Monday, August 31, 2015


Press Release Eddy County Cooperative Extension Service 1304 West Stevens Carlsbad, NM 88220 For More Information, Contact: Woods Houghton, Eddy County Agriculture Agent Eddy County Cooperative Extension Service Phone: 575-887-6595 Fax: 575-887-3795 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FALL OR WINTER GARDENING The same basic steeps for fall and winter gardening apply to winter gardening, but in some ways the first two steps are even more critical to be successful. Step one is know your climate, which is different from know your weather. In Eddy County it is difficult because we go from hot to cool to cold then back to cool in a short period of time. Predicting the first frost is always a crap shoot it seems. Using weather data from the Artesia Agriculture Experiment Station for a 32 F frost the earliest recorded is September 18 in 1968 the latest is November 16 in 1978, and 88. The most common is October 24. Likewise for a killing frost 28 F the earliest is October 8 1976 the latest is November 28 1970 and the most common is November 3. The Artesia Station posts it data daily on the Eddy County Agriculture and master gardener Facebook pages, including soil temp. Of course this changes a day or two further south or north. Around these data prepare to take action to protect your plants. Step two is plan before you plant. For a winter or fall garden you want to plan for the sun moving a little further south and take advantage of as much sunlight as possible. Also take advantage of heat adsorbing structures such as walls, these can radiate heat a night and extend your growing season up to a week. Step three is preparing the soil. Healthy soil makes health plants; healthy plants make healthy people. I try not to disturb the soil structure as much as possible by minimal tillage or no tillage. There are a number of techniques to do that. Step four is fertilizing for optimum crop production. A German agronomist a long time ago came up with the axiom that you can only produce to the minimum limiting nutrient. If you don’t test your soil you don’t know for sure what that is. It does not do any good to put on a lot of what is already there. Step five is to plant your garden semi hardy vegetable for late summer or early fall include Broccoli, most gardener’s in Eddy County plant this at the wrong time in the spring it does much better when planted in the fall. Turnips, I remember we always threw in some turnip seed with the fall planted alfalfa. Garlic, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, Kohlrabi, kale, spinach, lettuce, radish and European cabbage all do well in the fall. Someone asked me about winter squash. The winter part of the name has nothing to do with when you plant it but when it is consumed. Before current food preservation techniques were available squash varieties which could be stored and consumed in the winter was called winter squash. I have the diary of a pioneer relative in my family and every January there was a note, “All there is to eat is squash and jerky.” Step six is to water properly. As the day time temperature drop the water demands of the plant are reduced so water based on soil moisture not on the day of the week. It is still good to water deep and not as often as the roots grow deeper. Step seven is to control pest. That is one of the good things of fall and winter gardening often the number of insects competing for the food is less. You do need to be mindful of winter annual weeds which because you are watering will germinate early. Step eight is to harvest at the right time. New Mexico Extension Vegetable Specialist Dr. Walker has an excellent publication on how to know when to harvest. You can down load it from our web page or we can mail you a copy. As the cold weather approaches plant protection will need to be constructed, such as plastic grow tunnels or other measures will be necessary. New Mexico Extension also has plans for hoop house that can be constructed in the fall. Subscribe to Eddy County Ag news at: Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating.

EPA Proposes Rules to Improve Hazardous Waste Management and Better Protect our Waterways

EPA Proposes Rules to Improve Hazardous Waste Management and Better Protect our Waterways New Rules Also Reduce Regulatory Burden on Businesses WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing two new hazardous waste rules to strengthen environmental protection while reducing regulatory burden on businesses. One of the proposed rules will protect waterways, including drinking and surface water, by preventing the flushing of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals and simplify the requirements for healthcare workers. The other rule will provide greater flexibility to industry while requiring new safeguards to protect the public from mismanagement of hazardous waste. “These rules provide businesses with certainty and the flexibility they need to successfully operate in today’s marketplace,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “The proposals will improve the safety and health of our communities by providing clear, flexible, and protective hazardous waste management standards.” The proposed hazardous waste pharmaceuticals rule will make our drinking and surface water safer and healthier by reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals entering our waterways. EPA’s proposal is projected to prevent the flushing of more than 6,400 tons of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals annually by banning healthcare facilities from flushing hazardous waste pharmaceuticals down the sink and toilet. The proposed rule will reduce the burden on healthcare workers and pharmacists working in healthcare facilities by creating a specific set of regulations for these facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and retail stores with pharmacies and reverse distributors that generate hazardous waste. EPA’s proposed generator rule will enhance the safety of facilities, employees, and the general public by improving labeling of hazardous waste and emergency planning and preparedness. The proposal will also reduce burden by providing greater flexibility in how facilities and employees manage their hazardous waste and make the regulations easier to understand. EPA solicited public comment on improving hazardous waste management from states, healthcare facilities, retailers, facilities generating hazardous waste, and other key stakeholders. Both proposals directly address the challenges raised by these stakeholders in implementing and complying with hazardous waste regulations. The Agency will accept public comments on the proposal for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. Read Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus’ blog “Making Hazardous Waste Regulations Work for Today’s Marketplace” here: For additional information on these proposed rules, including how to submit comments, visit: R231

Hunting seasons ramp up across New Mexico

Hunting seasons ramp up across New Mexico SANTA FE – Many hunters will be taking to the woods and fields across New Mexico starting Sept. 1, the opening day for deer, elk and turkey archery hunts and for most small game and upland game birds. Hunting seasons for doves, blue grouse, band-tailed pigeons and squirrels will open in many areas of the state starting Sept. 1. Licenses, maps, questionnaires and other related materials are available online at the Game and Fish Department’s website, The 2015-16 migratory game-bird hunting rules and information booklet is available on the department website. Printed copies will be available soon at game and fish offices and license vendors. The department will accept draw applications for sandhill crane and pheasant hunts from Sept. 2 to Sept. 30. Apply online with a customer account at or by phone at (888) 248-6866. A list of available hunt dates and more information about bag limits and seasons is available on the department website. This year, department staff manning crane harvest check stations also will inspect harvested ducks for evidence of avian flu, said Kristin Madden, bird program manager for the department. Pronghorn antelope hunting season began in early August and is ongoing while big-game muzzleloader and rifle hunts commence later in the fall and continue through the early winter. An estimated 36,000 elk hunters, 27,000 deer hunters, 4,400 pronghorn hunters and 30,000 small-game and bird hunters are expected to be in the field this season. The Department of Game and Fish urges all hunters to stress safety while in the field, especially during archery seasons when hunters commonly are dressed in camouflage. Hikers, bikers and others using the back country during hunting seasons are encouraged to wear bright clothing so they are easily visible to hunters. For more information about hunting in New Mexico please visit the Department’s website at

Department seeks next generation of conservation officers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, AUG. 28, 2015: Department seeks next generation of conservation officers SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish is seeking qualified men and women to join the next generation of Conservation Officers who protect and conserve the state’s wildlife. The department is accepting applications for game warden trainees with a starting pay of $17.03 an hour with an increase upon successful completion of required training. Prior law enforcement experience is not required, but successful applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree in a related field, pass a psychological and medical exam, and fitness and drug tests. Recruits will receive basic training at the Law Enforcement Academy and on-the-job training before working alone in the field. Conservation officers enforce New Mexico’s game and fish laws and investigate and pursue criminal and civil cases against offenders. They also educate the public about wildlife and wildlife management, conduct wildlife surveys, investigate wildlife damage to crops and property, assist in wildlife relocations and help develop new rules and regulations. Interested applicants can get more information about conservation officer duties, educational and physical requirements, training, and employee benefits by visiting the Enforcement page on the department’s website, Those interested in a career with the department can contact Lt. Brady Griffith, department recruiting officer, (505) 795-1700 or ###

Ranching sign language

Ranching sign language by Julie Carter The rancher’s wife stands at the gate waiting for him to make up his mind which direction he is going to go with the small herd of cattle he’s bringing to the pens. She sees him look at the cattle that are trotting a little faster than he’d like and then glance at her, but he says nothing. With long established telepathy, she knows by watching him she’s got the wrong gate open even though it’s the one he told her to have ready. She slams her gate and runs as fast as boots, spurs and chaps will let her to the other gate that is now the one that needs opened. The language that is spoken and more often not spoken at the ranch requires visual skills as well as interpretive ones. Some days the meaning comes through loud and clear without words. Cattle and horses speak to their owners through patterns and natural instincts. A mother cow will eventually give away the location of her hidden new baby if you just quietly watch her trying to not give it away. She will look every which way but the right one until at one point, she’ll glance the direction of her calf. A baby calf, falling behind the herd while you are driving them, will get a look in his eye that reads in the next second you are going to see him with his tail curled up over his back, eyes glazed over, and leaving to go back to where he came from before you bothered him. By instinct, he will return to the last place he suckled his momma and wait for her return. A horse’s ears will perk up to attention while you ride through the brush and you can bet the bank he’s heard, seen or smelled something you haven’t. If the rider will pay attention, a horse will find more cattle in the brush than a rider will ever see on his own. Ranch husband and wife communications, while pretty much the same across the land, take on a bit more animation and sometimes humor. The “funny” often doesn’t arrive until later, and sometimes much later, like years later, when the story is retold. While she’s chunking rocks at the bulls to get them through the gate and he’s hollering it’s the wrong gate, or wrong cattle or wrong something, the next rock chunking usually is directly at him. Not hard to interpret that. A time-proven cowboy trick is to loudly give the wife instruction that she doesn’t need, but that someone else within hearing does. Rather than offend the “help” that he won’t scold, he makes her look less than capable with his admonitions to her in hopes the one who needs to hear it will. It usually fails in its intended mission and the chill in the air at the ranch house could last for days. A can of Spam served on a plate, still in the can mind you, is a not so subtle hint of the relationship infraction. A nod, a whistle, a wave or a shake of his head speaks an entire language to his partner who most often is also the cook. Better judgment on his part is not always in use when communicating his thoughts. He knows that there is fine line between making a point and her quitting him all together. Sometimes though, he just has to ask, “You mean the marriage license didn’t include ‘for better or worse’ and for mind reading?” Julie, a fair hand at reading cowboy sign language and dishing out a bit of it herself, can be reached for comment at Posted by Frank DuBois at 6:32 AM No comments: Permalink Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest Labels: Julie Carter

