Thursday, September 24, 2015
CARLSBAD, N.M. - Bovine trichomoniasis is a disease in cattle that affects reproduction and prevents calves from being carried to full term. In recent years, the disease has become more prevalent in New Mexico. Eddy County Cooperative Extension Office, the New Mexico State Veterinarian, Artesia Animal Clinic and Desert Willow Animal Clinic are hosting an education program on Wednesday September 30, to help area cattle producers identify the disease and explain how to prevent it. Two sessions will be held, at 2:00 pm in Artesia at the community building of the Eddy County Fair Grounds and at 7:00 pm in the auditorium of the Eddy County Extension Office 1304 West Stevens, Carlsbad. "Having bovine trichomoniasis in cattle will result in loss of revenue for producers because their cattle are not giving birth to a live calf to be raised and ultimately to be sold," said, Woods Houghton Eddy County Extension agricultural agent. "We want the people who attend this program to gain knowledge about this disease and to learn what they need to do to maintain a disease-free herd and how to recognize the disease in their livestock so they can work toward having a disease-free herd". Registration for the free event, which is co-sponsored by NMSU, Circle S Feed and New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau of Eddy County, begins at 2:00 p.m., in Artesia and 7:00 pm in Carlsbad. For more information or if you are in need of special assistance due to a disability in order to participate please contact the Eddy County Extension Office 887-6595 toll free 877-887-6595 before September 28. 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.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Human Plague Case Confirmed in Santa Fe County Fourth confirmed case of plague in New Mexico in 2015
Human Plague Case Confirmed in Santa Fe County Fourth confirmed case of plague in New Mexico in 2015 (Santa Fe) – The New Mexico Department of Health announced today a laboratory confirmed case of plague in a 73-year-old woman from Santa Fe County. The case was confirmed at the Department of Health’s Scientific Laboratory Division. This is the fourth human case of plague in New Mexico this year and the second in Santa Fe County. The woman was hospitalized and is back home recovering. The other cases in the state occurred in a 52-year-old woman from Santa Fe County, who died from the illness, and in a 65-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, both from Bernalillo County, who have recovered. “This is the fourth case of plague in New Mexico with the patient presenting clinical signs of septicemic plague,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “Though septicemic plague is less common and harder to recognize than the more common form of bubonic plague, health care providers need to consider plague in their diagnosis when the patient has a fever of unknown origin and when the patient is from plague endemic areas of the state.” Septicemic plague accounts for approximately 20-25 percent of New Mexico cases. No detectable swollen lymph node (bubo) is found. Plague is a potentially fatal illness in people that occurs in many parts of New Mexico. It is caused by a bacteria found in rodents, especially ground squirrels, rabbits and pack rats. Most human cases of plague are acquired through the bite of infected fleas. Dogs and cats are also susceptible to plague and are infected either through bites of infected fleas or by eating an animal that has died from the disease. “Several of our plague cases this year have most likely been exposed to plague-infected rodent fleas brought into the home and bedroom by dogs and cats that are allowed to roam and hunt and aren’t treated with a flea control product,” said Paul Ettestad, state public health veterinarian with the Department of Health. Symptoms of plague in people usually develop two to eight days after exposure. Plague symptoms are sudden fever, chills, headaches, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin areas. As previously stated, in some cases, infection may progress without swollen lymph nodes making it harder to diagnose. In addition to the four human cases, there have been 8 cases of plague this year in dogs and cats, including pets from Bernalillo, Santa Fe, and Torrance counties. Reduce the risk of plague: • Use insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing when you go outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 for use on skin, and permethrin for use on clothing. Always follow label directions when using insect repellents. • Keep your pets from roaming and hunting. • Talk to your veterinarian about using an appropriate flea and tick control product on your pets as not all products are safe for cats, dogs, or your children. • Clean up areas near the house where rodents could live, such as woodpiles, brush piles, junk and abandoned vehicles. • Don’t allow children or others to handle sick or dead wildlife. • Sick pets should be examined promptly by a veterinarian. • See your health care provider immediately about any unexplained illness involving a sudden and severe fever. • Put hay, wood, and compost piles as far as possible from your home. For more information about Plague visit the NMDOH website: http://nmhealth.org/about/erd/ideb/zdp/plg/
Former peanut executive gets 28 years in prison for role in deadly salmonella outbreak U.S. News and World Report By Russ Bynum ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — A former peanut company executive was sentenced Monday to 28 years in prison for his role in a deadly salmonella outbreak, the stiffest punishment ever handed out to a producer in a foodborne illness case. The outbreak in 2008 and 2009 was blamed for nine deaths and sickened hundreds more, and triggered one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history. Before he was sentenced, former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell listened as nine victims testified about the terror and grief caused by tainted peanut butter traced to the company's plant in southwest Georgia. Hours later, they left the courthouse applauding the sentence. "It should be enough to send a message to the other manufacturers that this is not going to be tolerated anymore and they had better inspect their food," said Randy Napier, whose 80-year-old mother died from salmonella poisoning after eating peanut butter from Parnell's plant. Experts say the trial of Parnell and two co-defendants a year ago marked the first time U.S. food producers stood trial on criminal charges in a food-poisoning case. The company went bankrupt following the salmonella outbreak. U.S. Attorney Michael Moore of Georgia's Middle District, whose office prosecuted the case, called it "a landmark with implications that will resonate not just in the food industry but in corporate boardrooms across the country." A federal jury convicted Parnell, 61, of knowingly shipping contaminated peanut butter and of faking results of lab tests intended to screen for salmonella. Tom Bondurant, one of Parnell's defense attorneys, said 28 years prison would amount to a life sentence for his client. He plans to appeal the conviction and sentence. "If you compare it with other food-safety criminal cases, it's tremendously out of line," Bondurant said. In April, two former egg executives in Iowa were sentenced to three months in jail for their role in a 2010 salmonella outbreak linked to more than 1,900 illnesses. One of the victims in the Peanut Corporation outbreak was 10-year-old Jacob Hurley, who was just 3 when he was stricken by salmonella from peanut butter crackers that left him vomiting and rushing to the toilet for nearly two weeks. Judge W. Louis Sands estimated Parnell faced up to 803 years in prison for his crimes, but said a punishment that severe would have been "inappropriate." He didn't elaborate. "These acts were driven simply by the desire to profit and to protect profits notwithstanding the known risks" from salmonella, the judge said. "This is commonly and accurately referred to as greed." Federal investigators found a leaky roof, roaches and evidence of rodents at the plant, all ingredients for brewing salmonella. They also uncovered emails and records showing food confirmed by lab tests to contain salmonella was shipped to customers anyway. Other batches were never tested at all, but got shipped with fake lab records saying salmonella screenings were negative. Emails prosecutors presented at trial showed that Parnell once directed employees to "turn them loose" after samples of peanuts tested positive for salmonella and then were cleared in another test. Several months before the outbreak, when a final lab test found salmonella, Parnell expressed concern to a Georgia plant manager, writing in an Oct. 6, 2008, email that the delay "is costing us huge $$$$$." Parnell, who didn't testify during his trial and stayed silent years ago when called before a congressional hearing, apologized to the courtroom full of victims and their relatives. Speaking in a shaky voice and wearing a rumpled white shirt and khaki pants, Parnell acknowledged problems at his peanut plant, but he never addressed the emails and company records. "I am personally embarrassed, humiliated and morally disgraced by what happened," he said, acknowledging that some might see his apology as coming too late. "It's been a seven-year nightmare for me and my family," Parnell told the judge. "All I can do is come before you and ask for forgiveness from you and the people back here. I'm truly sorry for what happened." His brother, Michael Parnell, and the plant's former quality control manager, Mary Wilkerson, were also convicted. Michael Parnell was sentenced to 20 years and Wilkerson five. Stewart Parnell and his co-defendants were never charged with killing or sickening anybody. Instead, federal prosecutors charged them with defrauding customers who used Peanut Corporation's peanuts and peanut butter in products from snack crackers to pet food. Parnell was convicted of 67 criminal counts including conspiracy, wire fraud and obstruction of justice. Members of Parnell's family pleaded for leniency. His mother, Zelda Parnell, told the judge both of her sons "have suffered for years." "They lost their income, all their material things and worst of all their pride," she said. Three deaths linked to the outbreak occurred in Minnesota, two in Ohio, two in Virginia, one in Idaho and one in North Carolina.
The agriculture employers involved in the lawsuit that resulted in the negative ruling from the New Mexico of Appeals filed for a writ from the New Mexico Supreme Court. It has been accepted. That should have resulted in a stay on the Court of Appeals decision. The Workers Comp Administration has not interpreted the acceptance in that way. Ag groups continue to work to ensure that the correct interpretation is observed. In the meantime, ranchers and farmers should continue to work with their insurance representatives to see if they can obtain affordable workers comp coverage. The New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration (NM WCA) has been working to educate agricultural employers on a new change in the law requiring procurement of workers’ compensation insurance to protect their workers and their businesses. Officials from the NM WCA will be available to answer questions at two upcoming public forums on the new law affecting agricultural employers. • The first public forum will be at 2 p.m., Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at the Maxwell school auditorium, 4th and Parque, in Maxwell, NM. • The second public forum will be at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday October 20, 2015 at the Roswell Public Library, 301 N. Penn, in Roswell, NM. The public is invited to these free educational presentations. For more information, contact NM WCA Public Information Officer Diana Sandoval-Tapia (see contact information below). Thank you, Diana Sandoval-Tapia Public Information Officer NM Workers’ Comp Administration 505.841.6052 Diana.Sandoval@state.nm.us “One team, one goal: A better New Mexico for workers and employers!” Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail and all documents contained within it are for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, or distribution is prohibited, unless specifically provided under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender and delete the email and all documents attached to the email.
