Thursday, June 30, 2016

USDA Announces $8.4 Million to Support a Diverse Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers

Release No. 0156.16 Contact: Office of Communications (202)720-4623 USDA Announces $8.4 Million to Support a Diverse Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers WASHINGTON, June 30, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $8.4 million in competitive grants to support the work of partner organizations that provide training, outreach and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged, Tribal and Veteran farmers and ranchers. USDA's Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the 2501 Program, is administered by the Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO). "Diverse experiences, background and education are vital to a healthy agricultural sector that continues to meet the challenges of a changing world and the demands of markets at home and abroad," said Acting Deputy Agriculture Secretary Michael Scuse. "The 2501 Program is an important part of how USDA partners with land-grant universities, Tribal colleges, Tribes, nonprofits and other community-based organizations to grow the next generation of agricultural innovators and entrepreneurs that keep American agriculture the most productive anywhere." Since 2010, more than $74 million has been invested through the 2501 Program to leverage the work of more than 300 local partners. The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the program and expanded assistance to include military veterans. Partner organizations provide a range of services and technical assistance based on local needs. Last fall, for example, 2501 funding was used to create the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center at Alcorn State University, in Lorman, Miss. The Center will provide a national hub for analysis and development of policy recommendations to improve engagement and promote the interests of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. Proposals for these competitive grants must be received by July 29, 2016 at Details are available in the June 27, 2016 Federal Register Notice or by contacting USDA, by mail at Office of Advocacy and Outreach, Attn: Kenya Nicholas, Program Director, Whitten Building, Room 520-A, Mail Stop 0601, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250, by phone: (202) 720-6350, Fax: (202) 720-7704, or email OAO works across USDA agencies to improve the viability and profitability of small and beginning farmers and ranchers; improve access to USDA programs for historically underserved communities; increase agricultural opportunities for farm workers; and close the professional achievement gap by providing opportunities for diverse, talented young people to support the agricultural industry in the 21st century. The 2501 program supports USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) Initiative that coordinates the Department's work to develop strong local and regional food systems. USDA is committed to helping farmers, ranchers, and businesses access the growing market for local and regional foods, which industry estimates valued at $12 billion in 2014. Learn more about USDA investments connecting producers with consumers and expanding rural economic opportunities online at USDA Results - New Markets, New Opportunities. #

Innovation and Discovery in Agriculture and Food

High Desert Discovery District, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and New Mexico State University announce “Innovation and Discovery in Agriculture and Food”, November 9-10 in Las Cruces Related discoveries from across New Mexico invited to apply June 30, 2016 – The High Desert Discovery District (HD3) – New Mexico’s first privately-led high technology start-up accelerator – the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) and New Mexico State University (NMSU) announced today that they will co-host the next HD3 Discovery Day™ - “Innovation and Discovery in Agriculture and Food” - November 9-10, 2016 in Las Cruces. The event will focus on statewide innovation and commercialization opportunities within or that impact the agriculture, value-added food products and food industries. “You can think of this event as Shark Tank for the agricultural and food-related sectors, both of which are significant economic drivers for our state,” New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said. “We’re excited to see people of all backgrounds bring forward their projects and ideas to improve market conditions, develop new market opportunities and solve real and significant challenges in agriculture.” As with other Discovery Day events, innovators from all over New Mexico are invited to apply to HD3 to present their agriculture, agriculture-related (e.g. water, irrigation, biosecurity, energy, biomass, etc.), food or value-added food discovery/innovation/product to a highly experienced group of subject matter experts, business achievers, entrepreneurs, innovators, management experts and investors. The application deadline to participate in the Las Cruces Discovery Day is Friday, October 7, 2016. Application details are at “HD3 Discovery Day will further support the next generation of innovators and leaders in agriculture and food and we are so pleased to be part of it,” said Kathryn Hansen, director of Arrowhead Center at NMSU. “Because of our rich network of entrepreneurs and agribusiness leaders at NMSU and the Arrowhead Technology Incubator, Discovery Day is a very natural and significant progression of our support of agricultural entrepreneurs”. All Discovery Day presenters are invited to attend the HD3 Networking Cocktail Reception and Casual Supper, an HD3 tradition to gather together presenters, panelists, hosts, sponsors and special guests socially the evening before Discovery Day. For this event, HD3 will spotlight New Mexico’s wine industry with a wine dinner for all participants on November 9, 2016 in La Mesilla.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Planning committee will be discussing Junk Yard ordanance July 7

Meets the first Thursday of each month 1:30 pm commission Chambers. Will be reviewing Junk Yard limits July 7th.

Eddy County Manufactured Home Placement Permit Ordinance

Notice of Public Meeting: Eddy County is holding public meetings as part of the adoption process for the proposed Eddy County Manufactured Home Placement Permit Ordinance. These meetings will be facilitated by Eddy County and will include discussion with the community. This discussion will be to gather input from Eddy County residents and move forward with these comments to the Eddy County Board of Commissioners for possible final approval of the Ordinance. Public Meetings will be held at two separate locations within Eddy County. Citizens of Eddy County are encouraged to attend these meetings and provide public comment. These meetings will be available through live stream on the internet as well. • The first public meeting will be held on Wednesday June 29, 2016 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm in Artesia, NM at the Eddy County North Road Department, 2611 S. 13th Street. • The second public meeting will be held on Wednesday July 6, 2016 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm in Carlsbad at the Eddy County Commission Chambers on the 2nd floor of the Eddy County Administration Building, 101 W. Greene Street. • The meetings will be live streamed and available for viewing at Please contact Steve McCroskey, Eddy County Planner, at 575-628-5462 with any questions. A Spanish language interpreter will be available upon specific request at least 24 hours prior to each meeting