Domenici Conference

Domenici Conference Within our campus community, we have many extracurricular lectures and events that promote discovery and enrich the student experience. It is important to encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities that enhance their coursework. I hope you will join me in this effort. One such event is the Domenici Public Policy Conference. I host this conference each year and guide its planning. It is free to all university students and I seek your assistance in encouraging students to attend. The conference will be held at the Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Avenue, Sept. 16 and 17. This annual event – now in its eighth year – will highlight recent developments in four trending policy areas: the nation’s aging infrastructure, U.S. energy independence, regional economic development and Middle East policy. At the close of each speaker’s session, we will have staff outside the conference room ready to hand out tickets to students who attended the session. The ticket can be used to confirm a student’s attendance, for example, if you are in a position to offer extra credit or make the conference part of an assignment. Students can register for the entire conference or just one session. While they attend for free, registration is still required. Registrations are accepted online until 5 p.m., Sept. 14. For members of the public, faculty and staff, the two-day conference costs $50. The full agenda and registration information can be found at: For more information, call 646-2066. Lastly, some of you may know that university students from across the state compete each spring for an opportunity to question the conference speakers. I would like to recognize the six NMSU students who were awarded positions on the Domenici Student Panel. They are: Michael Alarid Barrio, Rhetoric and Professional Communication; Bethany Blundell, Journalism and Mass Communications; Chu Hui Cha, Counseling Psychology; Aaron Lindsay, Chemical Engineering; Angie Mestas, Agricultural Biology; and, Kristen Sullivan, Government. Congratulations! Thank you for your help with this important effort.


PEARCE PARTICIPATES IN AGTRUE TOUR Congressman Pearce joined many of New Mexico’s elected officials on a special tour hosted by the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau this week that highlighted the rich agriculture community in New Mexico. “Agriculture is a vital part of New Mexico’s history, and is likewise an important piece of our economic future. What was most impressive about the AgTrue Tour was the special attention that was given to young farmers and ranchers in our state. It is essential that we begin to mentor the millennial generation so that they are prepared to take on the issues facing New Mexico, and so that they have the tools to leave it a better place than when they found it,” Pearce said. “The agriculture community as a whole is one which is based in family and a disciplined work ethic, and it was honor as always to spend time with some of the people who contribute to this rich culture.”

NMSU teams up with University of Arizona to train Mexican universities in extension

NMSU teams up with University of Arizona to train Mexican universities in extension DATE: 08/31/2015 WRITER: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, CONTACT: Eduardo Medina, 575-646-2925, New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service has partnered with the University of Arizona to help several Mexican universities increase their capacity to develop and deliver extension programs in rural communities throughout Mexico. Members of the NMSU team, along with the rectors and representatives of 19 Mexican universities, traveled to Washington, D.C., in early August to meet with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and congressional staff. Since then, the NMSU team has made site and training visits to the University of Chihuahua, University of Guanajuato and four University of Guadalajara campuses. The program, called Project REINU, or Red De Extensión e Innovación Nacional Universitaria, has been in the works for about a year and has spread rapidly throughout Mexico. “The basic concept of REINU has been a 15-year conversation between Mexico and the U.S., championed by Dr. David Hansen (of NMSU),” said Paul Gutierrez, a professor and extension specialist in the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences’ Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business. “Dr. Hansen’s vision was for a Mexican extension model sustainable beyond the next government, and one that makes a real and substantive impact on rural poverty in Mexico. Dr. Hansen believed, as many of us do, that a university-led extension model is the key to a sustainable Mexico extension model – REINU. Dr. Hansen also recognized that positive rural development in Mexico, led by university-based extension programs, could be the most effective immigration policy for Mexico and the U.S.” Mexico’s secretary for agriculture, livestock, rural development, fisheries and nutrition, or SAGARPA (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación), is also supporting Project REINU and is funding the initiative. “We have been sharing best practices of the land-grant model with our Mexican university colleagues in an intentional effort to help them institutionalize REINU Extension work on their campuses and in their rural communities,” Gutierrez said. “We originally started with six universities and ended up with 19 universities with seven hub universities.” Both NMSU and the University of Arizona are land-grant universities. Recently, Project REINU has expanded to a total of 52 universities, Gutierrez said. The rapid expansion leaves room for more U.S.-based universities to get involved, provided the Mexican government continues its commitment to the project. Officials from the University of Arizona have said the goal is to include 80 universities in Project REINU by 2018. “REINU is an example of a bridge in binational education and extensions,” said Cristina Morán Mirabal, the project’s coordinator at the University of Guadalajara. “It’s a long and difficult to cross bridge, but is a really necessary bridge for all the rural communities in Mexico. This is the reason why all the universities that are participating along with the government have as a flag the commitment to serve and improve the opportunities of all these rural communities.” So far, teams from NMSU and the University of Arizona have visited Mexico several times to learn about youth and agricultural programs there, and representatives from universities of Mexico have visited NMSU and the University of Arizona to attend training sessions and learn more about extension. Mexican Deputy Secretary of Rural Development Juan Manuel Verdugo Rosas said his country’s partnership with NMSU and the University of Arizona will help with strategies, tools and technologies that will improve the quality of life in rural communities. As a result of the partnership, the public and private Mexican universities have helped 57 rural communities in 14 states in Mexico and have directly benefitted 10,000 producers, Verdugo Rosas said. Verdugo Rosas also pointed out that 57 coordinators, 166 researchers and teachers and more than 600 university students in Mexico have participated in Project REINU. Gutierrez said the project’s initial focus is on youth development, with the hope that it will eventually gain the trust and interest of parents in rural communities. In April, representatives from the University of Chihuahua visited the NMSU campus to learn about research, instruction and extension. They visited NMSU’s Experiment Stations and observed crop and livestock research, learned how the NMSU County Extension office operates and the programs it offers, and spent time observing and interacting with 4-H youth faculty, members and volunteer leaders in order to gain an understanding of the 4-H program. Eduardo Medina, the small farm and ranch outreach coordinator for NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service Economics and Economic Development, said Project REINU will take advantage of Mexico’s culture of volunteerism, which comes from Mexico’s requirement that every college student obtain 480 hours of community service by their last semester in school. Medina said he hopes freshmen students will eventually train others when they become seniors. The project will also eventually include student participation on the U.S. side. One of the first NMSU students on board is Kimberly Salinas, a freshman track athlete who is studying athletic training. “As a student, you want to learn how to be involved and have leadership experience helping people,” Salinas said. “Through this experience, I think it will be the best way to learn rather than reading about it.” For more information about Project REINU, contact Gutierrez at, Medina at or Luz Urquijo at

NMDA recives Section 18 for Sugarcane Aphids

EPA has approved our request for a Section 18 (emergency exemption) for the use of Transform WG on sorghum for sugarcane aphids. I have attached a copy of the Section 18 label that must be followed for this use. In addition, NMDA is requiring that anyone using Transform in accordance with this Section 18 needs to report to NMDA the acres treated and the amount of product used per acre. This information can be sent to me at the end of the growing season via email. This emergency exemption is effective Aug. 27-Nov. 30, 2015. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me via email or at the phone number below. Thank you, Erica Millette Program Coordinator New Mexico Department of Agriculture 3190 South Espina Pesticide Compliance Section/ MSC 3AQ PO Box 30005 Las Cruces, NM 88003-8005 575-646-4697

Thursday, August 27, 2015

USDA Expands Farm Safety Net, Offers Greater Flexibility for Beginning, Organic and Fruit and Vegetable Growers