I know Artesia Police Department is participating, Carlsbad PD has a drop off box in the lobby of the PD. This include veterinary pharmacy items as well. Udall Encourages New Mexicans to Participate in Saturday's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall encouraged New Mexicans to participate in the 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, September 26, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. MT, and to return unwanted, unneeded or expired prescriptions for safe disposal. The event is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and provides free anonymous drop–off sites throughout the state for New Mexicans to safely dispose of unwanted medications. Residents can search online by county, city or zip code for the collection site nearest them by clicking here or calling 1-800-882-9539. Prescription drug abuse and misuse pose serious health and law enforcement issues for New Mexico communities. Udall continues to work to create more ongoing opportunities for safe drug disposal, and has introduced legislation to increase the safety of prescription drug use. "Prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic nationally, and while we've taken strong steps to combat this abuse in New Mexico, we must keep up the fight," Udall said. "Many who abuse prescription pain relievers get them from friends or relatives, and teens are particularly susceptible to thinking that prescription drugs are less dangerous than illicit drugs because they're prescribed by a doctor. Events like Prescription Drug Take-Back Days are helping New Mexicans protect their families and loved ones from the threat of abuse. I encourage everyone to take advantage of Saturday's Take-Back event. It's an opportunity to safely clean out medicine cabinets, helping keep unused or expired prescriptions out of our water systems — and most importantly, out of the hands of our children." Udall introduced legislation earlier this year to combat prescription drug abuse and misuse. His Increasing the Safety of Prescription Drug Use Act would expand access to treatment options for addicted patients, strengthen training for medical professionals, and increase abuse prevention opportunities. Importantly, the bill would help medical professionals avoid overprescribing medication to patients by giving them access to real-time prescription databases across state lines. The bill would also help make it easier to dispose of unused prescription medications as often and safely as possible, especially in rural communities. According to the DEA, more than 4.8 million pounds of drugs have been collected during the previous nine national Take-Back events from 2010-2014.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Bovine trichomoniasis Information meeting to be held in Eddy County Artesia and Carlsbad September 30th.
CARLSBAD, N.M. - Bovine trichomoniasis is a disease in cattle that affects reproduction and prevents calves from being carried to full term. In recent years, the disease has become more prevalent in New Mexico. Eddy County Cooperative Extension Office, the New Mexico State Veterinarian, Artesia Animal Clinic and Desert Willow Animal Clinic are hosting an education program on Wednesday September 30, to help area cattle producers identify the disease and explain how to prevent it. Two sessions will be held, at 2:00 pm in Artesia at the community building of the Eddy County Fair Grounds and at 7:00 pm in the auditorium of the Eddy County Extension Office 1304 West Stevens, Carlsbad. "Having bovine trichomoniasis in cattle will result in loss of revenue for producers because their cattle are not giving birth to a live calf to be raised and ultimately to be sold," said, Woods Houghton Eddy County Extension agricultural agent. "We want the people who attend this program to gain knowledge about this disease and to learn what they need to do to maintain a disease-free herd and how to recognize the disease in their livestock so they can work toward having a disease-free herd". Registration for the free event, which is co-sponsored by NMSU and New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau of Eddy County, begins at 2:00 p.m., in Artesia and 7:00 pm in Carlsbad. For more information or if you are in need of special assistance due to a disability in order to participate please contact the Eddy County Extension Office 887-6595 toll free 877-887-6595 before September 28. 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.
Considering our drought and the reduction in number of cattle in Eddy County (60%) it is great that we are the 24 largest producing state. When I was in college xx years ago Florida dominated the beef market. Now it is the mid west. Texas has the most beef cows in the United States followed by Oklahoma & Missouri. Texas has more beef cows than Missouri and Oklahoma combined. Texas has more than 14% of the beef cows in the United States. Eight (8) states have more than 1 million beef cows. The top 10 states with the most beef cows account for nearly 58% of the inventory in the United States. United States 29,693,100 Rank State 2015 % Of U.S. 1 Texas 4,180,000 14.08% 2 Oklahoma 1,900,000 6.40% 3 Missouri 1,881,000 6.33% 4 Nebraska 1,786,000 6.01% 5 South Dakota 1,632,000 5.50% 6 Montana 1,506,000 5.07% 7 Kansas 1,477,000 4.97% 8 Kentucky 1,007,000 3.39% 9 Iowa 920,000 3.10% 10 Florida 916,000 3.08% 11 North Dakota 904,000 3.04% 12 Tennessee 883,000 2.97% 13 Arkansas 863,000 2.91% 14 Colorado 745,000 2.51% 15 Wyoming 694,000 2.34% 16 Alabama 672,000 2.26% 17 Virginia 637,000 2.15% 18 California 600,000 2.02% 19 Oregon 525,000 1.77% 20 Georgia 489,000 1.65% 21 Idaho 481,000 1.62% 22 Mississippi 468,000 1.58% 23 Louisiana 466,000 1.57% 24 New Mexico 407,000 1.37% 25 Illinois 376,000 1.27% 26 North Carolina 363,000 1.22% 27 Minnesota 350,000 1.18% 28 Utah 324,000 1.09% 29 Ohio 282,000 0.95% 30 Wisconsin 275,000 0.93% 31 Nevada 217,000 0.73% 32 Indiana 199,000 0.67% 33 Washington 198,000 0.67% 34 West Virginia 185,000 0.62% 35 Arizona 175,000 0.59% 36 South Carolina 170,000 0.57% 37 Pennsylvania 150,000 0.51% 38 New York 115,000 0.39% 39 Michigan 112,000 0.38% 40 Hawaii 69,800 0.24% 41 Maryland 41,000 0.14% 42 Vermont 12,000 0.04% 43 Maine 11,000 0.04% 44 New Jersey 7,500 0.03% 45 Massachusetts 5,500 0.02% 46 Connecticut 5,000 0.02% 47 Alaska 4,300 0.01% 48 New Hampshire 3,000 0.01% 49 Delaware 2,500 0.01% 50 Rhode Island 1,500 0.01% Source: NASS/USDA (head)
The following new CES publication is now available online in PDF format. Guide H-336, "Selecting, Operating, and Maintaining pH Meters and Electrodes for Wineries” By Bernd Maier (Extension Viticulturist, Dept. of Extension Plant Sciences) and Daniel Goodrich (Program Coordinator, Dept. Extension Plant Sciences) http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/H336.pdf
USDA Extends Dairy Margin Protection Program Deadline WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the deadline to enroll for the dairy Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016 has been extended until Nov. 20, 2015. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. “The fall harvest is a busy time of the year for agriculture, so this extension will ensure that dairy producers have more time to make their choices,” said Vilsack. “We encourage all operations to examine the protections offered by this program, because despite the very best forecasts, markets can change.” Vilsack encouraged producers to use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Agency Service (FSA) online Web resource at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation. The secure website can be accessed via computer, smartphone or tablet. He also reminds producers that were enrolled in 2015 that they need to make a coverage election for 2016 and pay the $100 administration fee. Although any unpaid premium balances for 2015 must be paid in full by the enrollment deadline to remain eligible for higher coverage levels in 2016, premiums for 2016 are not due until Sept. 1, 2016. Also, producers can work with milk marketing companies to remit premiums on their behalf. To enroll in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, contact your local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit http://offices.usda.gov. Payments under the program may be reduced by a certain percentage due to a sequester order required by Congress and issued pursuant to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985. Should a payment reduction be necessary, FSA will reduce the payment by the required amount. The Margin Protection Program for Dairy was made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. 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 www.usda.gov/farmbill.
