via the ACS website as well prior to the March 16 deadline.

2015 AGRO New Investigator Award – Recognizes scientists who have obtained doctoral degree in last five years and have produced significant accomplishments conducting research, consulting or regulatory studies.  The deadline for short abstracts for the 250th ACS National Meeting in Boston is March 16, 2015, and the deadline for the application package is March 25, 2015.

2014-2015 AGRO Lunch and Learn Webinar Series

Biopesticides: Navigating the Regulatory Landscape in the European Union and the United States

March, 4, 2015 at 12:00PM Eastern Time or 17:00 GMT


Dr. Russ JonesBiopesticides in the U.S.: Classification & Regulatory Processes
Dr. Russell Jones, USEPA

Biopesticides are distinguished from conventional chemical pesticides by their natural occurrence, minimal toxicity to humans and the environment, and low volume use.  They include biochemical and microbial pesticides and the Plant-Incorporated Protectants.  A standard tiered risk assessment paradigm of analyzing hazards and exposures is used to assess pesticidal risks to human health and the environment.  Potential risks are determined first from estimates of hazard and exposure under “worst-case” scenarios (Tier I).  Subsequent testing (Tiers II, III and IV) may be required to assess adverse effects under more realistic conditions, or when lower-tiered studies suggest potentially unacceptable risks.  Risk assessments are developed from a synthesis of test results, intended uses and the open literature to fulfill data requirements that address the primary disciplines of product chemistry and manufacturing, mammalian health and ecological effects.  The US EPA has over 20 years of regulatory experience in preparing risk assessments to support the registration of biopesticides.  The presentation will provide an overview of biopesticides, the tiered risk assessment approach, and statutes governing pesticide registration in the U.S.

Dr. Jones has a strong background in research and the field application of pesticides and plant regulators.  He received a B.A. in Biology from Mansfield University, a M.S. in Crop Science, with a minor in Soil Science from N.C. State University, and a Ph.D. in Agronomy & Crop Physiology from the University of Arkansas.  He has conducted human health and ecotoxicity  risk assessments on conventional chemicals and biopesticides for over 20 years in both private and government sectors.  Dr. Jones joined the Office of Pesticide Programs of US EPA in 1997 and currently is the Senior Biologist in the Biochemical Pesticides Branch (BPB) of the Biopesticides & Pollution Prevention Division.  As Senior Biologist, he conducts risk assessments and reviews of product chemistry, human health, ecotoxicity, and product performance studies and supervises the scientific reviews conducted by BPB staff.  Since 1999, he has been Chair of the Biochemical Classification Committee which reviews information on new pesticide active ingredients to determine if they meet the statutory criteria for classification as Biochemical pesticides.

Dr. Matthias Weidenauer Registration of Bio-pesticides in Europe under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 and its difference to the US procedure
Dr. Matthias Weidenauer, Battelle

The registration of bio-pesticides in Europe is burdened by a regulatory framework that had originally been designed for chemical active substances. Unlike the position in the US, the EU has no separate legal provisions for “non-chemical” plant protection products. The result is a set of data requirements that is partly inappropriate or difficult to interpret for bio-pesticide active substances such as micro-organisms.  In addition there is a lack of EU and OECD test guidelines for the conduction of toxicological and eco-toxicological studies with micro-organisms. Specific guidance documents from the European Commission are scarce, with several of them being published only as recently as December 2014. Whilst having ostensibly similar formal data requirements to the US, the data required to achieve authorization of the same strain in the EU tend to be more extensive which leads to significantly higher investment costs. Higher costs combined with a slower approval system, the EU presents a significant hurdle for bio-pesticides entering the market. Some of the specific requirements, issues and endeavours to improve and harmonize the global registration system for bio-pesticides will be discussed.

Dr. Weidenauer is Business Development Manager at Battelle in Geneva, Switzerland. He graduated in Chemistry from the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, Germany, where he obtained a Ph.D. Dr. Weidenauer joined Battelle in 1990 as an analytical chemist and study director for pesticide residue studies. From the late 1990’s onwards he was responsible for planning, conducting and managing regulatory programs for the registration of chemical active substances and bio-pesticides, including product chemistry, ecotoxicology, toxicology, environmental fate and residue studies.  Among others he represents Battelle at IBMA , and recently co-authored posters regarding the EU/US registration and formulation issues of bio-pesticides.