United State Beef Academy

I just wanted to share with NMSU Corona clients that the USBA (United States Beef Academy) hosted at the Corona Range and Livestock Research Center has a few opening available for young cattlemen 17 to 21 from July 11th to 15th . If you have an interest or know someone who does please contact Dr. John Wenzel at or call me Shad Cox at 575-799-3569. This is a great opportunity to give young cattlemen an intensive educational experience like no other, as well as, meet new friends with similar interests. The United States Beef Academy (USBA) is an educational event for young men and women who are motivated to learn about the beef industry. Directed by NMSU & TAMU, it is a unique, intensive educational experience designed for those who want to gain knowledge in leading technology of genetics, nutrition, reproduction, animal health, livestock handling and marketing. Shad H. Cox, Superintendent/Programs Operations Director Corona Range and Livestock Research Center & Southwest Center for Rangeland Sustainability Animal and Range Sciences Agricultural Experiment Station College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences New Mexico State University P.O. Box 392 Corona, New Mexico 88318 575.849.1015 office 575-849.1021 fax Facebook: /nmsucorona

Forest Service Survey Finds Record 66 Million Dead Trees in Southern Sierra Nevada

Forest Service Survey Finds Record 66 Million Dead Trees in Southern Sierra Nevada Underscores Need for Congress to Take Action on Fire Budget Fix VALLEJO, Calif., June 22, 2016 - The U.S. Forest Service today announced that it has identified an additional 26 million trees dead in California since October 2015. These trees are located in six counties across 760,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada region of the state, and are in addition to the 40 million trees that died statewide from 2010 to October 2015, bringing the total to at least 66 million dead trees. Four consecutive years of severe drought in California, a dramatic rise in bark beetle infestation and warmer temperatures are leading to historic levels of tree die-off. "Tree dies-offs of this magnitude are unprecedented and increase the risk of catastrophic wildfires that puts property and lives at risk," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "While the fire risk is currently the most extreme in California because of the tree mortality, forests across the country are at risk of wildfire and urgently need restoration requiring a massive effort to remove this tinder and improve their health. Unfortunately, unless Congress acts now to address how we pay for firefighting, the Forest Service will not have the resources necessary to address the forest die-off and restore our forests. Forcing the Forest Service to pay for massive wildfire disasters out of its pre-existing fixed budget instead of from an emergency fund like all other natural disasters means there is not enough money left to do the very work that would help restore these high mortality areas. We must fund wildfire suppression like other natural disasters in the country." Between 2010 and late 2015, Forest Service aerial detection surveys found that 40 million trees died across California - with nearly three quarters of that total succumbing to drought and insect mortality from September 2014 to October 2015 alone. The survey identified approximately 26 million additional dead trees since the last inventory in October, 2015. The areas surveyed in May covered six southern Sierra counties including Fresno, Kern, Madera, Mariposa, Tuolumne and Tulare. Photos and video of the May survey are available on the Forest Service multimedia webpage. Last fall, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency on the unprecedented tree die-off in California and formed a Tree Mortality task force to help mobilize additional resources for the safe removal of dead and dying trees. The Forest Service is committing significant resources to restore impacted forests including reprioritizing $32 million in California to conduct safety-focused restoration along roads, trails and recreation sites. To date, the Forest Service has felled over 77,000 hazard trees, treated over 13,000 acres along 228 miles of roads around communities and recreation sites, and created 1,100 acres of fuel breaks. Work on another 15,000 acres is in progress. Forest Service scientists expect to see continued elevated levels of tree mortality during 2016 in dense forest stands, stands impacted by root diseases or other stress agents and in areas with higher levels of bark beetle activity. Additional surveys across the state will be conducted throughout the summer and fall. With the increasing size and costs of suppressing wildfires due to climate change and other factors, the very efforts that would protect watersheds and restore forests to make them more resilient to fire in the future are being squeezed out of the budget. Last year fire management alone consumed 56 percent of the Forest Service's budget. Learn more about tree mortality and the work to restore our forests in California at the Forest Service's web page Our Changing Forests. The mission of the U.S. 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 managed by the Forest Service contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone and provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply. For an interactive look at USDA's work in conservation and forestry over the course of this Administration, visit USDA Results: Caring for our Air, Land and Water. #

Crop Insurance Gives Farmers More Planting Flexibility

Crop Insurance Gives Farmers More Planting Flexibility Insurance Changes Expand Farm Safety Net for Double Cropping WASHINGTON, June 23, 2016 – Acting Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse today announced that the federal crop insurance program will provide additional flexibility to farmers. The modifications center on the practice of growing two crops on the same field at different times of the year, which is known as double cropping. "We are constantly looking for ways to meet the needs of our farmers and seek out their feedback so we can best provide them with the tools and resources they need to grow and support their operations," Scuse said. "After receiving input from a number of stakeholders, we made these changes to the federal crop insurance program to provide greater flexibility and better reflect current agricultural practices." The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) worked to provide additional flexibility requested by farmers. Double cropping requirements are revised to adequately recognize changes in growing farm operations or for added land. This change will address both land added to an operation, and account for multiple crop rotations. These changes will be in effective for the 2017 crop year for most crops, starting with winter wheat. Under the Obama Administration, federal crop insurance programs have been enhanced to ensure that America's farmers and ranchers have the strongest safety net possible that applies to the diverse types and sizes of farms in our country, and the wide variety of products they grow. USDA federal crop insurance programs provide producers with greater access to financial tools than ever before, at a time when prices are low, and access to credit can be difficult. Working with producers, RMA has developed innovative and well-received products to adapt the program to today's diverse farm operations. Special focus has been given to more diversified farms, small farms and beginning farmers and ranchers. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. Contact a local crop insurance agent for more information about these changes. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers or online at Since 2009, USDA has worked to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. USDA has also provided $5.6 billion in disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; and extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,500 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit #

Transform for grain sorgum.

Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Pierce, and Greg Alpers, and NMDA we havea a section 18 exemption for Transform. Transform has been approved for use in grain sorghum in NM via a Section 18 label. Follow up information will come to you once I receive it. Starane/Staredown; keep in mind Starane or Staredown as you spray RR corn. If you have broadleaf weeds that Roundup If missing, the addition of Starane/Staredown will clean them up. Especially effective on kochia, cocklebur, morning glory and other difficult to control weeds. Call if you have questions. Greg

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Udall, Heinrich, Pearce Announce $2.3 Million for Eddy County Roads Damaged by September 2014 Storms, Flooding

Udall, Heinrich, Pearce Announce $2.3 Million for Eddy County Roads Damaged by September 2014 Storms, Flooding WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Steve Pearce announced more than $2.3 million for Eddy County for hazard mitigation and repairs to four chip and seal roadways and low water crossings that were damaged by severe storms and flooding caused by Hurricane Odile in September 2014. "Heavy rain and flash flooding from Hurricane Odile caused severe damage in communities throughout New Mexico, and I'm pleased that this additional recovery funding will help Eddy County continue to repair impacted roads and bridges," Udall said. "Families and hard-working New Mexicans rely on Eddy County's roads every day to get to school and work, and support their businesses, farms, and the oil and gas industry. These repairs will help restore and reinforce Eddy County's roads and support economic development in the region." "Extreme flooding and severe weather conditions from Hurricane Odile damaged several roads and critical infrastructure across Eddy County," Heinrich said. "The local economy depends on the oil and gas industry, WIPP, farming, and potash mining, which all require functional roads to operate. This much-needed federal assistance will help restore our communities and businesses, and is a critical step toward the recovery effort." "The damage sustained by Eddy County roads because of Hurricane Odile has been a strain on the local economy," Pearce said. "I am pleased to see the Federal government honoring its commitment to provide disaster relief. As with Ruidoso last week, this assistance is vital for Eddy County to continue repairing its roads and bridges." The $2,382,358 grant is being awarded to Eddy County by the Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Udall, Heinrich and Pearce supported the state's request for a major disaster declaration and disaster recovery assistance following the severe storms and flooding. In December, Udall and Heinrich announced more than $63 million for Eddy County to conduct road repairs. The storms and flooding impacted areas throughout the state, though Eddy County sustained the highest countywide per capita damage. ### Contacts: Jennifer Talhelm (Udall) 202.228.6870 / Whitney Potter (Heinrich) 202.228.1578 / Megan Wells (Pearce) 202.225.2365

Monday, June 27, 2016

Eddy County Wages are above national average.

By ARTESIA DAILY PRESS STAFF Published: 1:46 am, Sun. June 19th, 2016Updated: 1:44 am Average weekly wages in Eddy County are above the national average, according to a study released by the Southwest Information Office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The study, which outlines national rankings of wage levels, wage growth, and employment changes for the Fourth Quarter 2015 in the 342 largest counties in the United States, primarily focused on New Mexico’s most populous county, Bernalillo, but outlined weekly wage rates in the state’s smaller counties, as well. From December 2014 to December 2015, employment rose 1.2 percent in Bernalillo compared to the national average of 1.9. The average weekly wage in Bernalillo was $904, ranking it 247th among the 342 large counties. Two of New Mexico’s smaller counties had average weekly wages above the national average of $1,082 in the fourth quarter: Los Alamos ($1,610) and Eddy ($1,093). Lea and Santa Fe counties also had an average wage higher than Bernalillo’s at $1,012 and $980 respectively. At the bottom of New Mexico’s counties were Catron and Sierra with respective average wages of $530 and $564.

NMSU to host onion field day July 6; Onion have been one of the more profitable crop year after year.

NMSU to host onion field day July 6 DATE: 06/27/2016 WRITER: Kristie Garcia, 575-646-4211, CONTACT: Stephanie Walker, 575-646-4398, New Mexico State University will host an Onion Field Day Wednesday, July 6, at the Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Presentations and walking tours will be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. NMSU Extension Vegetable Specialist Stephanie Walker said the goal of the field day is to educate the public and increase awareness about the importance of onions, especially in Southern New Mexico. “People don’t realize how important onions are for New Mexico producers,” Walker said. “The crop is especially important in June and July, and valuable work is being done at NMSU in regards to onion breeding and pest management.” Topics will include the onion-breeding program at NMSU, weed identification and management in onion fields, and management and economic considerations of thrips, the most important insect pest of onions. The field day will also include a discussion about new products for onions, as they relate to the IR-4 program, which is a federally funded program that facilitates registration of sustainable pest management technology for specialty crops. “Those involved with the IR-4 program are looking at new chemistries that will hopefully be available to growers in the near future,” Walker said. NMSU’s Dona Ana County Extension Agent Jeff Anderson will be the moderator. The Leyendecker Center is located eight miles southeast of Las Cruces on Highway 28. A map may be found at: The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Walker at 575-646-4398 or Individuals with disabilities who are in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the field day should contact Laurie Novak at 575-646-1715 prior to the event.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Why the fracking ruling is now about more than just fracking Benjamin Storrow 307-335-5344, Updated Jun 22, 2016