Monday, September 21, 2015
NMSU gathering baseline soil data after Kind Gold Mine river contamination DATE: 09/21/2015 WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, email@example.com CONTACT: Kevin Lombard, 505-960-7757, firstname.lastname@example.org FARMINGTON – Kevin Lombard knows how his neighbors are feeling after the King Gold Mine spill in Silverton, Colorado. He stood on the banks of the Animas River, 500 meters from his three-acre vegetable garden, and watched the plume of the spill turn the river water orange in August. Lombard’s not your average San Juan County farmer – he’s an associate professor of horticulture at New Mexico State University’s Agricultural Science Center at Farmington. “When I saw the plume come through in the river, I wasn’t content on sitting by the river and crying about it,” Lombard said. “The scientist kicked in and I said let’s grab some samples and take advantage of this event. This is historical.” While the irrigation gates were closed, Lombard and a team took between 100 and 120 samples of ditch sediment to establish a baseline for heavy metal contamination. “We took soil samples from ditches that had not had contaminated water in them,” he said. “We want to get baseline data, to have when we re-evaluate the sediment at the end of the irrigation season. We want to see if any heavy metals were transferred to the ditches when they were running after the spill.” Consumers’ concern regarding farmers irrigating with the river water after the spill were expressed during a public forum in Farmington on Sept. 1. The biggest concern was whether the water is distributing heavy metals from sediment onto the surface soil and into the plants. “There is still an unknown of whether the water will spread heavy metal contaminants that could have settled in the river and irrigation ditch bottoms,” Lombard said. “Farmers have had to decide whether to use the water or not,” Lombard said about the river water, which the New Mexico Environment Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tests indicate is safe to use. “If they choose to not irrigate, they will lose thousands of dollars or even their sustenance. We are lucky – we have a well, so we continued our drip irrigation as usual when the irrigation ditches were shut off.” He added that the farmers market manager in Durango, where he sells his produce, inquired about the protocol used during and after the spill. During the forum, farmers asked representatives of the New Mexico Environment Department, U.S. EPA and New Mexico Department of Agriculture, along with NMSU agriculture specialists about the danger and potential impact on their crops and animals. “The critical period is over,” said Tim Hanosh, veterinarian and director of New Mexico’s Diagnostic Laboratory. “The levels may have been high but not extremely high or high enough to cause acute problems.” He advised livestock growers to keep an eye on their herd for any signs of unexplained illness, which could indicate an accumulation of heavy metals in their system, but from the EPA and NMED reports, he did not expect to see any such signs. To help alleviate that concern, Richard Strait, state soil scientist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, contacted David Weindorf, Texas Tech University associate dean of research in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, to help out. “They got in touch with me because I use a portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometer extensively,” Weindorf said. “Point it at the soil, take a reading and 60 seconds later, you have information about the soil.” Weindorf and Lombard worked together for three days taking readings of soil in fields along the Animas and San Juan rivers, as well as the river banks. “This equipment is amazing,” Lombard said. “Using the traditional way of testing soil, it takes weeks to get the results back. Plus it costs between $50 and $100 for each sample tested.” On the first day, 40 screenings were conducted in six hours. Weindorf said the levels of pollution were well below the level for concern. “We were looking for levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic, copper and a lot of other different things,” Weindorf said. “Lead is one of the metals used as a tracer for most pollution analysis. The average for our first 40 samples was 20 to 30 parts per million. To give you a context, the U.S. residential danger level for lead in soil is 400 parts per million. This soil is well below that level.” NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is committed to future studies of the Animas and San Juan rivers riparian area to see what effects the King Gold Mine spill may still have. “Now we have baseline data for future studies,” Lombard said. “It will be important for us to continue to sample the soil to ensure that heavy metal contamination levels do not increase.” - 30 - Follow NMSU News on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nmsunews Follow NMSU News on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NMSUNews
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
The following CES publication has been revised and is now available online in PDF format. Guide E-508, “Keeping Food Safe,” revised by Carol Turner http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_e/E508.pdf
USDA Offers Help to Fire-Affected Farmers and Ranchers WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2015 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers and ranchers affected by the recent wildfires in Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington State that USDA has programs to assist with their recovery efforts. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) can assist farmers and ranchers who lost livestock, grazing land, fences or eligible trees, bushes and vines as a result of a natural disaster. FSA administers a suite of safety-net programs to help producers recover from eligible losses, including the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, and the Tree Assistance Program. In addition, the FSA Emergency Conservation Program provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought. Producers located in counties that received a primary or contiguous disaster designation are eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses. Compensation is also available to producers who purchased coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which protects non-insurable crops against natural disasters that result in lower yields, crop losses or prevented planting. "Wildfires have caused devastating losses for many farmers and ranchers," said FSA Administrator Val Dolcini. "Over the past several years, wildfires have increased in severity, intensity and cost as the fire season has grown longer, and drought and increased temperatures contribute to dangerous conditions. Natural disasters such as wildfires are unavoidable, but USDA has strong safety-net programs to help producers get back on their feet." The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can assist producers with damaged grazing land as well as farmers, ranchers and forestland owners who find themselves in emergency situations caused by natural disasters. The NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial assistance to producers who agree to defer grazing on damaged land for two years. In the event that presidentially declared natural disasters, such as wildfires, lead to imminent threats to life and property, NRCS can assist local government sponsors with the cost of implementing conservation practices to address natural resource concerns and hazards through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program. "After natural disasters such as wildfires, it is critical that farmers, ranchers and forestland owners have financial and technical resources available to protect their natural resources and operations," said NRCS Chief Jason Weller. "Conservation practices protect the land and aid recovery, but can build the natural resource base and may help mitigate loss in future events." Farmers and ranchers with coverage through the federal crop insurance program administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) should contact their crop insurance agent to discuss losses due to fire or other natural causes of loss. 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. When wildfires destroy or severely damage residential property, Rural Development (RD) can assist with providing priority hardship application processing for single family housing. Under a disaster designation, RD can issue a priority letter for next available multi-family housing units. RD also provides low-interest loans to community facilities, water environmental programs, businesses and cooperatives and to rural utilities. For the first time in its 110-year history, the Forest Service, part of USDA, is spending more than 50 percent of its budget to suppress the nation's wildfires. Today, fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s. Since 2000, at least 10 states have had their largest fires on record. This year, there have been more than 46,000 fires. Increasing development near forest boundaries also drives up costs, as more than 46 million homes and more than 70,000 communities are at risk from wildfire in the United States. Visit https://go.usa.gov/3eDeF to learn more about USDA disaster preparedness and response. For more information on USDA disaster assistance programs, please contact your local USDA Service Center. To find your local USDA Service Center go to http://offices.usda.gov. #
Pesticide License Renewal Season is practically upon us! NMDA is getting ready to send out renewal forms to all the Private Pesticide Applicators who will be expiring December 31, 2015. In order to renew their licenses this fall a Private Applicator needs to: 1.) Complete 5 hours’ worth of continuing education (CEUs) Obtaining 5 CEUs makes them eligible to renew their license. It does NOT automatically renew their license for them. 2.) Complete and mail back their renewal form along with a check or money order for fifteen dollars. 3.) We encourage applicators to call us at 575-646-2134 or email us at email@example.com in order to verify their CEU status. If you receive any calls from Private Applicators regarding their CEU totals please send them our way. For those of you who sponsor workshops please remember to submit your online application form with 20 business days prior to the workshop date. You can complete your application form by going to this page: https://nmag.nmsu.edu/USAPlants/PesticideApplicator/MeetingRequest.aspx . If you have not sponsored a pesticide applicator workshop but would like to please feel free to contact Lindsay Thomen at 575-646-4837 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you so much for all you do 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 email@example.com IN EDDY COUNTY CEU classes will be October 15, November 12; December 10 at the Eddy County Extension office, Call Robylyn at 887-6595. In ARTESIA on November 10 at the Artesia Ag Science center, limited seating Call Robylynn at 887-6595.