Release No. 0239.15 Contact: John Shea (202) 690-0437 USDA Expands Farm Safety Net, Offers Greater Flexibility for Beginning, Organic and Fruit and Vegetable Growers Whole Farm Coverage Now Available in Every County Across the Nation WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2015 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that Whole-Farm Revenue Protection insurance will be available in every county in the nation in 2016. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is also making changes to the policy to help farmers and ranchers with diversified crops including beginning, organic, and fruit and vegetable growers, better access Whole-Farm Revenue Protection. "Whole-Farm Revenue Protection insurance allows producers who have previously had limited access to a risk management safety net, to insure all of the commodities on their farm at once instead of one commodity at a time," said Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden. "That gives them the option of embracing more crop diversity on their farm and helps support the production of a wider variety of foods." USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) introduced the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection pilot program for a majority of counties in the 2015 insurance year. Starting with the 2016 insurance year, the new program will be available in all counties in the United States, a first for the federal crop insurance program. USDA also provided additional flexibility to producers by making the following changes, including: • Beginning Farmers and Ranchers – RMA makes it easier for more beginning farmers and ranchers to participate in the program by reducing the required records from five to three historical years, plus farming records from the past year. Additionally, any beginning farmer and rancher may qualify by using the former farm operator's federal farm tax records if the beginning farmer or rancher assumes at least 90 percent of the farm operation • Livestock Producers – RMA removed the previous cap that limited participants to those who received 35 percent or less of their income from livestock production. Producers will now be able to insure up to $1 million worth of animals and animal products. • Expanding Operations – RMA increased the cap on historical revenue for expanding operations to 35 percent from its previous 10 percent to better allow growing farms the opportunity to cover their growth in the insurance guarantee. Whole-Farm Revenue Protection includes a wide range of available coverage levels, provides coverage for replanting annual commodities, includes provisions that increase coverage for expanding operations, and allows the inclusion of market readiness costs in the coverage. The policy is tailored for most farms, including farms with specialty or organic commodities (both crops and livestock), or those marketing to local, regional, farm-identity preserved, specialty, or direct markets. The policy covers farms or ranches with up to $8.5 million in insured revenue. For more information, including product availability, visit the RMA Whole-Farm Web page. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at Whole-Farm Revenue Protection is a provision of the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and saving billions of taxpayer dollars. To date, USDA has implemented many provisions of this crucial legislation, providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit #

Weekly Texas Hay Report

AM_GR310 Amarillo, TX Fri Aug 21, 2015 USDA Market News Weekly Texas Hay Report Compared to last report: Hay prices were mostly steady except for average and rained on ground Alfalfa were 5.00-10.00 lower due to the abundance available. Trade activity was slow on light to moderate demand. Dairies and feedlots have begun to make inquiries but not much movement yet. Panhandle had several thunderstorms in the area this week making movement difficult as well. Meanwhile, the opposite in East and South Texas with Coastal Bermuda producers needing rain for another hay cutting. Producers are holding prices steady and plan to go up if it does not rain soon. Livestock remain in good condition this summer with no supplemental feeding. Prices for hay and pellets quoted per ton except where noted. The Texas Department of Agriculture has Hay and Grazing Hot Line set up for Buyers and sellers looking for hay or grazing; the number is 1-877-429-1998. The website for the hotline is: Panhandle/High Plains: Alfalfa: Large Bales: Delivered: Supreme to Premium 195.00-200.00; Good to Premium 150.00-195.00. Small Bales: Delivered: Good to Premium 215.00-250.00, 6.50-7.50 per bale. Chopped Alfalfa: Delivered to feedlots: 120.00-135.00. Calf hay 155.00- 175.00. Brown 114.00-120.00. Coastal Bermuda: Large Bales: Delivered: Good to Premium 180.00, 90.00 per bale. Wheat Hay: Large Bales: Delivered: 140.00-145.00; striped 125.00. Triticale: Large Bales: Delivered: 145.00. Cane: Large Bales: Delivered: 80.00. Hay Grazer: Large Bales: Delivered: 40.00-85.00. Oat Hay: Large Bales: Delivered: 80.00 per bale. Far West Texas/Trans Pecos: Alfalfa: Small Squares: FOB: Premium to Supreme 270.00-280.00, 8.00-8.50 per bale. Small Bales: Delivered: Premium to Supreme 333.00, 11.00 per bale. Large Bales: FOB: Premium to Supreme 220.00-240.00. Large Bales: Delivered: Premium to Supreme 235.00-255.00; Good 190.00-220.00; Fair or Rained on 125.00. North, Central, and East Texas: Alfalfa: Large Bales: Delivered: Premium to Supreme 240.00-260.00; Good 200.00-220.00; Fair or rained on 140.00. Coastal Bermuda: Small Squares: FOB: Good to Premium 230.00-265.00, 7.00-8.00 per bale. Large Rounds: FOB: Good to Premium 120.00-130.00, 60.00-65.00 per roll; Fair to Good 80.00-100.00, 40.00-50.00 per bale. South Texas: Coastal Bermuda: Small Squares: FOB: Good to Premium 230.00-265.00, 7.00-8.00 per bale. Large Rounds: FOB and delivered locally: Good to Premium 120.00-140.00; 60.00- 70.00 per roll; Fair to Good 70.00-100.00,35.00-50.00 per roll. Table 1: Alfalfa guidelines (for domestic livestock use and not more than 10% grass) Quality ADF NDF *RFV **TDN-100% **TDN-90% CP Supreme <27 <34 >185 >62 >55.9 >22 Premium 27-29 34-36 170-185 60.5-62 54.5-55.9 20-22 Good 29-32 36-40 150-170 58-60 52.5-54.5 18-20 Fair 32-35 40-44 130-150 56-58 50.5-52.5 16-18 Utility >35 >44 <130 <56 <50.5 <16 *RFV calculated using the Wis/Minn formula. **TDN calculated using the western formula. Quantitative factors are approximate, and many factors can affect feeding value. Values based on 100% dry matter (TDN showing both 100% & 90%). Guidelines are to be used with visual appearance and intent of sale (usage). Table 2: Grass Hay guidelines Quality Crude Protein Percent Premium Over 13 Good 9-13 Fair 5-9 Utility Under 5 Quantitative factors are approximate, and many factors can affect feeding value. Values based on 100% dry matter. End usage may influence hay price or value more than testing results. Hay Quality Designation's physical descriptions: Supreme: Very early maturity, pre bloom, soft fine stemmed, extra leafy. Factors indicative of very high nutritive content. Hay is excellent color and free of damage. Premium: Early maturity, i.e., pre-bloom in legumes and pre head in grass hays, extra leafy and fine stemmed-factors indicative of a high nutritive content. Hay is green and free of damage. Good: Early to average maturity, i.e., early to mid-bloom in legumes and early head in grass hays, leafy, fine to medium stemmed, free of damage other than slight discoloration. Fair: Late maturity, i.e., mid to late-bloom in legumes, head-in grass hays, moderate or below leaf content, and generally coarse stemmed. Hay may show light damage. Utility: Hay in very late maturity, such as mature seed pods in legumes or mature head in grass hays, coarse stemmed. This category could include hay discounted due to excessive damage and heavy weed content or mold. Defects will be identified in market reports when using this category. Source: USDA Market News Service, Amarillo, TX 806/372-6361 - 0915c ldh

USDA Unveils New Strategy to Conserve Sage Grouse Habitat on Private Lands

USDA Unveils New Strategy to Conserve Sage Grouse Habitat on Private Lands Department to Invest Additional $211 Million to Help Ranchers Adopt Proven Conservation Methods PORTLAND, Ore., August 27, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a four-year strategy that will invest approximately $211 million through 2018 in conservation efforts to benefit the greater sage grouse. The strategy, known as Sage Grouse Initiative 2.0, will build on successful public and private conservation efforts made since 2010 to improve sage grouse habitat. The new plan will provide additional assistance for ranchers to make conservation improvements to their land, which mutually benefits the iconic bird and agricultural operations in 11 Western states. "The Sage Grouse Initiative has proven itself as a model for how wildlife and agriculture can coexist and thrive in harmony, and that is why we are announcing steps today that will expand this important initiative throughout the life of the 2014 Farm Bill," said Vilsack. "I applaud America's ranchers for their initiative in improving habitats and outcomes for sage grouse and other wildlife, and for their recognition that these efforts are also good for cattle, good for ranching operations, and good for America's rural economy." Since its launch in 2010, public and private partners engaged in the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) have conserved 4.4 million acres, an area twice the size of Yellowstone National Park, using voluntary and incentive-based approaches for conservation. Between 2010 and 2014, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) invested $296.5 million into SGI, which partners matched with an additional $198 million. By the end of 2018 with implementation of the SGI 2.0 strategy, NRCS and partners will invest approximately $760 million and conserve 8 million acres, an area more than seven times the size of the Great Salt Lake. NRCS leaders from California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming worked with conservation partners to develop the four-year strategy. The wildfires devastating Western communities also impact habitat for wildlife like sage grouse. Under the SGI 2.0 strategy, NRCS will focus on reducing the threat of wildfire and spread of invasive grasses after fires to restore wildlife habitat and quality livestock forage. The strategy will also focus on removing encroaching conifers, protecting rangeland from exurban development and cultivation, protecting mesic habitats like wet meadows, and reducing fence collisions. While in Oregon, Vilsack will meet with conservation partners, ranchers, and government officials who have worked through SGI to conserve sage grouse habitat. Oregon has seen success in sage grouse habitat conservation, especially through the targeted removal of conifer trees that invade sagebrush habitat. Through SGI, NRCS has helped Oregon ranchers address more than two-thirds of the conifer problem on private lands in the state's priority areas, and with SGI 2.0, anticipates 95 percent removal on priority private lands by 2018. "The Sage Grouse Initiative is making a difference because private landowners voluntarily work with us to produce results on the ground," Vilsack said. "The decisions Western ranchers and other private landowners make every day about what to do on their land will continue to have a critical impact on sage grouse." SGI conservation practices are targeted to ensure maximum benefits in the areas where they are implemented, and this focus will continue in SGI 2.0. During the past five years, SGI has increased conservation easements 18-fold and strategically located them in priority landscapes that contain the majority of the birds. These easements not only protect important lands but help stitch together the broader landscape, connecting public and private lands into a footprint of healthy habitats. These voluntary conservation practices work. Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) determined the Bi-State sage-grouse, a subpopulation of the greater sage-grouse along the California-Nevada border, did not require listing because of the conservation efforts of NRCS and partners proactively working to conserve the species. This success is seen nationwide, evidenced in the recent decisions not to list the Arctic grayling in Montana, the proposed delisting of the black bear in Louisiana, and the recent delisting of the Oregon chub. The deteriorating health of the sagebrush habitat and the greater sage-grouse has sparked an unprecedented, collaborative federal-state partnership. This comprehensive approach includes strong conservation plans for state and private lands, strong federal conservation plans, and an effective strategy to reduce rangeland fire risk. Learn more about NRCS' sage grouse conservation efforts. To get started with NRCS, visit your local USDA Service Center or #