U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl’s decision this week to block the Interior Department’s proposed hydraulic fracturing rule set the stage for a fresh battle over Washington’s authority to manage public lands in the West. Industry representatives and state officials called the ruling a victory in their battle against the Obama administration, saying the decision showed federal officials had strayed beyond the boundaries of their authority. But environmentalists charged Skavdahl with disregarding decades of established law, arguing the decision undermines the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s ability to meet its statutory obligations and threatens the government’s ability to protect the environment. They promised an appeal. “What the judge has done here is open another front in the Sagebrush Rebellion,” said Fred Cheever, co-director of the Environmental Law and Natural Resources Program at the University of Denver’s Strum College of Law. “What he is really doing is questioning the federal government’s ownership of land in the American West.” The decision represents a win for Wyoming and three other states, which had argued the Interior Department had overstepped the bounds of its legal authority. Congress did not give BLM the power to regulate fracking, they said. Instead, it vested that authority with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, though even in that instance the EPA’s oversight was limited to a rare type of fracking. Skavdahl agreed, writing in a 27-page decision, “The BLM has attempted an end-run around the 2005 EP Act; however, regulation of an activity must be by Congressional authority, not administrative fiat.” The ruling has particular importance in Wyoming. While the majority of wells fracked in the United States are located on state and private land, roughly half the state’s production comes from federal land. State officials had long maintained that the federal rules were duplicative. Wyoming became the first state to regulate fracking in 2010, and state officials argued their federal counterparts were merely creating unnecessary confusion for companies working on public land. “The court got it right,” Gov. Matt Mead said in a statement. “This is of particular importance not only to Wyoming, but the country. I have and I will continue to aggressively assert Wyoming’s authority when threatened by federal overreach.” Interior officials maintained the federal rules were out of date, having been put in place more than 30 years ago. A department spokeswoman did not respond to a question about an appeal, saying instead, “the BLM’s modernized fracking requirements reflect today’s industry practices and are aimed at ensuring adequate well control, preventing groundwater contamination and increasing transparency about the materials used in the fracturing process.” The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals is already considering a challenge to the preliminary injunction Skavdahl issued in the case last year, when he delayed the rule’s implementation. Observers said they expected that challenge to now be consolidated with appeals to Skavdahl’s recent ruling. Michael Freeman, an attorney with Earthjustice, which intervened in the case on the government’s behalf, said the group intends to appeal the ruling. But now there is potentially more at stake than just fracking. The BLM is set to finalize rules on flaring and venting, the practice of disposing excess natural gas from oil wells into the atmosphere, and industry representatives have already hinted at a coming legal challenge. “This ruling foretells an uphill battle for the BLM in its proposed methane venting and flaring rules, which are similarly aimed at expanding BLM’s control over environmental factors typically controlled by Congress or the EPA,” said Jeffrey Reeser, an industry lawyer and partner at the law firm Sherman & Howard. Environmentalists said the ruling would have sweeping consequences. The Federal Land Management Policy Act, which has long governed the BLM, gives the bureau broad powers to regulate land use on the properties it manages, said Mark Squillace, a professor of environmental law at the University of Colorado. More specifically, the law directs the BLM to prevent degradation to the land, he said. “I don’t understand how the judge could reach the conclusion,” said Squillace, who once taught Skavdahl and is now a part of a group of law professors seeking to overturn the judge’s ruling. Others went further still. The BLM’s fracking rule differs from other regulations in that it concerns land managed by the government, said Cheever, the University of Denver professor. “The federal government’s decision’s to paint a ranger station in Yellowstone, repair a road or lease land for oil and gas development is fundamentally different from its authority to tell you to wear a seat belt or an employer pay a minimum wage,” he said. “One is based on ownership, one is based on regulatory authority.” Congress cannot write a statute long enough to foresee all the challenges of land ownership. That is why federal agencies are given broad power to manage the land under their authority, he said. Industry representatives, for their part, expressed doubts over such arguments. The ruling was blocked not because the BLM lacked regulatory authority, but because Congress specifically vested the power to oversee fracking with the EPA, they said. Indeed, the challenge filed from industry groups charged the BLM with failing to follow the administrative procedure in implementing the rule. Industry never argued the BLM lacked general regulatory authority over oil and gas operations, said Mark Barron, an attorney with BakerHostetler who represented industry groups in the case. “Opponents of the ruling have broadened the ruling bigger than it is,” he said. “We can both be right. BLM can have general regulatory authority. Congress doesn’t have to enumerate everything that is going to come up. It has to give some discretion for managing the land.” But of fracking, he added, “It just means Congress has spoken to this one specific technique expressly.”

Farm Bureau Asks Congress to Save Rangelands, Control Wild Horse and Burro Population

Farm Bureau Asks Congress to Save Rangelands, Control Wild Horse and Burro Population WASHINGTON, D.C., June 22, 2016 – Congress must act quickly to keep fast-growing herds of feral horses and burros from further damaging the environment of the western United States, the American Farm Bureau Federation said today. At current rates, AFBF said, their already excessive numbers will double in a mere four years. Callie Hendrickson, chair of AFBF’s Federal Lands Issue Advisory Committee, testified before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands. Hendrickson also serves as executive director of the White River and Douglas Creek Conservation Districts in Rio Blanco County, Colorado. “The rangeland of the West has its share of unique natural resource challenges, not least of which is the burden it carries of an overpopulation of wild horses and burros,” Hendrickson said. “This overabundance is critically damaging the ecology of western rangelands with severe, long-term consequences for the native plant and animal life that call it home.” Even though law requires it, the Bureau of Land Management has neither the money nor the ability to fairly balance wild horse and burro populations so that other wildlife, livestock and vegetation can thrive. Ranchers face rapidly shrinking grazing allotments while continuing to pay for the allotments they once had lest they lose them – if and when the grazing lands recover from severe overgrazing by feral horses and burros. “Populations of wild horses and burros have been allowed to grow at a rate that in many places exceeds six times their authorized management level,” Hendrickson told the subcommittee. “This situation has not only led to widespread degradation of western rangelands, but has also had devastating effects on the health of the animals themselves who often face dehydration, starvation and death … The need for congressional intervention cannot be overstated.” Download the text of Ms. Hendrickson's testimony

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

NMSU's Mosquito Work

NMSU's Mosquito Work New Mexico State University now has an amazing website that showcases the research work they have been doing with mosquitoes. The website is a great resource where you can find helpful tips on mosquito IPM, research studies on different repellants, and information on the Zika Virus. You can access their website by clicking on this link:

Southwest Noxious Weed Short Course

Southwest Noxious Weed Short Course July 19th Farmington, NM For more information on upcoming workshops please visit our website:
Persistent Herbicide Misuse Reminder! Krovar, Hyvar, and any product with the active ingredients Bromacil and/or Diuron have label language that expressly prohibits use in recreational and residential ornamental and turf settings. Misuse of these products can lead to extensive damage and even death to trees and ornamentals. Please review the labels for any of these products and ensure you are using these products only on sites specifically listed on label. You can look up product labels by visiting our webpage: PMU Focus - Avoiding Damage to Ornamentals and Turf from Herbicide Applications By: Chris Marble Courtesy of Pest Management University Proper use of herbicides is one of the cornerstones of a good weed control program - but bad things can happen when they are not used correctly. Compared to insecticides or fungicides, herbicides have a much greater potential to damage valuable ornamentals or turf, in some cases even when small mistakes are made. Luckily, if you follow a few key principles damage can be avoided and you will provide your customers with the best results possible. [cid:image003.png]Calibrate. Applying the wrong amount of herbicide is the number 1 reason for causing damage to turf or ornamentals and the number 1 cause of weed control failures. Herbicides are designed to work within a narrow range - apply too much and damage can occur. Apply too little and weeds will not be controlled. The best way to prevent causing damage (also called phytotoxicity) is to properly calibrate equipment and [Figure 1. Herbicide drift damage on 'Emily Bruner' holly from a contact herbicide.] use herbicides only in sites where they are labeled. Identify the weed species. Properly identifying the pest you are trying to control is the first step in an Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM). Herbicide labels will contain tables showing the rates needed for a particular weed species or for a particular size of the weed. The lowest rate should be chosen for the weed species you are trying to control to improve the safety profile of that herbicide. Know how far tree (and shrub) roots can extend. Many herbicides that are commonly used in turf areas contain warnings such as "Do not apply in areas that contain roots of desirable trees or ornamentals." How far do tree roots extend? On average they extend close to three times the spread of the drip line (tree canopy) - which in some cases means well into turf areas. In these situations, choose herbicides that are not as prone to leaching or being absorbed by tree roots. Many turf herbicides are also prone to causing damage to nearby ornamentals through drift or volatility (i.e. 2,4-D and others) and should only be used in recommended areas. Know how long it takes the herbicide to work. Damage can occur due to multiple applications being made in a short period of time. This is sometimes done because the herbicide seems to not be working, and the applicator thinks a repeated application is needed. For some herbicides, symptoms may not be noticeable for a week or longer depending upon environmental conditions. Know how long it will take the herbicide to work and then re-apply as needed. Note that some weed species will almost always required repeat applications for 100% control - each application should be made at the proper rate. Never apply higher than the labeled rate to try and achieve better or faster results. Following label recommended split applications (applying a lower rate at multiple timings) has also been shown to improve weed control and reduce phytototicity with many different herbicides. Use adjuvants and surfactants carefully. Adjuvants and surfactants are often needed and/or recommended for use with certain herbicides but they may also increase the risk of temporary phytotoxicity to the turf. Only use the specific types of adjuvants or surfactants recommended on the product label and do not use more than the intended amount. [cid:image005.png]Use contact herbicides if spraying close to ornamentals. Glyphosate is a great product but if even a little gets on an ornamental it may never recover. Be careful using systemic herbicides around ornamentals (including thin barked trees and plants with green stems) or try to use contact action herbicides for small and annual weed species. Even if the ornamental is contacted by these herbicides, it will not move [Figure 2. Zinnia several days after being treated for insect damage. The sprayer was not properly cleaned after applying an herbicide the day before.] throughout the plant and is likely to recover. Use good judgement. It seems obvious but it still happens - avoid herbicide applications in strong winds and use lower pressure to avoid potential herbicide drift damage. Always clean and flush hoses and tanks, especially when applying fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides from the same equipment. Only a small, residual amount of a herbicide such as atrazine left in the bottom of a spray tank can kill many different types of ornamentals. Also note label recommendations pertaining to weather and other environmental conditions. There are many herbicides that can cause unwanted damage to turf at high temperature (above around 90?F) but are safe during cooler times of the year. Always read the label. We all know we are supposed to read and follow pesticide labels but the time invested reading herbicide labels is the most valuable time you can spend in developing and implementing your weed control program. Reading and following all parts of the label is the best way to ensure applicators are safe, the product performs as it was intended, and that we are protecting the environment. For other interesting articles like the one you just read you can visit the following sites: Pest Management University - and School IPM -

Authorities are trying to determine who illegally shot and killed two cows belonging to Eddy County cattle owners

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - Authorities are trying to determine who illegally shot and killed two cows belonging to Eddy County cattle owners. The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that the killing has elicited a $1,000 reward from the Eddy County Cattle Growers, an organization devoted to issues affecting ranchers. According to the Eddy County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded Saturday to find the abandoned cows. Investigators believe the animals were shot sometime between Thursday and Saturday. The total direct loss is estimated at $2,800, excluding additional costs such as potential future calves. Undersheriff Mark Cage says it doesn't appear the cattle were killed to obtain meat, as they had not been butchered. He says it looks like the cattle were killed just for cruelty.

Dispute Over New Mexico Hatch Chile Labeling Heats Up

Dispute Over New Mexico Hatch Chile Labeling Heats Up ABC News By Morgan Lee A federal appeals court has sided with a green chile growers group in southern New Mexico's Hatch Valley in a dispute over what food can be labeled with the renowned Hatch name. The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled in favor of the Hatch Chile Association and allied Albuquerque food distributor El Encanto in their efforts to subpoena records that may indicate whether a rival's products contain purely Hatch-grown chile as marketing suggests. The written court decision pays tribute to the winding desert Hatch Valley for "producing some of the world's finest chile peppers," venturing that the area "may be to chiles what Napa is to grapes." Reversing a district court ruling, a three-judge panel noted Hatch Chile Co. initially said it did not know where its chiles came from, and directed questions to supplier Mizkan Americas, the owner of Border Foods and its southern New Mexico chile processing plants. When a subpoena was issued to Mizkan asking about the provenance of its green chile, both Hatch Chile Co. and Mizkan filed successful motions to block the request in federal court. "This seemingly mild dispute turned hot during discovery," the judges wrote. "After seeming to encourage El Encanto to ask its suppliers for just this information, Hatch Chile filed a motion seeking a protective order." El Encanto does business under the Bueno Foods label. Ross Perkal, an attorney for Hatch Chile Co., declined to comment on the ruling, citing pending litigation. Hatch Chile Association board member Preston Mitchell applauded the ruling as a possible step toward reserving the Hatch name for chiles that can be traced to the Hatch Valley through a shared certification process. The association is seeking a certification mark for Hatch chile to help consumers verify the source.

Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15

This information has recently been updated, and is now available. Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page. Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15 06/14/2016 03:00 PM EDT WASHINGTON, June 14, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that the nomination period for farmers and ranchers to serve on local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees begins Wednesday, June 15, 2016. ________________________________________

Monday, June 20, 2016

95th Annual Texas Pecan Growers Conference and Trade Show

July 10-13 2016 Embassy Suites and Conference Center , San Marcos, TX will be the 95 Annual Texas Pecan Growers Conference and Trade show. For more information contact Texas Pecan Growers Association at or or 979-846-3285.

Can cutting down trees protect New Mexico’s water?

WOODS Note: I admit that I am on the short side of life, but when I took forestry 115 with Dr. Pipper this is what was taught. When I worked for the USFS in the 1970"s this is what was practiced. Then we started managing our public forest and private to some extent by law suit and not by science and evidence based practices. So here we sit 40+ years latter with this new concept that is really old tried and proven practices..... posted: Saturday, June 11, 2016 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:59 pm, Sun Jun 12, 2016. By Leah Todd Solutions Journalism Network TIERRA AMARILLA — A haunting curtain of smoke rose from the dry New Mexico ground in 2011, covering the horizon with dark soot and ash. The Las Conchas Fire burned hot and fast that summer. In its six-week run across Northern New Mexico, the unusually intense fire turned more than 150,000 acres of ponderosa pine and other dry forest into a virtual moonscape, frosted in places with ankle-deep ash. But it’s what came next that really galvanized Laura McCarthy, a Santa Fe-based conservation director for The Nature Conservancy. Like many that summer, McCarthy watched the fire with a sinking feeling. Shortly after the fire’s rampage ended, thunderstorms erupted over the burned earth, unleashing debris slides that wreaked havoc on irrigation systems and turned the Rio Grande so black that the city of Albuquerque abandoned its river water and reverted to groundwater for more than a month. The fire was a turning point for McCarthy, who decided then that more needed to be done to help New Mexico’s forested areas — especially those around important water sources — survive wildfires. Today, McCarthy is part of an ambitious effort to put an old idea to new use. The concept is to carefully thin forests on both public and private lands to reduce the intensity of wildfires, preventing massive infernos like the Las Conchas Fire and protecting water systems from wildfire’s catastrophic aftermath. To do so, she’s persuading many downstream water users to pay to thin forests around upstream water sources over the long term. That means convincing land managers to care about more than their own immediate backyards and think further into the future than ever before. The effort, called the Rio Grande Water Fund, has support from 52 cities, counties, water utilities and other groups. To date, the 2-year-old fund has raised $1.5 million and its partners have raised $7.4 million to treat a total of roughly 10,000 acres throughout the watershed of the Rio Grande, from just south of Albuquerque to the Colorado border. Early money to kick-start the fund came from, among others: the U.S. Forest Service, a foundation run by home improvement store Lowe’s, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the LOR Foundation (which also has provided financial support for the “Small Towns, Big Change” project). The goal? To thin 30,000 acres per year for the next 20 years. At $700 per acre, that’s $21 million a year. The group is not yet close to having enough money, and even those who have signed on say the scope of the project is daunting. But if it works, this elaborate partnership could be one answer to fostering more sustainable and fire-resilient forests and water systems, especially for small communities that don’t have the funding to treat land on their own. Gary Harris stood recently on a dirt road that cut across a forested hillside near Tierra Amarilla. To his left stood a crowded forest. Tall ponderosa pine grew just a few feet apart, further crowded by shorter trees and shrubs. Dry logs littered the ground, some the scattered remains of logging operations. “It gets tough to walk through some of this,” said Harris, a forestry consultant based in Chama. But on the other side of the road stretched a new kind of forest — a patch the size of a football field that looked more like an orchard than a dry jungle. Ponderosa pine still stood tall, but the ground was carpeted by only a thin bed of pine needles, free of small trees and shrubs. A truck could easily drive between most of the trees. This land was among the first parcels thinned using money raised by the Rio Grande Water Fund partnership — the “after” to the cluttered forest’s “before.” Research suggests that thinning forests reduces the intensity of wildfires and restores the forests to their former state. Before humans cleared trees for wooden railroad ties, and before 100 years of fire suppression, wildfire routinely swept forest floors, keeping overgrowth in check. Forest thinning can mimic the effects of natural wildfires. One study from Northern Arizona University found that reducing the amount of flammable fuels could cool the severity of fires. More trees lived through wildfires in places that had been thinned than acres that hadn’t, the study found. Firefighters in Ruidoso earlier this year credited forest thinning for the fact that a blaze there burned mostly on the ground instead of leaping up into the treetops, where fires spread unpredictably and more quickly. Dead and downed trees lay late last month in a tangle on a private ranch near Tierra Amarilla. The forested areas on the ranch will soon be thinned to prevent catastrophic forest fires. All dead and downed trees will be removed. The Rio Grande Water Fund model is loosely based on a similar strategy in Ecuador, where the city of Quito invested money to create a water fund more than a decade ago. Today, the interest on that fund alone pays to regularly thin forests around watersheds that supply Quito’s 2 million residents with 80 percent of their fresh water. The model has been replicated across several other Latin American countries. Major U.S. cities have tried similar systems, too. Denver has an agreement with the Forest Service in which both will contribute $16.5 million over a five-year period to treat upstream forested areas. Since the 1990s, New York City has bought and protected thousands of upstate acres near its water sources in the Catskill Mountains. This system has allowed the city to protect its supply without building a filtration plant, saving billions of dollars. The city of Santa Fe is already practicing a similar concept. About six years ago, the city raised its water rates and dedicated about $270,000 per year to thin forests around reservoirs that supply about 40 percent of the city’s water. It’s worked well so far, said Rick Carpenter, Santa Fe’s water resources and conservation manager. Though the city had allocated money to thin forests in its operating budget since the early 2000s, Carpenter said, the rate increase guaranteed a more dependable funding stream. “I suppose the largest measure of success is that we haven’t had any fires in our watershed,” he said. “It’s not perhaps as quantifiable as people might like, but it speaks for itself.” But forest thinning is slow, expensive work. Over the last 15 years, the city has thinned about 6,000 acres. Unlike the models of Quito and Santa Fe, the Rio Grande Water Fund doesn’t have a single, or specific, financial mechanism. Downstream users chip in money or other technical help. To pay for thinning, they can borrow money through bond issues, raise water rates or make one-time contributions. McCarthy’s theory for sustainability is twofold. First, build a diverse funding base so that one partner pulling out or one funding stream falling through doesn’t derail the project. Her other theory is more like something out of a social science textbook: Allow the group to build momentum, she says, and it will sustain itself. “As long as you’re not the only one with skin in the game, you’re willing to have skin in the game,” she said. Landowners choose their own contractors and can do what they please with the wood they thin. Some will sell what wood they can and burn what they can’t. Others intend to leave it for firewood. The Nature Conservancy staffs the Rio Grande Water Fund now, but one day, McCarthy said, it may turn management over to the partners. More than half of Albuquerque’s water comes from areas within the region targeted by the fund, said John Stomp, head of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, which has pledged to support the project. Other entities that have offered some kind of support include the New Mexico Acequia Association, the state Department of Game and Fish, The University of New Mexico and Taos Ski Valley. The project’s greatest strength — and its highest hurdle — lies in its web-like collaboration of dozens of public and private groups. According to Stomp, deciding where to focus thinning efforts, how to thin and how to pay is a complex puzzle, and it is one reason why more thinning hasn’t happened in more communities. The fund, he said, could bring coherent planning to the region — something that’s long been missing. “How does one community do all of these things?” Stomp said. “Well, they can’t. I think they have to join together. I think that’s what it takes.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Extreme Cruelty to Animals