USDA, DOI, and OMB Urge Congress to Fix the Fire Budget WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2015 - On the heels of a notification Monday from USDA to Congress of the need to transfer an additional $250 million to cover wildfire suppression costs for the remainder of the year, Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and the White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan sent a joint letter to Congress requesting they act to change the way the nation pays for wildfire costs so that we can continue to adequately invest in forest and rangeland restoration, and make lands less vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire and more resilient. Since 2000, fire seasons have grown longer, and the frequency, size and severity of wildland fires has increased. The cost of the U.S. Forest Service's wildfire suppression reached a record $243 million in a one-week period during the height of suppression activity last month. With a record 52 percent of the Forest Service's budget dedicated to fighting wildfire, compared to just 16 percent in 1995, the Forest Service's firefighting budget has been exhausted, forcing USDA to transfer funds away from forest restoration projects that would help reduce the risk of future fires, in order to cover the high cost of battling today's blazes. Monday's transfer was the third this year bringing the total to $700 million. While the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior are able to suppress or manage 98 percent of fires with allocated funds, catastrophic megafires burn through the agency's financial resources. One to two percent of fires consume 30 percent or more of total actual annual fire suppression dollars. "Restoring resilient forests helps to protect against future fire outbreaks and is vital to minimizing long-term costs to lives, private and public properties, and to struggling rural economies. Under the current budget structure we are forced to abandon these critical restoration and capital improvement projects in order to suppress these few but extreme fires" Vilsack said. "The President's budget solution, similar to the proposed Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, takes a common sense approach and treats these events like other natural disasters." The Forest Service transferred funds in seven of the last 14 years, while in six of the last 14 years, DOI had to transfer funds. The costs of wildfire preparedness and suppression now account for 76 percent of the DOI wildfire management program budget and, as in the case of the Forest Service, reduce the amounts of funds available for fuels management and restoration efforts. These activities are essential for reducing risks of catastrophic fires, increasing the resiliency of lands to recover from fire, and to protect communities and infrastructure. "The rising costs of fighting wildfires come at the expense of other programs that reduce the risk of catastrophic fires, increase the ability of our lands to recover from fire, and help protect communities and infrastructure," said Jewell. "The President's budget and a bipartisan group in Congress recognize this and have a commonsense solution -- treat catastrophic wildfires like the natural disasters they are. Congress can stop this perpetual downward spiral that each year increases fire risk, and jeopardizes critical resources that support prevention and recovery efforts." The Administration proposes that DOI and the Forest Service would be able to access a discretionary disaster cap adjustment after the amount spent on fire suppression exceeds 70 percent of the 10-year average. This is mirrored in the proposed bipartisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (WDFA) which is budget neutral and also has broad stakeholder support. This approach allows the agencies to invest additional resources in forest and rangeland restoration and management. In the case of the Forest Service, it would increase acres treated by 1 million acres annually and increase timber outputs by 300 million board feet annually. In the Department of the Interior, it would increase the number of acres treated annually by 500,000 acres and help protect public lands such as the sage steppe ecosystem. The letter points out that the alternative House-passed Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015, H.R. 2647 is incompatible with the Federal government's natural disaster management needs because it does not address the long-term shift in the Forest Service's budget and the escalating percent of the Forest Service budget devoted to fire suppression. "We urgently need to address the runaway growth of fire suppression at the cost of other critical programs - instead of leaving our agencies and the States scrambling to plug budget gaps while they are literally putting out fires," Donovan said. "There is bipartisan support for the President's proposal to change the way we budget for fire suppression. The time to act is now." Climate change has led to fire seasons that are now on average 78 days longer than in 1970. The U.S. burns twice as many acres as three decades ago and Forest Service scientists believe the acreage burned may double again by mid-century. USDA, DOI and OMB are asking for a fix in time for the challenges that lie ahead. Both the President's budget proposal and WDFA provide real support to the long-term impacts of increasing wildfires. Below is the text of the letter. The Honorable Maria Cantwell Ranking Member Committee on Energy and Natural Resources United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 Dear Senator Cantwell: With more than 8.5 million acres burned already, the 2015 fire season is proving to be disastrous in terms of the loss of firefighter lives, homes and structures, and natural resources. Unfortunately, the season is far from over. In fact, just yesterday the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Forest Service (Forest Service) announced it will transfer an additional $250 million of funding from non-fire accounts to pay for firefighting through the end of the Fiscal Year (FY). The $250 million is in addition to the $450 million the agency has been forced to transfer since August to fund firefighting. In early August, the Forest Service released a report showing that over one-half of its budget is now spent on firefighting and other fire-related activities, up from one-sixth in 1995. By 2025, the agency conservatively forecasts that it will spend two-thirds of its budget on wildfires. This shift in resources from non-fire programs to firefighting has enormous implications on all agency activities, including recreation, research, watershed protection, rangeland management, and, importantly, forest restoration. This Administration placed a very high priority on increasing the pace and scale of forest restoration on the National Forests to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire, and increased both acres treated and timber outputs significantly since 2008. However, the Forest Service's ability to increase the level of forest treatments is limited by the growing proportion of the agency's budget spent on firefighting and related activities. Similarly, in the U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior), the growing costs of wildfire preparedness and suppression now account for 76 percent of the wildfire management program budget, and are reducing the amounts available for fuels management and restoration activities by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These treatments are essential for reducing risks of catastrophic fires, for increasing the resiliency of lands to recover from fire, and protecting communities and infrastructure. The Forest Service and Interior agencies set their firefighting budget based on their average costs of fighting fires over the last 10 years. Due to longer fire seasons resulting from climate change, increased fuel loads in our forests and on our rangelands, and the expense associated with protecting lives and homes along an expanding wildland urban interface, the 10-year average keeps rising and will continue to rise. As a result, unless Congress changes its budgeting strategy for fire suppression in the Forest Service and Interior, firefighting suppression as a proportion of the agencies' budgets will continue to increase. In addition to this long-term shift of resources towards wildfire operations, in difficult fire years each agency has to transfer additional funds from non-fire programs to fund firefighting, as mentioned above, further exacerbating the problem. With respect to the Department of the Interior, this occurred in six of the last 14 years. For the Forest Service, such funding transfers happened in seven of the last 14 years. Since August the Forest Service has transferred $700 million. To solve the fire budget problem in the long term, Congress should take two actions. First, Congress must allow the firefighting spending to be scored as an adjustment to discretionary spending caps in bad fire seasons, in keeping with the treatment of other Federal disaster response activities, instead of transferring resources from non-fire programs, including timber sale and forest restoration projects, research and monitoring efforts, recreation and wildlife activities, and trail and visitor facility maintenance. Second, Congress must do this in a way that does not harm the agencies' ability to invest in fuels management and forest and rangeland restoration to make these lands less vulnerable and more resilient to catastrophic wildfire. Both of these actions are consistent with how the Nation treats other natural disasters. President Barack Obama's FY 2015 and FY 2016 budget requests addressed both problems. Under the Administration's proposal, if the Forest Service and Interior are appropriated 70 percent of the 10-year average, they would be authorized to access a discretionary disaster cap adjustment. This approach allows the agencies to invest additional resources in forest and rangeland restoration and management. In the case of the Forest Service, it would increase acres treated by 1 million acres annually and increase timber outputs by 300 million board feet annually. At Interior, it would increase the number of acres treated annually by 500,000 acres and help protect public lands such as the sage steppe ecosystem. The President's approach includes the bipartisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (WDFA), H.R. 167 (which was introduced by Representatives Mike Simpson and Kurt Schrader), and S. 235 (which was introduced by Senators Ron Wyden and Mike Crapo) has broad and diverse stakeholder support. This legislation provides for an adjustment to discretionary spending caps and addresses the long-term shift of resources to firefighting from other critical programs that support forest and rangeland management. Unfortunately, the fire budget provisions passed by the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee only address fire transfers. Without taking a holistic approach to response and recovery, as done with other disasters to improve resiliency, suppression costs will continue to increase. Further, we do not believe that Congress should modify the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act as a means to address the escalating costs of wildfire. The House-passed Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015, H.R. 2647, would create resource uncertainty for disaster response efforts by reallocating funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Relief Fund to Federal firefighting activities. In doing so, the bill would undermine the Federal Government's ability to adequately budget for, and fund responses to, other natural or man-made disasters such as the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Additionally, H.R. 2647 would undermine financing for State and Tribal public infrastructure disaster recovery projects. The President's budget request and WDFA both take advantage of the fact that Congress has already budgeted effectively for natural disaster response. With the dramatic growth in wildland fire over the last three decades and an expected doubling again by mid-century, it only makes sense that Congress begin treating catastrophic wildfire as the natural disaster that it is. Sincerely, Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture Shaun Donovan, Director of the Office of Management and Budget #
The August 2015 Drought and Impact Summary is now available. Drought in the Western region expanded and intensified in August. Prospects for a “Super-El Niño” raised hopes for an end to the drought, though many scientists and officials warned that an El Niño year is no guarantee of a wet winter, let alone enough precipitation to end a four-year drought. California agriculture managed to have good years in 2013 and 2014 despite the drought, due in large part to groundwater pumping and high-dollar crops, though agricultural jobs were fewer. The populations of many native fish and trees were dwindling. Read the full August 2015 Drought & Impact Summary: http://drought.unl.edu/NewsOutreach/MonthlySummary/August2015DroughtandImpactSummary.aspx Visit the NDMC’s archived monthly reports: http://drought.unl.edu/NewsOutreach/MonthlySummary.aspx Manage your subscription to these updates: http://listserv.unl.edu/signup-anon?LISTNAME=ndmc_update&LOCKTYPE=list Kelly Helm Smith Communications & Planning Specialist National Drought Mitigation Center 820 Hardin Hall University of Nebraska-Lincoln 402-472-3373 Ksmith2@unl.edu