Free Grout, Plug and Abandonment of Wells Presentation Offered to Public and Well Drillers at the Office of the State Engineer

Free Grout, Plug and Abandonment of Wells Presentation Offered to Public and Well Drillers at the Office of the State Engineer Office of the State Engineer Press Release The New Mexico Office of the State Engineer invites well drillers and the public to an informational meeting on grouts and plug and abandonment of wells. The free presentation will be held at the Office of the State Engineer Roswell District office at 1900 West Second St. on Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. The non-promotional class is being provided by Bariod. The class will provide 2 hours of CEU credits for Licensed New Mexico Drillers. For further information, please contact meeting coordinator Catherine Goetz at (575) 622-6521 ext 138.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Statement from Secretary Tom Vilsack on Updated 2015 U.S. Farm Income Forecast

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2015 - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today made the following statement: "Today's farm income forecast is heartening for all Americans. The past several years have seen unprecedented highs in farm income, and despite the fact that farm income is forecast to be down from record levels, today's projections provide a snapshot of a rural America that continues to remain stable and resilient in the face of the worst animal disease outbreak in our nation's history and while the western United States remains gripped by drought. Thanks to its ability to be competitive through thick and thin, American agriculture remains fundamentally sound, supporting and creating good-paying American jobs for millions. "The American agriculture success story is not celebrated often enough. That success is due, in part, to U.S. farmers' bold willingness to seize opportunities in new markets, both domestic and foreign, and harness the best of American technology and innovation. At the same time, markets continue to expand for locally-grown food, a market valued at $11.7 billion last year, and America's biobased economy has emerged as a new frontier for U.S. growth. The country's biobased industry contributed 4 million jobs and $369 billion to the economy in 2013, while displacing about 300 million gallons of petroleum-equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road. American agriculture achieved record exports last year and USDA continues to pursue strong new trade deals so that farm and ranch businesses don't miss out on new markets for their products. "Since 2009, USDA, under President Obama, has made historic investments in rural America and American agriculture. Two-thirds of all rural counties gained jobs over the past year and the overall economy continues a record-breaking pace of 65 straight months of private-sector job growth. USDA and the Obama Administration will continue to stand with America's farming families, small businesses and rural communities as they build a brighter future for our country on the land that they love." Full Forecast: #

Cotton or Texas Root Rot / Grasshoopers

I have been reviving a lot of call from alfalfa growers about dead spots in their hay. Most of the ones I have looked have been Cotton or Texas root rot This is one of the most difficult situations I run across. This soil fungus in the 25 years I have had to deal with it is the most unpredictable problems. For some reason it seem to be worse in some years than in others. This is one of those years. Dr. Goldberg did an excellent job on the above publication and it is worth your time to read it if you are having this problem. The photo in this publication show alfalfa death pattern. I have also been called out with large dry area that look nothing like the Cotton root rot. I have found up to 40 grasshoppers per square yard and they are consuming the young tender leaf on the alfalfa right after cutting. With out those leafs to create sugars the alfalfa has a hard time coming back. I recommend insecticidal application to give the plants a chance to get some regrowth as soon as possible after bailing. There are a number of product that are labeled for grasshoppers. Grasshopper control is never 100% but if you can give the alfalfa a chance to get some growth it will help.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why salad is so overrated

This is a recent article from the Washington Post. As population grows and resource become more limited here is some pun intended Food for thought. Why salad is so overrated Washington Post By Tamar Haspel As the world population grows, we have a pressing need to eat better and farm better, and those of us trying to figure out how to do those things have pointed at lots of different foods as problematic. Almonds, for their water use. Corn, for the monoculture. Beef, for its greenhouse gases. In each of those cases, there’s some truth in the finger-pointing, but none of them is a clear-cut villain. There’s one food, though, that has almost nothing going for it. It occupies precious crop acreage, requires fossil fuels to be shipped, refrigerated, around the world, and adds nothing but crunch to the plate. It’s salad, and here are three main reasons why we need to rethink it. Salad vegetables are pitifully low in nutrition. The biggest thing wrong with salads is lettuce, and the biggest thing wrong with lettuce is that it’s a leafy-green waste of resources. In July, when I wrote a piece defending corn on the calories-per-acre metric, a number of people wrote to tell me I was ignoring nutrition. Which I was. Not because nutrition isn’t important, but because we get all the nutrition we need in a fraction of our recommended daily calories, and filling in the rest of the day’s food is a job for crops like corn. But if you think nutrition is the most important metric, don’t direct your ire at corn. Turn instead to lettuce. One of the people I heard from about nutrition is organic consultant Charles Benbrook. He and colleague Donald Davis developed a nutrient quality index — a way to rate foods based on how much of 27 nutrients they contain per 100 calories. Four of the five lowest-ranking foods (by serving size) are salad ingredients: cucumbers, radishes, lettuce and celery. (The fifth is eggplant.) Those foods’ nutritional profile can be partly explained by one simple fact: They’re almost all water. Although water figures prominently in just about every vegetable (the sweet potato, one of the least watery, is 77 percent), those four salad vegetables top the list at 95 to 97 percent water. A head of iceberg lettuce has the same water content as a bottle of Evian (1-liter size: 96 percent water, 4 percent bottle) and is only marginally more nutritious. Take collard greens. They are 90 percent water, which still sounds like a lot. But it means that, compared with lettuce, every pound of collard greens contains about twice as much stuff that isn’t water, which, of course, is where the nutrition lives. But you’re also likely to eat much more of them, because you cook them. A large serving of lettuce feels like a bona fide vegetable, but when you saute it (not that I’m recommending that), you’ll see that two cups of romaine cooks down to a bite or two. The corollary to the nutrition problem is the expense problem. The makings of a green salad — say, a head of lettuce, a cucumber and a bunch of radishes — cost about $3 at my supermarket. For that, I could buy more than two pounds of broccoli, sweet potatoes or just about any frozen vegetable going, any of which would make for a much more nutritious side dish to my roast chicken. Lettuce is a vehicle to transport refrigerated water from farm to table. When we switch to vegetables that are twice as nutritious — like those collards or tomatoes or green beans — not only do we free up half the acres now growing lettuce, we cut back on the fossil fuels and other resources needed for transport and storage. Save the planet, skip the salad. Salad fools dieters into making bad choices. Lots of what passes for salad in restaurants is just the same as the rest of the calorie-dense diabolically palatable food that’s making us fat, but with a few lettuce leaves tossed in. Next time you order a salad, engage in a little thought experiment: Picture the salad without the lettuce, cucumber and radish, which are nutritionally and calorically irrelevant. Is it a little pile of croutons and cheese, with a few carrot shavings and lots of ranch dressing? Call something “salad,” and it immediately acquires what Pierre Chandon calls a “health halo.” Chandon, professor of marketing at INSEAD, an international business school in Fontainebleau, France, says that once people have the idea it’s good for them, they stop paying attention “to its actual nutritional content or, even worse, to its portion size.” I won’t be the first to point out that items labeled “salad” at chain restaurants are often as bad, if not worse, than pastas or sandwiches or burgers when it comes to calories. Take Applebee’s, where the Oriental Chicken Salad clocks in at 1,400 calories, and the grilled version is only 110 calories lighter. Even the Grilled Chicken Caesar, the least calorific of the salads on the regular menu, is 800 calories. Of course, salad isn’t always a bad choice, and Applebee’s has a selection of special menu items under 550 calories (many chain restaurants have a similar menu category). Applebee’s Thai Chicken Salad is only 390 calories (although it has more sodium than the Oriental Chicken Salad). Other chains, like relative newcomer Sweetgreen, have a good selection of salads that go further toward earning their health halo: more actual vegetables, less fried stuff. I asked Bret Thorn, columnist at Nation’s Restaurant News and longtime observer of the restaurant industry, about salads. “Chefs are cognizant of what’s going on in the psychology of diners,” he said. “They’re doing a kind of psychological health washing,” not just with salads, but with labels like “fresh” and “natural,” and foods that are “local” and “seasonal.” “A chef is not a nutritionist, or public health advocate,” Thorn points out. “They make food that customers want to buy.” And we want to buy things that are fried or creamy or salty or sweet, or all of those things. Which doesn’t mean that the right salad can’t be a good choice for a nutritious meal. It just means that it’s easy to get snookered. Salad has unfortunate repercussions in our food supply. Lettuce has a couple of No. 1 unenviable rankings in the food world. For starters, it’s the top source of food waste, vegetable division, becoming more than 1 billion pounds of uneaten salad every year. But it’s also the chief culprit for foodborne illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, green leafies accounted for 22 percent of all food-borne illnesses from 1998-2008. To be fair, “leafy vegetables,” the CDC category, also includes cabbage, spinach and other kinds of greens, but the reason the category dominates is that the greens are often eaten raw. As in salad. None of this is to say that salad doesn’t have a role in our food supply. I like salad, and there’s been many a time a big bowl of salad on the dinner table has kept me from a second helping of lasagna. The salads we make at home aren’t the same as the ones we buy in restaurants; according to the recipe app Yummly, its collection of lettuce-based salads average 398 calories per serving (although a few do get up into Oriental Chicken territory). An iceberg wedge, with radishes and bacon and blue-cheese dressing, is something I certainly have no plans to give up. But as we look for ways to rejigger our food supply to grow crops responsibly and feed people nutritiously, maybe we should stop thinking about salad as a wholesome staple, and start thinking about it as a resource-hungry luxury.