CRIME: Extreme Cruelty to Animals OCCURRED: June 11th, 2016 VICTIM: Marcus Wilkie LOCATION: 1609 Dark Canyon Road, Carlsbad New Mexico Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with Crimestoppers of Eddy County, requests your assistance in solving an Extreme Cruelty to Animals that occurred between 8:00 am on June 9th, 2016 and 3:00 p.m. on June 11th, 2016. On June 11th, 2016 at 1500 hours deputies with Eddy County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to 1609 Dark Canyon Road in reference to two cows that had been shot and killed. Upon arrival at that location deputies observed two brown and white cows had been shot and left to die at that location. A more detailed inspection of the scene revealed there were several spent bullet casings located near the deceased cows. The total loss is estimated at $2,800.00. If you have any information as to the suspect(s) responsible for these crimes, please contact either the Eddy County Sheriff’s Department at 575-887-7551and ask to speak to a detective or if you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Eddy County Crimestoppers with information. Tips can be submitted in one of three ways: 1) call Crimestoppers at 575-887-1888, 2) text codeword StopACrime plus tip to CRIMES (274637) 3) through the Tipsoft link at All tips remain anonymous and confidential and may result in a reward of up to $1,000.00. Scott M. London Sheriff Eddy County Sheriff’s Office

Monday, June 13, 2016

NMSU Plans aproved

USDA-NIFA has approved the College’s Joint AES/CES Plan of Work for 2017-2022 and the 2015 Annual Report of Results and Accomplishments. Both documents, along with those from previous years, can be accessed at Please contact me if you have any questions. Steve ***************************************** Steven J. Loring Associate Director Agricultural Experiment Station System New Mexico State University MSC 3BF, PO Box 30003 Las Cruces, NM 88003 USA Phone: (575) 646-3125 Fax: (575) 646-2816 Email: *****************************************

Cattle shot in Eddy County

Well this is happening way to often. Mark and Sandi Wilkie had two cow shot at the ranch on Friday after noon or early Saturday morning. New Mexico Cattle Grower and Eddy County Growers will be offering a reward soon for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator. This is a cruel thing to do.

Special Oryx hunts available for injured servicemen and women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 13, 2016: Special Oryx hunts available for injured servicemen and women SANTA FE- Injured military service members can apply for an upcoming special drawing by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) to award three special oryx authorizations for hunts on White Sands Missile Range. Applicants must be active-duty or veterans of the U.S. military and must have a disability rating of 50 percent or greater in accordance with U.S. Veteran’s Administration guidelines for receiving disabled veteran benefits. Applicants (except NMDGF Disabled Veteran card holders) are required to provide proof of eligibility prior to the July 20 application deadline. Proof of eligibility may be e-mailed to or by postal mail with a postmark on or before July 20 to: NMDGF Attn: Special Hunts PO Box 25112 Santa Fe, NM 87504 Significantly injured, active-duty military members may also apply and will need to submit supporting documentation to the department prior to the July 20 application deadline. The drawing is open to resident and non-resident eligible applicants who do not hold a current-year oryx license. Applications will be accepted only through the department’s online license system by clicking Injured Military Oryx Hunts in the main menu. Successful applicants will be notified by the department and must buy the appropriate license(s) and pay White Sands Missile Range’s access fee. The hunts will be three days between September 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017, with dates and areas to be determined by the successful applicants in coordination with White Sands Missile Range. These hunts will not be considered once-in-a-lifetime. For more information visit or contact the department’s Information Center at 888- 248-6866.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Udall, Vitter Hail Passage of Landmark Chemical Safety Reform, Now Headed to the President's Desk