USDA Awards $20.5 Million to Advance the Next Generation of Natural Resources Conservation WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2015 - U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of $20.5 million through its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program for 45 projects that will develop and advance the conservation of natural resources. This year's projects include efforts to increase habitat for pollinators, develop new ways to attract private investment in natural resource conservation, give agricultural producers greater access to greenhouse gas markets, and help farmers and ranchers make their operations more resilient to climate change. "This year's slate of projects represent the next generation of natural resources conservation, headed by partners who are progressive and forward-thinking in their solutions to natural resource problems," Vilsack said. "Many of them are also engaging with beginning or underserved farmers and ranchers, and carrying their projects into parts of the country where Conservation Innovation Grants have not been utilized in years past." Seven of the approved grants support conservation technologies and approaches to help beginning, historically underserved or socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. Approximately half of this year's funding supports environmental markets projects in three categories: water quality trading, greenhouse gas markets, and—for the first time--impact investments in working lands conservation. Below is a small sample of this year's awardees and their projects: • Iowa State University received $760,897 to develop and accelerate the adoption of innovative approaches to monarch butterfly conservation, with focus on developing methods appropriate for use in the agriculturally-intensive Midwestern U.S. corn and soybean production regions. • Nuestras Raices received $811,148 to provide guidance on environmentally sound growing practices and develop a language and culturally appropriate training program to support the production of Caribbean Latino specialty crops in the Northeast. • Environmental Defense Fund received $960,000 to create the first large scale pilot project generating greenhouse gas credits from nutrient management practices on corn and almond farms. • The Farm Foundation received $685,990 to collect, analyze and disseminate site-specific soil health and economic information related to cover crops and no-till to producers interested in adopting these soil health improving practices. • Indian Land Tenure received $295,000 to adapt greenhouse gas protocols and increase engagement and participation of Indian Tribes in greenhouse gas markets. • The Nature Conservancy received $498,000 to demonstrate the potential of carbon markets as a viable financial instrument, enrolling 50,000 acres of rangeland in North and South Dakota in a carbon offset program. • Partners for Western Conservation, including the Colorado Cattlemen's Association and the States of Nevada and Utah, received $279,400 to develop a pay-for-success investment instrument for wildlife habitat and water quality conservation. The State of Nevada will pilot the instrument as part of its efforts to conserve Greater sage-grouse habitat. A full list of recipients is available here: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/cig/. Administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, CIG stimulates the development of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on farms, ranches and forest lands. Funding for CIG comes from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, part of the 2014 Farm Bill. At least 50 percent of the total cost of CIG projects must come from non-federal matching funds. NRCS has offered Conservation Innovation Grants since 2004, investing in ways to demonstrate and transfer efficient and environmentally friendly farming and ranching. Grants have helped develop trading markets for water quality and have shown how farmers and ranchers may use fertilizer, water and energy more efficiently. Since 2009 through this year's funding, 368 projects have been awarded for a total $146 million investment in novel conservation. Click here for a summary fact sheet of the first 10 years of CIG. For more on this grant program, visit USDA's Conservation Innovation Grants webpage. #
Monday, September 14, 2015
Over 100 youth participate in New Mexico State 4-H Rodeo Finals DATE: 09/14/2015 WRITER: Kristie Garcia, 575-646-4211, firstname.lastname@example.org CONTACT: Rick Richardson, 575-646-3026, email@example.com Youth from across the state were in Albuquerque Sept. 4 and 5 for the New Mexico State 4-H Rodeo Finals at Tingley Coliseum. Events included breakaway roping, barrel race, flag race, ribbon roping, step-down roping, tie-down roping, pole bending, goat tying, steer wrestling, steer stopping, team roping, saddle bronc riding, steer riding and bull riding. Numerous Dona Ana County 4-H members were top finishers at the event. The following Dona Ana County 4-H members placed in the novice category: Avery Ledesma, novice finals all-around champion, first place in goats, second place in flags and third place in poles; Weslynn Reno, reserve novice all-around, first place in breakaway, second place in goats and fourth place in barrels; Trista Martinez, first place in barrels and third place in flags; Alexis Massey, first place in flags and second place in barrels; Peyton Stone, first place in poles, third place in barrels and fourth place in flags; Cade Martinez, first place in steer stopping; Peysen Taylor, second place in steer riding; Bailey Massey, third place in goats; Kylee Jo Sanchez, fifth place in poles and sixth place in barrels; and Jordyn Wamel, sixth place in flags. In the junior category, Jocelyn Massey was the reserve all-around champion, and she finished first in goats and second in both barrels and poles. Lauren Stone finished first in poles, and Bladen Reno earned first place in breakaway and second in ribbon roping. Jayde Wamel finished first in barrels and sixth in poles, while Raquel Weatherley finished fourth in barrels. Jamee Middagh finished fourth in team roping-heading and sixth in tie down. Amy Weich finished fifth in barrels. Arden Gardner finished fifth in ribbon roping and sixth in team roping-heading, while Brooke Beil finished fifth in poles. In the senior category, Trey Marable finished second in bulls, and Samantha Wagner earned third place in goats. K-Von Jimenez and Emilie Parra had fourth-place finishes, in team roping-heading and poles, respectively. Justin Prouty finished fifth in ribbon roping. Rick Richardson, New Mexico 4-H Youth Development interim department head, said participating in the rodeo benefits the youth in several ways. “For one, it builds responsibility, teamwork and sportsmanship,” Richardson said. “They learn other life skills as well, including record book-keeping, engaging in healthy competition and subject-matter skills, such as writing and veterinary skills.” In order to qualify for the state rodeo finals, participants must attend at least three of the 10 rodeos held during the summer, and they must acquire at least one point in any of those three rodeos. The state rodeo featured 102 participants ages 9-to-19 from 21 New Mexico counties. Rodeo scholarships were awarded to 4-H participants Kylie Butterfield of De Baca County, Raul Perea of Luna County and Makayla Richardson of Dona Ana County. The event concluded with an auction and awards banquet Sept. 6. For more information about New Mexico 4-H Youth Development, call 575-646-3026 or visit aces.nmsu.edu/4h.
I just saw a hay field near Carlsbad that was not greening up due to a very heavy infestation of cutworms. It looked similar to infestations Woods and I saw in July 2010 south of Carlsbad. One of the biggest problems is that they are not noticed until a cut field doesn't green up and at that point the larvae are often too large to treat. The easiest way to look for them is to check under the windrows since the larvae collect under there during the day to avoid heat and light. They feed at night and in 2010 kept feeding on cut stands to where some growers lost not just a cutting but the whole stand. There are a few things that can be considered when larvae are too large for insecticide applications Irrigate during the day so when larvae move to avoid drowning birds have a chance to pick at them. If a field is due to be cut but larvae are actively feeding and too large to treat, wait a few days before cutting so they are closer to pupating and you don't have a stressed stand further stressed by cutworm feeding. If hay is already cut bale it as soon as possible. That will pick up some cutworms and get them out of the field and expose those left to heat and low humidity. Consider waiting to plant new hay until the problem generation has pupated and there is no active feeding. The last time this happened it was limited to a number of fields in south Eddy Co. but was not widespread. Hopefully this is in a limited area but it was very bad last time so you need to know. This is the publication we wrote after the last problem: http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_a/A335/welcome.html Jane Jane Breen Pierce Ph.D Research/Extension Entomologist ASC Artesia 575 365 8320 Greg Alpers sent this: Going back to our past experiences in Eddy co. The best control was Intrepid at 8 ounces. Lorsban, Cobalt or pyrethroids alone do not control all 3 cutworms species. Recent experience shows Intrepid at 6 ounces plus 1.5 pints of Cobalt Advanced. 3 different actives, controls all 3 cutworms and give good residual. Greg
USDA and Department of Defense Announce Agriculture Education Effort that will Reach 200,000 Transitioning Military Service Members Each Year
USDA and Department of Defense Announce Agriculture Education Effort that will Reach 200,000 Transitioning Military Service Members Each Year WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2015 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and Dr. Susan Kelly, Director of the Department of Defense's Transition to Veterans Program Office, today announced the integration of agriculture into the career training and counseling programs Service members receive as they transition out of the military. Information about USDA resources and programs will now reach 200,000 transitioning Service members every year. "Rural America disproportionately sends its sons and daughters to serve in the military. When Service members return home, we want them to know that rural America has a place for them -- no matter where they're from," said Deputy Secretary Harden. "This expanded collaboration between USDA and DOD will help to ensure that returning Service members know that there are a wide variety of loans, grants, training and technical assistance for veterans who are passionate about a career in agriculture, no matter their experience level." "Our transitioning Service members leave the military with a variety of essential skills - including leadership and discipline - that could be directly applied to a career in agriculture," said Dr. Susan S. Kelly, Director of the Department of Defense's Transition to Veterans Program Office. "For those members who are considering farming or ranching as a post-service career, I encourage them to learn more about the opportunities, preferences, and incentives offered by the USDA." Every year, approximately 200,000 Service members complete the Transition Assistance Program as they prepare for civilian life. This partnership will help to ensure that returning Service members know about the incentives for military veterans in USDA programs, and the many ways USDA can support military veterans and their families, from farm loans to conservation programs to nutrition assistance to rural rental housing and homeownership opportunities. Veterans can also visit www.usda.gov/veterans, a website designed specifically to educate them about USDA programs. Since 2009, USDA has provided $438 million in farm loans to help more than 6,482 veterans purchase farmland, buy equipment and make repairs and upgrades. Our microloans, which offer smaller amounts of support to meet the needs of small- or niche-type farm operations, have also grown in popularity among veterans. Since it was launched in January 2013, USDA's microloan program has provided more than $22.6 million in support to help 1,083 veterans grow their farming businesses. Today's announcement reflects USDA's continued commitment to assisting veterans as they start or expand farming and ranching operations, in order to strengthen the American economy and provide livelihoods to our returning veterans. Today, more than 5 million veterans live in rural areas, a higher concentration than in any other part of the country. Our veterans have incredible stories to share, including: Veteran Farmers, In Their Own Voice Planting Seeds for New Careers for our Veterans Virginia Farmer Balances Family, Farming and Flying with the Air National Guard Read more stories about veterans in agriculture at http://blogs.usda.gov/tag/veterans/. #
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Bacterial leaf scorch confirmed in Arizona pecan, Disease found in New Mexico pecan Western Farm Press By Cary Blake Its official – the Arizona pecan industry has a new plant disease, according to plant pathologist Mary Olsen. Olsen of the University of Arizona told several hundred folks gathered at the Arizona Pecan Growers Association annual meeting in Tucson in August that pecan bacterial leaf scorch (PBLS) disease was confirmed in Arizona pecan in July with help from the Plant Diagnostic Lab at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Two diagnostic methods were used to confirm the disease - DNA and ELISA, the latter an acronym stands for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. “I think you’ve lived with this disease for a while,” Olsen told the standing-room-only crowd. This finding is the first confirmed PBLS case in Arizona pecan. The disease was confirmed in New Mexico in mid-August, according to NMSU Plant Pathologist Natalie Goldberg. Unknown is whether the disease is found in pecan in California. PBLS is found in some southeastern U.S. pecan orchards in different pecan varieties. In Arizona, PBLS has been confirmed in the Western and Pawnee varieties. The disease is caused by a strain of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, which is carried from plant to plant by xylem-feeding insect vectors. Olsen says the vector in Arizona has not been identified. In other pecan-growing states, PBLS vectors include members of the Cicadellidae (leafhopper) and Cercopidae (spittlebug) families. Studies by Louisiana State University suggest the vectors include the glassy-winged sharpshooter, leafhopper, and adult spittlebug. Leaf scorch diseases caused by different strains of Xylella fastidiosa are found in other crops, including California-grown almonds, grapes, and olives causing reduced yield and often plant death. This disease has had a devastating impact on residential oleander plants in the greater Phoenix area. Olsen and UA Cooperative Extension Horticulture Agent Joshua Sherman are conducting an Arizona grower survey on the disease to determine its distribution in pecan throughout the state. Symptoms of PBLS include terminal dieback in the early spring and leaf scorching. The UA says disease development and symptoms can occur on one or more limbs in the tree canopy. In Arizona, symptoms are typically seen on terminal shoots but also secondary shoots, including curling leaflet margins which turn from tan to brown. The UA says necrosis progresses toward the midrib and petiolule, followed by the abscission of impacted leaflets and rachises. The terminal shoot often turns black and dies. Olsen notes that marginal necrosis can be confused with salinity issues, black aphid damage, and foliar fungal pathogens. Research conducted at Louisiana State University suggests disease severity varies among pecan varieties, and the bacteria can be transmitted from infected rootstock or introduced in infected scion wood. Olsen said, “We need to determine the vector, learn if there are alternative hosts, and whether the bacterial strain in Arizona pecan is the same or different from other states.”