Feed the world? Many consumers don’t see it the way farmers do

Feed the world? Many consumers don’t see it the way farmers do Delta Farm Press Blog “We in agriculture love to say we’re feeding the world, and we think everyone is going to appreciate that — but they don’t,” says Allyson Perry. It’s generally acknowledged that the U.S. is among the most charitable countries of the world. Our humanitarian concerns are legend. There is irony, then, that surveys by the Center for Food Integrity show American consumers rank feeding the rest of the world dead last on their top 10 list of food concerns. Rather, consumers say, it’s more important for the U.S. to teach developing nations to feed themselves than to export food to them. “We in agriculture love to say we’re feeding the world, and we think everyone is going to appreciate that — but they don’t,” says Allyson Perry, senior project manager for the Center for Food Integrity, a Missouri-based organization with the mission of building consumer trust and confidence in today’s food system. “That’s just not important to them. The feeding the world concept we in agriculture like to stand on isn’t really connecting with consumers.’ Only 33 percent of the non-farm public ranked it as a priority. Contrast that to 49 percent who ranked humane treatment of farm animals as a priority. A hot button issue is genetically modified ingredients in foods, Perry says. Their surveys show “people hate GMOs — even though they may not know what they are.” Resistance to antibiotics fed to farm animals is “a real concern.” Pesticides are “extremely feared.” Organic production is growing “because people fear pesticides. They don’t necessarily understand what ‘certified organic’ means, but because they’re afraid of pesticides they’ll pay a premium for organic.” What they continue to hear from consumers on panels and in surveys, Perry says, is that they are “sincerely confused. They don’t know what all the labels mean, they don’t know what a GMO is, they can’t really define what animal well-being should entail. All they really want is to believe their food is safe. They want access to accurate information from sources they feel they can trust.” Other major concerns by survey respondents were keeping healthy foods affordable (66 percent), rising cost of food (72 percent), safety of imported foods (63 percent), and environmental sustainability in farming (49 percent).
Pesticide Training Workshop Oct 15, Nov 12 & Dec 16 Nov 1oth--Artesia 9:00 am to 4:00 pm 6 CEU’s Available $10.00 Eddy Co. Extension Office 1304 W Stevens Carlsbad NM 88220 575-887-6595 To Register Call Robyne at the Extension Office

“Salsa Recipes for Canning,”

Good morning, The following CES publication has been revised and is now available online in PDF format. Guide E-323, “Salsa Recipes for Canning,” reviewed by Nancy C. Flores and Cindy Schlenker Davies

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Statement from Secretary Tom Vilsack on Ongoing Devastating Wildfire Season

Statement from Secretary Tom Vilsack on Ongoing Devastating Wildfire Season WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2015 - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today made the following statement: "This year, we are experiencing yet another devastating wildfire season, particularly in the drought-ravaged West. Climate change, drought, fuel buildup, insects and disease are increasing the severity of unprecedented wildfire in America's forests and rangelands, which impacts the safety of people, homes and communities. Development close to forests has also increased the threat to property, with more than 46 million homes in the United States, or about 40 percent of our nation's housing, potentially at risk from wildfire. USDA works closely with the Department of Interior and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, along with other partners, to deploy the workforce, equipment, and interagency coordination necessary to respond safely and effectively to increasingly severe wildfire seasons. We are expending in excess of $150 million per week on fire suppression activities, and that will likely grow in the days and weeks ahead. Well over 26,000 firefighters and support personnel from federal, state and local agencies are deployed, along with 28 next generation and legacy air tankers, and additional aviation assets. We are now working with the U.S. Military and foreign partners, such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, to bring in additional resources. "One of our most critical assets in this fight is the courageous firefighters who work on the front lines. There are more firefighters on the ground today fighting fires than at any time in the nation's history. They work nights, weekends and holidays under difficult circumstances. While we do everything we can to reduce risk and ensure their safety, our firefighting personnel have been particularly hard hit this year. We've now lost seven precious lives over the course of this fire season, including three firefighters who perished just yesterday in Washington, and many more have been injured in the line of duty. We mourn for those lost, offer support to their families and loved ones, and pray for the continued recovery of those injured. "Secretary Jewell and I not only share common concerns for the safety of our firefighting crews, but also share a common goal of restoring resilient forests and protecting against future fire outbreaks. Over the next few weeks, we anticipate the fire season will continue to intensify, putting lives and property at risk. As the fire season endures, we will continue to employ every available resource to protect our nation's forests, our families and our communities." #

USDA Encourages Producers to Consider Risk Protection Coverage before Fall Crop Sales Deadlines

USDA Encourages Producers to Consider Risk Protection Coverage before Fall Crop Sales Deadlines 08/20/2015 03:10 PM EDT USDA Encourages Producers to Consider Risk Protection Coverage before Fall Crop Sales Deadlines Disaster Assistance is Available for Crops that are Ineligible for Federal Insurance WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2015 – Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini today encouraged producers to examine the available U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop risk protection options, including federal crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, before the sales deadline for fall crops. “Deadlines are quickly approaching to purchase coverage for fall-seeded crops,” said Dolcini. "We remind producers that crops not covered by insurance may be eligible for the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. The 2014 Farm Bill expanded NAP to include higher levels of protection. Beginning, underserved and limited resource farmers are now eligible for free catastrophic level coverage, as well as discounted premiums for additional levels of protection." Federal crop insurance covers crop losses from natural adversities such as drought, hail and excessive moisture. NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no permanent federal crop insurance program is available, including forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, bioenergy, and industrial crops. USDA has partnered with Michigan State University and the University of Illinois to create an online tool at that allows producers to determine whether their crops are eligible for federal crop insurance or NAP and to explore the best level of protection for their operation. NAP basic coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production, with higher levels of coverage, up to 65 percent of their expected production at 100 percent of the average market price, including coverage for organics and crops marketed directly to consumers. Deadlines for coverage vary by state and crop. To learn more about NAP visit or contact your local USDA Service Center. To find your local USDA Service Centers go to Federal crop insurance coverage is sold and delivered solely through private insurance agents. Agent lists are available at all USDA Service Centers or at USDA’s online Agent Locator: Producers can use the USDA Cost Estimator,, to predict insurance premium costs. NAP was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Statement from Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Loss and Injury of U.S. Forest Service Firefighters in Washington State

Statement from Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Loss and Injury of U.S. Forest Service Firefighters in Washington State WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2015 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today made the following statement regarding the loss of three U.S. Forest Service firefighters near Twisp, Wash. An additional U.S. Forest Service firefighter and two Washington State Department of Natural Resources firefighters also sustained life threatening injuries. "On Wednesday night, we received the news that three U.S. Forest Service firefighters lost their lives battling a wildfire near the town of Twisp, Washington. We mourn the loss of the brave firefighters whose commitment to duty was so deep that they gave their own lives to protect others. We also extend our profound sympathies to the families and loved ones of the fallen, whose sacrifices are equally worthy of honor, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are recovering from injuries sustained in the line of duty. As we press on through an extraordinarily challenging wildfire season, we are reminded yet again of the perils our firefighters face as they protect communities from wildfire. Our firefighting personnel have been particularly hard hit this year and we've lost several lives. We continue to mourn for them and offer support to their families. On behalf of the American people, thank you to those who keep us safe." #

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

USDA Announces Incentives to Establish Biomass Crops

USDA Announces Incentives to Establish Biomass Crops 08/19/2015 03:02 PM EDT Release No. 0115.15 USDA Announces Incentives to Establish Biomass Crops Deadline for Incentives to Harvest Biomass Residues is Sept. 4 WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini announced that enrollment begins today for farmers and forest landowners seeking financial assistance for growing new sources of biomass for energy or biobased products within designated projects areas. The funds are available from the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Biomass energy facilities or groups of producers may submit proposals for new BCAP project areas. Proposals will be accepted on through Nov. 6, 2015. USDA will also allocate $7.7 million towards four existing BCAP project areas in New York, North Carolina, Ohio/Pennsylvania and Kansas/Oklahoma, targeting the establishment of an additional 10,500 acres of shrub willow, giant miscanthus, and switchgrass for energy. Project area sponsors include Chemtex International, Aloterra Energy LLC, Abengoa Biomass LLC and ReEnergy Holdings LLC. Farmers and forest landowners may enroll for biomass establishment and maintenance payments for these four sites through Sept. 25, 2015. In June, USDA began accepting applications from foresters and farmers seeking financial assistance for removing biomass residues from fields or national forests for delivery to energy generation facilities; the deadline for those applications is Sept. 4, 2015. The retrieval payments are provided at a cost-share match of $1 for $1 up to $20 per dry ton with eligible crops including corn residue, diseased or insect infested wood materials, or orchard waste. The energy facility must first be approved by USDA to accept the biomass crop, and deliveries to the facilities can continue until Dec. 11, 2015. The 2014 Farm Bill authorizes funding each year for the program to assist with the establishment and delivery of biomass for energy or biobased products. To date, BCAP has provided incentives for producers across more than 48,000 acres in 71 counties and 11 different project areas. For more information on the program or to enroll in updates, visit or contact your local FSA county office. To find your nearest FSA county office, visit The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing, and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Eddy County extension to hold pesticide Continueing Education Classes on Worker Protection Standard.