Bacteria could threaten pistachios in NM Albuquerque Journal By Angela Simental Oddly shaped pistachio trees in California and Arizona signal the presence of a combination of bacteria that could impact the pistachio industry of New Mexico. Jennifer Randall, New Mexico State University plant pathology professor, has identified two Rhodococcus bacteria, which usually distress ornamental plants, not trees, that have affected more than 20,000 acres of California’s pistachio industry. “These two bacteria work together and affect a wide range of plants,” she said. “This bacteria has caused problems in nursery settings, but this is the first time it has been a problem for trees. One pistachio orchard in New Mexico was found to be infected, and in New Mexico the concern is that we need to understand this and make sure it doesn’t affect our regionally important crops, such as pecan trees or chile.” Two years ago, Randall was contacted by pistachio growers in California and Arizona wanting her to look at their oddly shaped trees. During inspection of California orchards, instead of viewing trees growing lean and tall, Randall found trees stunted and bushy with twisted roots, which in Arizona, resulted in three-year-old trees being lifted by the wind. “These trees were abnormal. We used the term ‘Pistachio Bushy Top Syndrome’ to describe these trees,” Randall said. Rhodococcus bacteria can live on leaf surfaces for months without causing any symptoms, but once they appears on the plant’s surface, the bacteria infiltrate the tree, altering the hormones that control growth and development. “In the lab, we put the Rhodococcus bacteria onto healthy pistachio trees and the trees developed the same symptoms that were in the affected pistachio orchards,” Randall said of the research that was funded by the California Pistachio Research Board and the NMSU Agricultural Experiment Station. The disease has an economic impact on the growers because it reduces the tree’s nut production. “One of the main issues with these trees was that the budding efficiency was reduced; only 30 percent of the trees were successfully budded,” Randall said of her survey of the California orchards. “However, trees that were budded typically developed huge bark-cracking areas where normally they have a smooth surface. This meant that the top of the tree was not stable, and if grown to harvest, it is possible that the trees may not survive the shakers commercial growers use.” Another economic impact is the replacement of the infected tree in the orchard. “The problem for pistachio growers is that it takes seven years to produce a significant crop,” Randall said. “Now, they will not have the amount of production they projected because they had to take out the contaminated trees and plant new ones.” Randall’s collaborator in California, Elizabeht Fichtner, is testing the soil to determine if a newly planted tree root might be contaminated by the bacteria from the previous tree. Although continuous testing has been done in the lab, Randall and her team don’t have a treatment for these bacteria. They are trying to find an easier and faster way to detect the bacteria, especially for those growers who are replanting. “Our research will also focus on ways to treat it because it is a different type of pathogen,” she said. “There are pathogens that kill plants and this one is different because it doesn’t kill the plant, but changes how the plant grows.” The next step of her lab research is to experiment, in a controlled setting, how it might affect pecan trees, given that pecans are one of the largest industries in New Mexico.
Avoid and Survive Undercover Video Investigations on the Farm: Hiring Practices (Part One of a Three Part Series) Texas AgrilLife Extension By Tiffany Dowell Recently, I did a three-part series for Dairy Herd Management magazine discussing avoiding and surviving undercover video investigations on agriculture operations. Particularly in light of the Idaho “ag gag” statute being stricken as unconstitutional, this is an important and timely issue. We will be sharing the articles over the next couple of weeks and will address hiring practices, training procedures, and what to do if a crisis does occur. Importantly, an initial disclaimer. I, along with the vast majority of folks involved in production agriculture am adamantly against animal abuse. Having grown up on my family’s own farm and ranch, I know first-hand the time, effort, and care that most producers put into their animals. Those who abuse animals should be punished, no question. This series is not aimed at helping to hide animal abuse. It is, instead, aimed at helping producers avoid the dangers to their operations, animals, family, and employees caused by trespassing, fraud, and deceit often used in undercover video investigations. With that, on with the article. Initially, we will focus on hiring practices to avoid hiring an animal rights activist who seeks to film undercover videos on a farm, ranch, or other operation. Here are some key pointers: 1. Google the employee’s name. It may seem like a simple item to include on a list of hiring practices, but it can be extremely effective. Several farmers subject to undercover animal rights investigations admit that if they had taken the time to run an Internet search before hiring the employee, the entire situation likely could have been avoided, since the search would have shown connections between the employee and animal rights organizations. 2. Look for a social media presence by the employee. This, too, seems like a simple step, but it is amazing the information people share on social media. Check to see if the applicant has a Facebook page, a blog, a Twitter or Instagram account. Such checks are easy and free, and could help avoid hiring someone seeking to cause problems. 3. Confirm references are legitimate and contact each of them. It is important for employers to contact references for a potential job applicant to determine if they are, in fact, references. Sometimes, activists list fake references based on the assumption the employer will never make these phone calls. Additionally, activists may use false references. For example, an applicant might list prior employment at a certain company, but then list a roommate as being his/her supervisor, providing the roommate’s phone number. In order to catch an applicant in this type of situation, employers should research each company listed on a reference list, comparing phone numbers given with those available publicly for the company. 4. Complete a background check. Employers should consider running a background check on job applicants. Importantly, the employer must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and all state laws related to background checks for employment purposes. To ensure compliance with the laws in a specific state, seek legal counsel from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. 5. Seek specific information in the job application. Seek information including a list of all prior names and aliases, and any association or affiliation with animal rights groups. 6. Require signature under penalty of perjury. Require all applicants to sign their completed application and state, under penalty of perjury, that all information is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge. This may allow perjury charges to be pursued if it turns out later that false information was supplied. 7. Beware of common warning signs. There are numerous commonalities among activists seeking farm employment with an ultimate motive of obtaining undercover video footage. Although each of these signs could be innocent, employers should be aware of common warning signs: (1) seeking employment below the employee’s skill level; (2) previous jobs are wholly out of character with employment being sought; (3) volunteering to work for no pay; (4) seeking short-term work; (5) providing a newly obtained driver’s license; (6) seeking jobs because they have “always wanted to see how something was done”. In conclusion, there are numerous practices an operator should take to avoid hiring an animal rights activist with ulterior motives. It is certainly easier to put in more time, effort and expense on the front end than to recover from an undercover video once it has been released. Additionally, because there are numerous state and federal laws related to employment, farmers should contact a licensed attorney in their jurisdiction to ensure all hiring practices meet the applicable requirements.