Eddy County Extension office will be holding continuing education workshops for private applicator. They will be held on October 15; November 12; and December 10 at the Eddy County Extension Office, 1304 west Stevens Carlsbad NM. Fee of $10 for 6 CEU's The class will also be held in Artesia on the 10 of November at the NMSU Plant Science Center 67 4 dinkus road, this class will be limited due to space. More details latter.

NMSU engineering professor says mine spill cleanup will be complicated, long-lasting

NMSU engineering professor says mine spill cleanup will be complicated, long-lasting DATE: 08/18/2015 WRITER: Linda Fresques, 575-646-7416, CONTACT: Lambis Papelis, 575-646-3023, The accidental release of an estimated 3 million gallons of waste from the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, on August 5 is now contained and controlled. However, testing and monitoring of the drinking water, irrigation water, public health, agriculture, fish and wildlife will be ongoing for some time, said Lambis Papelis, associate professor of civil engineering at New Mexico State University. The contaminated sludge containing heavy metals, such as arsenic, lead and cadmium, was released into Cement Creek, a tributary to the Animas and San Juan River which traverses the Four Corners area in northeastern New Mexico and eventually flows into Lake Powell. New Mexico is one of seven states that are part of the Colorado River Basin – the Colorado River being a major source of irrigation water as well as water for millions of residents in the western United States. “Nobody really knows the extent of the damage caused by the spill. Right now EPA is containing the flow and treating the water. But treating heavy metals is complicated because they behave differently under different conditions. It’s not a one size fits all solution,” Papelis said. The EPA reported Sunday that the mine continued to discharge the waste at a rate of 500 gallons per minute. The EPA has been diverting the ongoing spill into two new settling ponds where the waste is being treated to lower its acidity before being discharged into a tributary. “Initially, the pH of the water in the contaminated rivers was relatively low, in other words, the water was pretty acidic. Because of the high concentration of iron in the waste, arsenic will adhere to iron particles in water with a low pH, but other metals, such as cadmium, tend to bind stronger on iron at higher pH,” explained Papelis. “The result of a higher pH level in the water causes the opposite reaction: some heavy metals will adhere to the iron, but arsenic binding will be weaker. “The chemistry of these substances is different; fortunately, a slightly basic pH, common for many waters in the Southwest, is a good compromise when it comes to the ability of iron to bind both arsenic and metals such as lead and cadmium,” Papelis said. “New Mexico has one good thing in its favor – an abundance of carbonate rocks in our geology that tend to buffer the pH of the water, preventing it from getting too low,” Papelis said. While treatment of the contaminated water is ongoing, the long-term effects are unknown. “No one knows exactly how the metals in the sediment will be released over time. They may be released over time in small quantities that may not cause the standards for either drinking or irrigation water to be exceeded. It is difficult to predict how far the sediment will be transported by the flow of the river or what will happen during a major hydrologic event like a flood. However, the contamination poses no direct threat to other parts of the state of New Mexico,” Papelis said. Because the discharge moved quickly, EPA officials said the contaminants did not pose an immediate threat. In the long-term, the threat to the environment diminishes as the water continues to be diluted by the river system, EPA officials said. “It would be better to leave the sediment in place rather than trying to remove any contaminated sediments,” said Papelis. “There are numerous state and federal agencies that will still have to monitor the environment for a long time to keep track of these toxins and their effect on the environment.” Papelis joined the NMSU civil engineering faculty in spring 2010. Previously, he was an associate research professor at the Desert Research Institute, in the Division of Hydrologic Sciences in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the director of the Water Resources Management program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where his research focused on water quality, contaminant transport and geochemical modeling of trace metal interactions with soils and sediments.

What grows after natural disasters? U.S. plants new idea to restore landscapes

This often overlooked in disaster panning. I think County Cooperative Extension office in cooperation with Soil and Water Conservation Districts and LOCAL Federal Agencies such as the BLM, USFS NPS can and should plan for recovery after various disasters together. Along with county master gardeners and plant socities. My thoughts WEH What grows after natural disasters? U.S. plants new idea to restore landscapes By John M. Glionna Peggy Olwell has seen her share of forest fires, hurricanes and other natural disasters. She knows all too well what errant Mother Nature can do. The career botanist has watched Western wildfires scorch the earth and scary-high winds wipe coastal landscapes clean. She also has seen what happens to native plants. And when it's time to replant, there are rarely enough native seeds on hand. Conservationists introduce nonnative species in hopes of jump-starting damaged ecosystems. "These are complex systems that differ region to region," said Olwell, plant conservation program manager for the federal Bureau of Land Management. "You can't interchange parts of it and think it's going to function the same way." On Monday, the U.S. government is announcing a new approach to ecosystem maintenance. The National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration brings together a dozen federal agencies to restore landscapes altered by natural disasters, human development, even global warming, by creating regional seed banks. Steve Ellis, the BLM's deputy director of operations, will introduce the plan in Boise, Idaho. The site was chosen because of the nearby Soda fire, which had charred 284,000 acres as of Sunday — burned ground that soon will require replanting. "Success on a national scale will be achieved through a network of native seed collectors, a network of farmers and growers working to develop seed, a network of nurseries and seed storage facilities to supply adequate quantities of appropriate seeds, and a network of restoration ecologists who know how to put the right seed in the right place at the right time," the BLM said in a news release. The goal is to replant as soon as possible with the right species. "We need to get past scrambling to do this only after a big fire or disaster — that's a reactionary position," said Mike Tupper, a BLM deputy assistant director for resources and planning. The agency hopes states, Native American tribes and nongovernmental organizations will join the effort. "The piece now missing is a close coordination with private industry," Tupper said. "If we can tell the entire seed-growing industry where we're going, we can work together. They'll have the seeds grown and ready when we need them." The enhanced federal program comes at a tense time, with some Western states accusing Washington of overbearing land management. The BLM and other agencies have reached out to governors and other officials in an effort to get them to support the plant effort. "There's a certain segment of society that wants less government, and for them, anything we do is going to be seen as that — more big-government intervention," Tupper said. "But our job is to continue doing what we think is best for the American public. This is one of those programs." Officials cited the staggering damage wildfires inflict. In 2014, 63,000 U.S. wildfires burned 3.6 million acres of land, an average of 57 acres per fire. Replanting native seeds may be subtle but it's crucial to the continued health of any ecosystem, Olwell said. "Most Americans are plant blind," she said. "They see plants as a backdrop; still, they're upset if they go away. They're not recreating in parking lots of America. They want that beauty, but they don't really understand the nuance of native plant communities." An introduced plant species might look pretty but won't necessarily be eaten by local wildlife, she said. Invasive cheat grass, which grows on many burn sites, is considered a prime fire starter — planting the seeds for another conflagration. Plants give us a sense of place, Olwell said — the saguaro cactus in the Southwest, sagebrush across the Western prairie, maple trees in New England, redwoods along the California coast. "Science shows that local is best," she said. "If it evolved there, we know it does best there."

Monday, August 17, 2015

The following CES publication has been revised and is now available online in PDF forma

The following CES publication has been revised and is now available online in PDF format. Circular 477, “Small Poultry Flock Management,” revised by Marcy Ward

USDA Adds More Eligible Commodities for Farm Storage Facility Loans

USDA Adds More Eligible Commodities for Farm Storage Facility Loans 08/17/2015 03:02 PM EDT USDA Adds More Eligible Commodities for Farm Storage Facility Loans New Provisions Increase On-Farm Storage for Dairy, Flowers, Meats WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that the Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program, which provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities, will now include dairy, flowers and meats as eligible commodities. “For 15 years, this program has provided affordable financing, allowing American farmers and ranchers to construct or expand storage on the farm,” said Dolcini. “By adding eligible commodities, these low-interest loans will help even more family farmers and ranchers to expand on-site storage.” The new commodities eligible for facility loans include floriculture, hops, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water). Commodities already eligible for the loans include corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, oats, peanuts, wheat, barley, minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops (lentils, chickpeas and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable biomass, and fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities. Since 2000, more than 35,000 facility loans have been approved totaling $2 billion in rural investments. On average, about 1,600 new loans are made each year. Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply. The loans are designed to assist a diverse range of farming operations, including small and mid-sized businesses, new farmers, operations supplying local food and farmers markets, non-traditional farm products, and underserved producers. To learn more about the FSA Farm Storage Facility Loan, visit or contact a local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay),(866)377-8642 (Relay voice users).