Hay production is up, prices are down, N.M. dairies finding buying bales closer to home The Durango Herald By Mary Shinn A wet spring and early summer has given rise to an abundant hay crop for local farmers and lower prices for their product regionally. Those raising hay for horses and beef cattle have seen prices drop from about $10 for a small bale to about $8.25 in the last two years, said Tom Campbell, the agronomy manager for Basin Coop. “We’re seeing a small drop in price, it’s not horrific,” he said. Regionally, $7 for a small bale of premium hay is the current average, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “It’s going to be a good buyers market,” said Bob Bragg, a local farm and ranch consultant. According to data from the Colorado Department of Agriculture premium alfalfa is going for $308 per ton, or $10 per bale, and certified-weed free grass is going for $215 per ton, or $7 per bale. The Colorado Weekly Hay report for Sept. 3 stated that market activity on all classes of hay remained slow on light demand. Alfalfa traded steady compared with the previous week, the report said, with most of the trade activity on hay with a 150 or less relative feed value. Several factors are driving prices lower. Dairies, which are grappling with decreased demand for milk, need less hay for dairy cows. And lingering West Coast shipyard strikes have caused inventory to back up; and a stronger U.S. dollar makes domestically produced products more expensive to export. Not only has the drought broken in most of the La Plata County, but it has also eased in New Mexico and parts of California, leading to lower hay prices across the entire Southwest, said George Van Den Berg, a local farmer. It will be possible for most local ranchers to make up for the drop in price with a greater volume of sales, Campbell said. There is also good demand for the local small-bale hay in Texas and Arizona because some local farms are able to raise premium hay, he said. Small-bale hay is generally purchased for horses or cattle that are being fed for slaughter. These bales can be grass or a hay-alfalfa mix. In general, the rains in May and June didn’t damage too many fields of cut hay drying in the fields in La Plata County, Campbell said. In some cases, the farmers waited to cut until after the rains had ended, and as a result some were a lower quality because the hay was more mature, he said. However, those raising alfalfa in Montezuma County to sell to dairies in New Mexico and Texas are facing very different market, Bragg said. There have been very few alfalfa sales this year because it is much cheaper for dairies to purchase hay from farms in New Mexico and Texas, Bragg said. “It’s been a really slow year for them,” he said. While there have been large harvests, a lot of it was rain-damaged, Bragg said. This type of hay can still be sold, but not to dairies who are looking for the highest-quality hay. He said many farmers are concerned because they don’t have anywhere to store the abundance of alfalfa until demand picks up again. “The hay buyers are not coming up and even making offers,” he said. One ton of high-quality alfalfa is selling for $175 in Southwest Colorado, according to the USDA. Last year at this time, a ton of similar alfalfa was selling for $250 to $280 per ton. But the USDA was not reporting sales for lower-quality hay, likely because sales are so infrequent, Bragg said. Those farmers who can wait to sell their products to the dairies in the winter could face better market conditions when supply from New Mexico and Texas farms runs low, Bragg said. “We may have hay movement that we’re not seeing right now,” he said. Danny Decker, owner of Decker Hay Farms in Cortez, estimates that current hay prices are down at least 50 percent from this time last year. “My good-quality hay is still moving steadily – it might be as much as last year, and it’s moving for less money. There are a lot of factors that go into the prices. It’s tough right now.”
EPA Proposes Stronger Standards for People Applying the Pesticides with the Greatest Risk Improved training and minimum age requirements for certified applicators will help protect people and the environment. Washington- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing stronger standards for pesticide applicators who apply “restricted-use” pesticides. These pesticides are not available for purchase by the general public, require special handling, and may only be applied by a certified applicator or someone working under his or her direct supervision. “We are committed to keeping our communities safe, protecting our environment and protecting workers and their families, said Jim Jones, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “By improving training and certification, those who apply these restricted use pesticides will have better knowledge and ability to use these pesticides safely.” The goal of today’s action is to reduce the likelihood of harm from the misapplication of toxic pesticides and ensure a consistent level of protection among states. Pesticide use would be safer with increased supervision and oversight. EPA is proposing stricter standards for people certified to use restricted use pesticides and to require all people who apply restricted use pesticides to be at least 18 years old. Certifications would have to be renewed every 3 years. EPA is proposing additional specialized licensing for certain methods of application that can pose greater risks if not conducted properly, such as fumigation and aerial application. For further protection, those working under the supervision of certified applicators would now need training on using pesticides safely and protecting their families from take-home pesticide exposure. State agencies issue licenses to pesticide applicators who need to demonstrate under an EPA-approved program their ability to use these products safely. The proposed revisions would reduce the burden on applicators and pest control companies that work across state lines. The proposal promotes consistency across state programs by encouraging inter-state recognition of licenses. The proposal also updates the requirements for States, Tribes, and Federal agencies that administer their own certification programs to incorporate the strengthened standards. Many states already have in place some or many of EPA’s proposed changes. The proposed changes would raise the bar nationally to a level that most states have already achieved. The estimated benefits of $80.5 million would be due to fewer acute pesticide incidents to people. EPA encourages public comment on the proposed improvements. The 90 day public comment period will begin when the proposal is published in the Federal Register. A copy of the proposal and more information about certification for pesticide applicators: http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/epa-proposes-stronger-standards-people-applying-riskiest-pesticides To comment on the proposed changes, visit http://www.regulations.gov and search for docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0183 after publication in the federal register.
As Wildfires Continue to Burn, New Maps Shows Expansion of Wildland-Urban Interface Growth in development raises costs and danger of fighting wildfires, highlights need for funding fix WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2015 – A new U.S. Forest Service report shows the continued expansion of housing development near forests, an area referred to as the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI), with direct implications for the cost of wildfire fighting. Increasing densities of people and infrastructure in the WUI makes wildfire management more complex and requires more firefighting assets to ensure an appropriate, safe and effective response, which in turn drives up the cost of fighting wildfires. Expansion of the WUI has direct implications for wildfire management as more of the Forest Service's resources are spent each year to provide the firefighters, aircraft and other assets necessary to protect lives, property and natural resources in the wildland urban interface regions. In addition, overall fire seasons have grown longer, and the frequency, size and severity of wildland fires has increased. In recent decades, research has shown a steady increase in the area that is part of the WUI, as documented and visually depicted in a new publication titled, "The 2010 Wildland-Urban Interface of the Conterminous United States." The percent of homes in the WUI increased by over five percent between 2000 and 2010 (latest data available). As of 2010, the WUI of the lower 48 states includes about 44 million houses, equivalent to one in every three houses in the country, with the highest concentrations of houses in the WUI in California, Texas and Florida. The publication includes new, high-resolution maps showing housing density, land ownership, land cover and wildland vegetation cover for each state. "The expanding wildland urban interface is a critical issue for wildland firefighting and for the conservation of our forests," said Robert Bonnie. "More people, homes, and infrastructure are at risk than ever before. As the WUI grows, our fire fighters must commit greater resources to protect homes and property which dramatically increases the cost of fire suppression." The cost of wildfire suppression reached a record $243 in a one week period during the height of suppression activity in late August. In 2015, 52% of the Forest Service budget was set aside for fire suppression, up from 16% in 1995. By September 2015, the Forest Service had already exceeded the funding set aside for fire suppression and was forced to borrow funds meant for other Forest Service activities. The bipartisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, already introduced in the House and Senate, is an important step forward in addressing the funding problems. The proposed legislation, which mirrors a similar proposal in President Obama's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, would provide a fiscally responsible mechanism to treat wildfires more like other natural disasters, end "fire transfers" and partially replenish the ability to restore resilient forests and protect against future fire outbreaks. While WUI expansion has increased the likelihood that wildfire will threaten structures and people and increase the number of people affected by wildfire, not all WUI acres are at high risk of wildfire or the only management concern. Increased risk of invasive species and disruption of wildlife and ecosystem processes often accompany human habitation, making the WUI maps an important guide in conservation work. To download a copy of this publication, visit the Northern Research Station's website. The mission of the Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the Nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. #
Duff to lead NMSU’s animal and range sciences department DATE: 09/10/2015 WRITER: Kristie Garcia, firstname.lastname@example.org CONTACT: Glenn Duff, 575-646-2515, email@example.com New Mexico State University alumnus Glenn Duff was named department head of animal and range sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. “It’s really an honor to be able to serve in this capacity at my alma mater,” Duff said. “I’ve come full circle, having received my doctorate here, then serving as a faculty member and now the department head.” In addition to earning a doctorate in animal nutrition from NMSU, he served as assistant professor and superintendent at NMSU’s Clayton Livestock Research Center from 1994 to 2001. His career also includes stints at the University of Arkansas, University of Arizona and Montana State University. Duff is enjoying the various aspects of his new position in the department. “I’m able to work with the faculty by being a liaison between faculty members and the dean’s office,” he said. “I not only have the opportunity to establish relationships with the students, but I’m also able to get to know the public and work with many different programs within the department.” Jim Libbin, interim dean for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, said Duff was the perfect candidate. “Because he completed his Ph.D. work at NMSU and was part of our faculty at Clayton for quite some time, Glenn has a huge knowledge of our program,” Libbin said. “He knows what we need to be doing to succeed in the future, and he’s also very knowledgeable about western livestock production.” “We were familiar with his reputation and character,” Libbin added. “We were lucky to attract him to the department head position.” Originally from Exira, Iowa, Duff earned a bachelor’s degree in animal and dairy science from Northwest Missouri State University and a master’s degree in animal reproductive physiology from the University of Arkansas. - 30 - Follow NMSU News on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nmsunews Follow NMSU News on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NMSUNews