NMSU to host chile field day in Las Cruces in September 9

NMSU to host chile field day in Las Cruces in September DATE: 08/17/2015 WRITER: Tiffany Acosta, 575-646-3929, CONTACT: Stephanie Walker, 575-646-4398, Chile roasting season is here, and if you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the pepper, the 2015 Chile Field Day is the perfect opportunity. This year, New Mexico State University’s Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center will host the field day from 8 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Sept. 9, and registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Leyendecker is located eight miles southeast of Las Cruces on Highway 28. The event is free and open to the public. “Most New Mexicans love to eat chile; we hope to showcase some of the research projects that support production of the crop,” said Stephanie Walker, NMSU extension plant sciences assistant professor. “Research projects, including pest and disease management, breeding and mechanization, that are being conducted at NMSU that contribute to the productivity of the state’s chile fields, will be presented. “There’s also much more to choosing chile varieties than hot versus mild. Attendees will learn about different chile varieties, so that they can better decide on their favorites,” she said. This year’s event will include field tours, graduate student research posters and green chile and tortilla samples. NMSU has hosted or co-hosted chile field days in New Mexico or Arizona since 2006. Last year’s event was held at the NMSU Agricultural Science Center in Los Lunas. “We had a fairly large and very enthusiastic group of chile heads in attendance,” Walker recalled. Groups with more than five attendees need to RSVP to Autumn Martinez at or 575-646-2281 by Aug. 21. - 30 -

USDA to Announce Grants to Enhance Recreational Public Access on Private Farm, Ranch and Forest Lands

USDA to Announce Grants to Enhance Recreational Public Access on Private Farm, Ranch and Forest Lands WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2015 – Today, Monday, August 17, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie will announce grants to state agencies to improve and increase wildlife habitat and public access for wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities on privately-owned and operated farm, ranch and private forest lands. The selected state governments will encourage owners and operators of privately held farm, ranch or forest land in their respective states to voluntarily open their land for hunting, fishing and other wildlife-dependent recreation and to improve fish and wildlife habitat on that land. Joining Under Secretary Bonnie on the call will be Whit Fosburgh, President and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Ron Regan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Monday, August 17, 2015 11:30 a.m. EDT PARTICIPANTS: Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment Whit Fosburgh, President and CEO, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Ron Regan, Executive Director, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies PARTICIPANT NUMBER: 800-857-9832 PASSCODE: NRCS (Given Verbally) Trouble number – 202-720-8560

Friday, August 14, 2015

Retired Eddy County Extension agent inducted into New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame

Retired Eddy County Extension agent inducted into New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame DATE: 08/14/2015 WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, CONTACT: Amy Zemler, 575-646-5204, Former Cooperative Extension Service agent Paul Hay was inducted into the New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame at New Mexico State University during the 4-H State Conference. “This is the highest honor we have to offer people who have provided support and service to 4-H members in New Mexico,” said Rick Richardson, interim department head of the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service’s 4-H Youth Development Program. “Including this group, we have inducted 211 individuals and couples into the hall of fame.” Hay served as the 4-H agent and assistant agent for Eddy County from 1957 to 1967, and served as the Southeast District director from 1978 to 1988. He was dedicated to youth development in the county and state. “Although it has been 47 years since he was the county agent, he is still remembered for the high standards that he set,” said Jami Maestas, state 4-H reporter, during the ceremony. “He recruited and helped many young agents to work in 4-H, instilling in each of them the Extension Workers Creed.” He constantly encouraged agents with a kind word or a note of “that-a-boy,” but he had a way of bringing about correction in such a caring way that the agent knew he had a genuine interest in the success of the agent and the program, Maestas added. Maestas said Hay is admired by his peers as commanding one of the best 4-H program in the state during his time with Eddy County, bringing in more participants, doing more activities and winning more awards. Even in his retirement, he continued to work to promote and grow the New Mexico 4-H program. The hall of fame, established in 2002, honors 4-H members, volunteer leaders, fair superintendents, advisory board members, 4-H Foundation trustees and former faculty with NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service, which administers 4-H statewide. Joining Hay as 2015 inductees are the late Joe Atkins, of Harding County; Pete Gnatkowski and Kristin Sultemeier, both of Lincoln County; Randy and Diane Lieb, of Roosevelt County; and David and Mary Howard, of Santa Fe County. - 30 -

Thursday, August 13, 2015


PECANS ARE FALLING. Pecan nuts grow in two phases. The first phase includes pollination, nut enlargement, and water stages. This usually occurs between May 1 to August 15. Phase II is kernel filling and shell hardening. This usually occurs from August 15 to November 1. Close to the date when the first phase of nut development is complete, the third nut drop, called the August drop occurs. This usually occurs from August to mid September. It causes greater concern to pecan growers and homeowners because of the large size of the nuts at this time. Although the percentage shed is generally low, 8 to 10 percent. Some trees in the area this year have had very high percent shed however. Embryo abortion is considered to the reason for this late drop. By the time August drop takes place, the embryo has attained full size, the ovary has about completed its enlargement and the pecans will soon begin to harden. Premature shedding will occur when something affects the embryo. If the embryo aborts after the shell hardens, the nut usually matures, but will be hollow. Although the causal factors for embryo abortion are not known, some researchers consider the following situations, to be related to embryo abortion: • A severe drought or later stress. This is more likely to occur in poor soils and it frequently takes place during the water stage. • A prolonged period of excess moisture. Lack of air in the soil impairs the root system capacity to absorb water and nutrients required by the pecan tree. • Hot, dry winds can increase water loss by increasing the pecan tree moisture requirements due to high transpiration rates. • Insects (Shuckworm, southern green stinkbug, pecan weevil). Puncturing of the ovary wall, the future nutshell will cause nuts to fall in 3 or 4 days. • Any physical damages that can disturb the ovary wall (shell) of pecans. In general this has been a stressful year due to the heat, and water requirements of the trees. Rainwater not only helps supply water to the trees it also has a higher leaching capacity for leaching salts from around the roots. Salt can cause a physiological drought in the trees, which cause embryo abortion. Look at a sampling of the fallen nuts and check for insect damage to the shuck or the shell. Pecan Weevil has increased its territory in Texas so if you find a whole in the nut and a grub inside bring that to the Extension Office. If you are having a high August nut drop, all you can do is water correctly, not to much, and not to little and take care of the crop you have left. For more information Contact your Local County Extension office. Eddy County Extension Service and New Mexico State University are equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educators. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating

The Private Applicator Exam is now available online!

The Private Applicator Exam is now available online! The private applicator application form is now accessible on NMDA’s website. The Private Applicator exam will become available to an applicant once they have successfully completed and submitted their application form. Once they have been approved by NMDA they will then be given their individual login and password. They will use this information to login to the exam online. The exam will be open book and will have set time limit of two hours. The exam has a total of 100 questions. Private applicator licenses are only for farmers and ranchers who need to purchase or use restricted use pesticides in their agricultural production. To learn more about the Private Applicators License please visit this page: If you have any questions in regards to the Private Applicator Exam please call us at 575-646-2134 or email . R. Lindsay Thomen Pesticide Compliance New Mexico Department of Agriculture 3190 S Espina MSC 3AQ, Box 30005 Phone:(575) 646-4837 Fax: (575) 646-1540

“Test Your Garden Soil

The following CES publication has been revised and is now available online in PDF format. Guide A-114, “Test Your Garden Soil,” revised by Robert Flynn

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

NMSU lands on Center for World University Rankings list for 2015

NMSU lands on Center for World University Rankings list for 2015 DATE: 08/11/2015 WRITER: Tiffany Acosta, 575-646-3929, CONTACT: Judy Bosland, 575-646-6131, According to the Center for World University Rankings for 2015, New Mexico State University is listed at No. 519 on this year’s rankings. With more than 22,000 degree-granting institutions of higher education worldwide, this ranking would place NMSU in the top 2.4 percent. “We’ve long known that New Mexico State University is a world-class institution and we’re proud of how that is reflected in this and other rankings,” said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. “As the state’s land-grant university, it’s our mission to deliver the highest quality education, research and outreach to the people of New Mexico. Much credit belongs to our students, faculty and staff, who work hard each day to make this a great university.” The Center for World University Rankings distributes the only global university performance tables that gauge both the quality of education and training of students along with prestige of faculty members and the quality of their research without the use of surveys and university data submissions. Eight indicators are used to base the Center for World University Rankings, including quality of education (25 percent), measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have won major international awards, prizes, and medals relative to the university’s size; alumni employment (25 percent), measured by the number of a university’s alumni who currently hold CEO positions at the world’s top companies relative to the university’s size; quality of faculty (25 percent), measured by the number of academics who have won major international awards, prizes, and medals; publications (5 percent), measured by the number of research papers appearing in reputable journals; influence (5 percent), measured by the number of research papers appearing in highly-influential journals; citations (5 percent), measured by the number of highly-cited research papers; broad impact (5 percent), measured by the university’s h-Index; and patents (5 percent, measured by the number of international pate nt filings. For a complete list of the rankings, along with the methodology used, visit

A Claims process for the Colorado Mine Animas River

I know this is far from Eddy County, and may not be of interest to some but I thought it might be to others. Erin Brockovich A Claims process for the Colorado Mine Animas River corridor spill has been set up and will begin tomorrow: A claims process exists for compensating citizens who suffer personal injury or property damage caused by U.S. government actions. The process is available in the EPA’s regulations at 40 CFR Part 10, and includes guidance on documentation that may be required to support claims for loss of employment and loss of income, among other claims. Claims for monetary compensation may be filed by submitting a Standard Form 95 specifying the nature of the loss suffered and the EPA actions, if known, causing the loss or damage to property, to either of the following contacts: Richard Feldman Claims Officer U.S. EPA Office of General Counsel 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (MC 2399A) Washington, D.C. 20460 Michael Nelson U.S. EPA Region 8 Office of Regional Counsel 1595 Wynkoop Street (MC 8RC) Denver, CO 80202 Alternatively, claimants may submit signed electronic versions of Standard Form 95 to the EPA for the Gold King Mine Release via e-mail at beginning Tuesday, August 11, 2015. The fillable PDF version of Standard Form 95 is available in the documents section of this website or via the link below: Standard Form 95 is used to present claims against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) for property damage, personal injury, or death allegedly caused by a federal employee's negligence or wrongful act or omission occurring within the scope of the employee's federal employment. Standard Form 95 is not required to present a claim under the FTCA, but it is a convenient format for supplying the information necessary to bring an FTCA claim. Please note that a completed form must state a claim for money damages in a “sum certain” amount (that is, a specific amount) claimed for personal injury, death, or injury to or loss of property. In addition, if a sum certain is not specified in Standard Form 95 block 12d, or in accompanying information, a submission cannot be considered a valid presentation of a claim. Although the EPA’s regulations state that the EPA has 6 months to resolve a claim, the Agency will make every effort to respond to Gold King Mine release claims as soon as possible. Claims must be presented to the EPA within two years after the claim accrues.