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
USDA Awards $8 Million to Support Healthier Foods in Schools and Child Care Centers WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be awarding over $8 million in grants to help school nutrition professionals better prepare healthy meals for their students. Approximately $2.6 million dollars in grants will support implementation of new national professional standards for all school nutrition employees who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, and $5.6 million will go to help states expand and enhance food service training programs and provide nutrition education in school, child care, and summer meal settings. "For the past three years, kids have eaten healthier breakfasts, lunches and snacks at school thanks to the bipartisan Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which made the first meaningful improvements to the nutrition of foods and beverages served in cafeterias and sold in vending machines in 30 years. Nearly all schools are successfully meeting the standards, and these grants part of our ongoing commitment to give states and schools the additional resources they need," said Vilsack. "Parents, teachers, principals, and school nutrition professionals want the best for their children. Together we can make sure we're giving our kids the healthy start in life they deserve." The grants announced today add to the large number of resources that USDA provides to help schools serve healthier food options that meet updated nutrition standards, including technical assistance, educational materials, and additional reimbursements. More than 95 percent of schools report that they are successfully meeting those nutrition standards, which were based on recommendations from pediatricians and other child health experts at the Institute of Medicine. In February, USDA announced national professional standards for school nutrition employees that went into effect on July 1, 2015. These standards, which vary according to position and job requirements, ensure that school nutrition professionals have the training and skills they need to plan, prepare, purchase, and promote healthy meals. In addition to several built-in flexibilities intended to facilitate the first year of implementation and address the challenges faced by smaller school districts, USDA is providing a total of $2.6 million to 19 state agencies to develop and enhance existing trainings within their state that will allow school nutrition professionals to meet these standards. The Professional Standards Training Grants promote training in nutrition; operations; administration; and communications and marketing. In addition, 19 states received a 2015 Team Nutrition Training Grant of up to $350,000 – $5.6 million in total – to support trainings that focus on encouraging healthy eating. Those efforts could include: • using Smarter Lunchrooms strategies that use principles from behavioral economics to encourage healthy choices, • meeting meal pattern requirements for school meals, • delivering interactive nutrition education activities, and • providing schools and child care providers with technical assistance to create and maintain a healthier environment. Grants activities must be sustainable and achieve measurable outcomes. For example, the Oregon Department of Education will use the grant funds to hold 10 Smarter Lunchroom workshops on strategies for arranging the lunchroom that promote healthy choices. As a result, at least 120 school food authorities and child nutrition program sponsors will receive training and follow-up assistance. A summary of previous years' grant activities by state can be found at the Team Nutrition Training Grants website. The Team Nutrition Training Grants are awarded as part of USDA's Team Nutrition initiative, which provides resources, training, and nutrition education lessons for schools and child care providers. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Team Nutrition initiative. In that time, Team Nutrition has provided nearly $90 million in grant funds to state agencies that implement USDA Child Nutrition Programs. USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers America's nutrition assistance programs including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Together these programs make up the federal nutrition safety net. #
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Deadline to Enroll in Key Farm Bill Safety Net Programs Approaches 09/03/2015 01:00 PM EDT Deadline to Enroll in Key Farm Bill Safety Net Programs Approaches Producers have Until Sept. 30 to Sign Up for ARC/PLC and MPP-Dairy WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini reminds farmers and ranchers that they have until Sept. 30 to enroll in several key Farm Bill safety net programs – Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy). “These programs provide important risk protection for farm and dairy operations, so it is important not to miss the deadline for enrollment,” said Dolcini. “Producers already have elected ARC or PLC, so now is the time to sign the contract and enroll for the 2014 and 2015 crop years. I also remind dairy operations to enroll for coverage in 2016. Just $100 covers 90 percent of milk production at a $4 margin, and with incremental premiums, up to an $8 margin can be covered.” ARC and PLC programs trigger financial protections for agricultural producers when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices or revenues. More than 1.76 million farmers and ranchers are expected to sign contracts to enroll in ARC or PLC. Covered commodities under the programs include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity. The elections for each farm stay in place through 2018, but ownership and shares can be adjusted through the annual enrollment. For additional program information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc. MPP-Dairy offers protection to producers when the difference between the milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. Participating dairy farmers will remain in the program through 2018 and pay a $100 administrative fee each year. Producers also have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year. MPP-Dairy payments are based on an operation’s historical production, which will increase by 2.61 percent in 2016, if the operation participated in 2015, providing a stronger safety net. More than half of the nation’s dairy producers are enrolled in the program. For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy. For more program information, contact your FSA office or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy. To find your local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov. These risk management programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic investments made in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has progressively implemented 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 www.usda.gov/farmbill. 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).
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
New Mexico and Arizona Business Coalition Sues To Challenge EPA Rule Defining Waters Of The U.S. By NMACI
New Mexico and Arizona Business Coalition Sues To Challenge EPA Rule Defining Waters Of The U.S. By NMACI • 2 HOURS AGO The New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry, New Mexico Mining Association, New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau, Arizona Mining Association (AMA), Arizona Farm Bureau, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and Arizona Rock Products Association has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona challenging the U.S. EPA’s new rule dramatically expanding the scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. “ACI has been submitting comments and sharing our concerns with the EPA over this issue for months,” said ACI President Jason Espinoza. “This misguided rule places farmers, ranchers, miners and other businesses under burdensome regulations that were never meant to apply to them. The result will be countless lost jobs and further hardship for struggling New Mexico families. ACI is proud to take a stand to protect New Mexicans from this reckless overreach.” "New Mexico farmers and ranchers are already struggling with the effects of a five year drought, a tough economy, and countless other challenges," said New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau CEO Chad Smith. "It defies common sense that the EPA now wants to pile on more regulations under a law intended for navigable waters. The massive costs this new rule will impose on the hardworking families who provide our food are simply unacceptable." “In essence, the EPA’s new rule is based on the concept that it can regulate drought-stricken, arid desert as ‘waters of the United States,’” said Mike Bowen, Executive Director of the New Mexico Mining Association. “We’re talking about places where water hasn’t run for years, decades, or even centuries, and then placing the businesses in those areas under restrictive new regulations.” The focus of this lawsuit will be the new rule’s definition of ‘tributary,’ which expands ‘waters’ jurisdiction based on the presence of certain topographical features that are ubiquitous in the arid southwest, even in areas where it has been decades or centuries since any water has actually flowed on the ground. Even, under the new rule, an agency official in Washington, DC, can deem an expanse of desert to be a ‘water of the United States’ even if relevant topographical features do not actually exist. This broad coalition of affected southwest business groups has come together to ensure that issues important to the arid west are front and center in efforts to rein in EPA’s dramatic overreach, and to protect southwestern businesses and landowners from unreasonable new regulatory burdens. The filing is available here. ACI is New Mexico’s statewide business advocate, representing hundreds of businesses and more than 50,000 employees from all industry sectors and regions of New Mexico. The organization develops positions through member-led committees, and advocates for pro-business, pro-growth policies for a stronger economy and better opportunities for New Mexicans.
The following CES publication has been revised and is now available online in PDF format. Guide E-320: Freezing Vegetables Revised by Nancy C. Flores (Extension Food Technology Specialist) and Cindy Schlenker Davies (County Program Director/Extension Home Economist, Bernalillo County) http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_e/E320.pdf
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Livestock Indemnity Program Benefits Available to New Mexico Producers (Albuquerque, N.M.), August 31, 2015 – New Mexico USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, Molly Manzanares reminds producers who suffered qualifying livestock losses due to attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by the federal government that they could be eligible for the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)–this includes losses from wolves and avian predators. LIP also covers livestock death losses caused by adverse weather conditions. "LIP, along with other livestock disaster assistance programs, was restored by the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill which provides livestock producers with a vital safety net to assist in recovery from the economic impact of livestock losses," said Manzanares. LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law, including wolves and avian predators. LIP benefits are also available for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to an eligible adverse weather event, including losses due to hurricanes, floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, extreme heat and extreme cold. “A notice of loss must be filed with FSA within 30 days of when the loss of livestock is apparent," said Manzanares. "Livestock that die within 60 days of the date of the qualifying event will be considered eligible for loss benefits.” The LIP national payment rate for eligible livestock owners is based on 75 percent of the average fair market value of the livestock. According to Manzanares, producers should contact their local County FSA Office to schedule an appointment to submit a notice of loss and application for payment. Producers are encouraged to bring supporting evidence, including documentation of the number and kind of livestock that died, supplemented if possible by photographs or video records to document the loss, purchase records, veterinarian records, production records and other similar documents. For more information on LIP, please contact your local County FSA Office or visit FSA online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/nm.