August 10 – Gold King Mine Release Update

August 10 – Gold King Mine Release Update BACKGROUND On August 5, while investigating the Gold King Mine in Colorado, an EPA cleanup team triggered a large release of mine wastewater into Cement Creek. EPA is working closely with responders and local and state officials to monitor water contaminated by the release. The release’s path flows through three of EPA’s regions (Region 8 (Colorado/Utah & Southern Ute Tribe); Region 6 (New Mexico), and Region 9 (Navajo Nation). EPA has activated its Emergency Operations System to ensure coordination among its regions, laboratories and national program offices in Washington, D.C. EPA is closely coordinating with officials in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Southern Ute Tribe and Navajo Nation. For the latest information and photos visit: August 10 Update EPA Region 8 has deployed a large response team to Durango and Silverton, Colorado and to several locations in New Mexico, Utah and the Navajo Reservation to coordinate with affected states, tribes and communities on various response activities and to address impacts associated with the Gold King mine wastewater release. EPA’s primary objectives include working with federal, state, tribal and local authorities to make sure that people continue to have access to safe drinking water, ensure appropriate precautions are in place for recreational use and contact with river water, evaluate impacts to aquatic life and fish populations, and stop the flow of contaminated water into the watershed at the Gold King Mine site. Aerial and ground reconnaissance indicates that the plume associated with the Gold King Mine release has dissipated downstream and there is no leading edge of contamination visible in downstream sections of the San Juan River or Lake Powell. EPA has also taken steps to capture and treat the discharge at the Gold King mine, addressing the risk of additional downstream impacts. We have constructed four ponds at the mine site and which are treating water by lowering acidity levels and removing dissolved metals. This system is discharging treated water to Cement Creek at levels cleaner (higher pH and lower levels of metals) than pre-event, background conditions in the creek. Over the next several days, EPA will make upgrades to the system to ensure its continued operation. EPA is collecting and assessing water quality from the Animas and San Juan Rivers daily. Over the next several days, we will be jointly evaluating data and information with partners to determine when access to the Animas River will be restored for activities and uses such as rafting, fishing, irrigation, and drinking water. EPA, tribal, state and local officials are coordinating these decisions based on sampling data, risk screening levels, and other related factors. We do not anticipate any reopening decisions until at least August 17. The timing of these decisions could vary among local, state and tribal governments based on local conditions and by uses. Until notified otherwise, people should continue to abide by existing closures. The assessment of impacts to wildlife and fish populations is ongoing. To date we have seen no indication of widespread fish mortality in the Animas or San Juan. Fish cages placed directly in the Animas River by the State of Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife for two days indicate one mortality out of 108 fish tested. The State will be evaluating those and other ecological impacts with partners as we move forward. EPA is also working with the New Mexico Department of Game Fish and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate reports of impacts to wildlife. EPA has established a response center in Durango, Colorado and has deployed ten On Scene Coordinators in Silverton, Durango and Farmington, New Mexico. Water quality experts and several technicians and contractors will respond to the discharge as it reaches communities in New Mexico. Two Public Information Officers (PIOs) are also on site in Durango at the Joint Information Center (JIC). Two Community Involvement Coordinators (CICs) were deployed to Farmington yesterday and met with local Navajo Chapter officials and hosted public meetings. The CICs will also partner with Navajo Nation EPA (NNEPA) and Navajo Department of Public Safety to ensure comprehensive outreach to all affected Navajo Chapters. EPA is using several contracting mechanisms to provide support for the response, which includes water quality sampling, drinking water and agricultural water distribution as well as construction and maintenance of the water treatment ponds. In New Mexico, EPA has a team of two federal on-scene coordinators, two water quality experts and ten technicians and contractors responding to the spill as it reaches communities in the state. Additional personnel are arriving in Farmington and will total 26 employees and contractors by the end of the day. Staffing is expected to continue to grow to support outreach and door-to-door canvasing. EPA mobile command center has arrived in Farmington and will be fully operational later today. EPA is also co-locating personnel with NMED in Santa Fe to enhance planning and communication between the agencies. EPA is continuing to collect water quality samples from nine locations in the river near intakes for Aztec, Farmington, the Lower Valley Water Users Association, the Morning Star Water Supply System and the North Star Water User Association. Each of these locations will continue to be monitored as the spill makes its way past these areas. EPA has two dedicated water quality experts available in New Mexico to assist the five drinking water systems. Working with San Juan County, NM officials, EPA is providing alternative water supply for livestock in New Mexico. EPA and New Mexico Environment Department are providing free water quality testing for domestic drinking water wells along the river. Teams of qualified technicians are going door-to-door to collect samples for laboratory analysis. At 7 pm on Sunday, Aug 9, New Mexico Environment Secretary notified EPA that the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish needed help responding to reports of wildlife that may have been impacted by the release. EPA immediately connected NM Fish & Game with the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). NM Fish & Game is sending one biologist and two game wardens to assess the situation today and will follow up with USFWS. The USFWS has requested EPA contract with a wildlife rehabilitator to assist with cleaning any animals. USFWS will provide capture and oversight of the operations for the state. On Saturday (Aug. 8) the President of the Navajo Nation declared a State of Emergency for the San Juan River valley. On Sunday, President Begaye and his staff toured the Gold King Mine Site. R9 public information officer Rusty Harris-Bishop escorted the President on the tour. The President and his staff then attended the community meeting in Durango. Navajo officials have reacted quickly, assessing their well fields and drinking and irrigation water intake systems and issuing a precautionary "do not use" public service announcement regarding water from potentially impacted sources. EPA Region 9 held a conference call Sunday with Navajo Nation EPA (NNEPA) and Navajo Department of Public Safety. The Navajo EPA surface water monitoring program (Shiprock Office) collected water and sediment samples from the San Juan River - prior to the spill impact. Region 9 has provided 6 START contractors to coordinate and conduct increased sample collection and lab analysis in conjunction with NNEPA. This joint EPA/NNEPA river sampling program has commenced focusing on the San Juan between Shiprock/Hogback, NM area and Mexican Hat, UT and will continue for the foreseeable future. A Region 9 OSC reported to Farmington on Monday to assist. NNEPA also requested drinking water sampling support immediately for Navajo operated water intakes. NNEPA and USEPA drinking water experts agreed to inventory and assess water sources including private wells and intakes. Region 9 will be providing assistance to Navajo NTUA (utilities) to deliver water to the areas impacted by the Gold King Mine Spill - starting with the Montezuma Creek area. NTUA is sourcing the water from their Sweetwater wells and filling up the service tanks in the affected areas. The ERRS contractor will be providing assistance in the transportation of these waters. Two EPA Community Involvement Coordinators (CICs) arrived in Farmington Sunday. The CICs will partner with NNEPA and NN Department of Public Safety to ensure comprehensive outreach to all affected Navajo Chapters. The CICs have begun working with local Navajo Chapter officials and will participate in public meetings at Aneth and Oljato on 8/10. Claims Process EPA is committed to taking responsibility for the discharge and impacts to affected communities. Detailed instructions and links to electronic forms was provided in the August 9, 2015, update. Beginning on Tuesday, August 11, 2015, claimants may submit signed electronic versions of Standard Form 95 to EPA for the Gold King Mine Release via e-mail at Although EPA’s regulations state that the EPA has six months to resolve a claim, the Agency will make every effort to respond to Gold King Mine release claims as soon as possible. Claims must be presented to EPA within two years after the claim accrues. Public Health Update The downward trend in water quality concentrations for metals continues for the sites sampled. Cement Creek 14th Street Bridge, only had one sampling event, so a trend could not be developed. The Animas River is an open water source and not considered potable until it has been properly treated. Washing with soap and water after contact with the river water is a sound public health practice to minimize exposure to the metals, and also any bacteria that maybe present in the untreated river water. Anyone who feels illness as a result of exposure to metals or pathogenic organisms in the river water should contact their local health care provider. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) recommends that additional monitoring should be conducted until the river returns to pre-release levels. If local health care providers have questions they can contact the ATSDR Regional Office at 303-312-7013. ATSDR’s Regional Office can arrange a consultation between the health care provider and ATSDR physician. Additional information about exposure with metals at