Udall, Vitter Hail Passage of Landmark Chemical Safety Reform, Now Headed to the President's Desk New law will overhaul broken system, protect children, families from dangerous chemicals WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and David Vitter (R-La.) announced Senate passage by voice vote of a final agreement on their landmark bipartisan legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). The final legislation, titled the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, will overhaul the current broken law, which has allowed tens of thousands of chemicals — including hundreds that Americans come into contact with in daily life — to go on the market without any evaluation for safety. With Senate passage, the agreement is now headed to the president's desk, and the president is expected to sign it soon. The legislation is named for the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who was a champion for TSCA reform until he died in 2013. The final agreement merges policy priorities from a bill that Udall and Vitter co-wrote with a related House bill. The agreement passed the House last month by an overwhelming vote of 403-12. "Passage of this bill in the Senate means that for the first time in 40 years, the United States of America will have a chemical safety program that works -- that protects our families from dangerous chemicals in their daily lives," Udall said. "Most Americans believe that when they buy a product at the hardware store or the grocery store, that product has been tested and determined to be safe. But that isn’t the case. Americans are exposed to hundreds of chemicals. We carry them around with us in our bodies – even before we're born. Some are known carcinogens; others are highly toxic. But we don’t know the full extent of how they affect us because they have never been tested. And without a working federal safety program, states like New Mexico have no protection. When this bill becomes law, there will finally be a cop on the beat. I want to thank my partner in this effort, Senator Vitter, and all of the cosponsors and advocates who have pushed to get this bill passed and sent to the president's desk. This is a historic day, and a fitting way to honor Frank Lautenberg's years of work for a healthier and safer environment for our children and grandchildren." “Today’s victory is a culmination of years of hard work and dedication from both sides, and I know that the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act will provide the real reforms necessary to fulfilling Frank’s legacy,” said Vitter. “After four decades of living under a stagnant chemical safety law, I am so very glad to have passed a law that strengthens our country’s international competitiveness, provides desperately needed regulatory certainty for industry, and mandates that the federal government use better science and provide more transparency. This law will be a game changer for the safety of our families and communities and will help promote economic success in an industry that is of paramount importance to Louisiana. I know Frank would have been pleased with this huge historic accomplishment.” The agreement is the first-ever reform of the 40-year-old law, which was intended to regulate the safety of all chemicals manufactured and used in commerce. The last of the major environmental laws of the 1960s and 70s to be updated, TSCA was broken from the start, and rendered virtually useless by a court decision in 1991 that blocked an attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban asbestos. Since 1976, the EPA has been able to restrict just five chemicals, and has prevented from going to market only four of the hundreds of chemicals produced each year. Because the law is broken, tens of thousands of chemicals, including known carcinogens -- from asbestos to flame retardants, and from BPA to PFOA (a chemical in teflon) -- have been on the market for decades without being evaluated for safety and without meaningful regulation or restriction. The new law will: -Require the EPA to protect the most vulnerable people: children, the elderly, pregnant women, and chemical workers. -Give the EPA new authority to order testing and ensure chemicals are safe, with a focus on the most risky chemicals, such as known carcinogens and those with high toxicity. -Ensure the EPA reviews new chemicals before they go on the market. -Provide the EPA with resources to do its job and require that industry do its share to support the program -- providing $25 million a year. -Set mandatory, enforceable deadlines for the EPA to act. -Allow all states multiple ways to act on chemicals, including unfettered authority on chemicals where the EPA is not acting, and options for state co-enforcement and waivers from federal preemption where the EPA has acted to restrict a chemical. For an information packet on TSCA reform, click here. To view the legislative text, click here.
The Corona Range and Livestock Research Center will host a Beyond the Roundtable on Resources Available for Plant Identification & Management at the Southwest Center for Rangeland Sustainability 8 miles East of Corona on Friday, June 24th from 10 am to 3 pm. Please pre-register at Registration is free and lunch will be served. Attached is our advertisement. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have, Shad. Shad H. Cox, Superintendent/Programs Operations Director Corona Range and Livestock Research Center & Southwest Center for Rangeland Sustainability Animal and Range Sciences Agricultural Experiment Station College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences New Mexico State University P.O. Box 392 Corona, New Mexico 88318 575.849.1015 office 575-849.1021 fax Facebook: /nmsucorona

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Draft Guidance on Managing Pesticide Resistance

Draft Guidance on Managing Pesticide Resistance EPA has made available for a 60-day comment period two draft Pesticide Registration Notices (PR Notices) that are aimed at combating pesticide resistance. The first PR Notice (PR Notice 2016-X) is titled “Draft Guidance for Pesticide Registrants on Pesticide Resistance Management Labeling” and the second PR Notice (PR Notice 2016-XX) is titled “Draft Guidance for Herbicide Resistance Management Labeling, Education, Training, and Stewardship." Pesticides can be used to control a variety of pests, such as insects, weeds, rodents, bacteria, and fungi. Over time, many pesticides have gradually lost their effectiveness because pests have developed resistance – a significant decrease in sensitivity to a pesticide, which reduces the field performance of these pesticides. The Agency is concerned about resistance issues and believes that managing the development of pesticide resistance, in conjunction with alternative pest-management strategies and Integrated Pest Management programs, is an important part of sustainable pest management. To address the growing issue of resistance and preserve the useful life of pesticides, the Agency is beginning to embark on a more widespread effort that is aimed at combating and slowing the development of pesticide resistance. The release of these two PR Notices will allow the Agency to communicate (and seek comment) on potential strategies to combat pesticide resistance. Draft PR Notice 2016-X, which revises and updates PR Notice 2001-5, applies to all conventional agricultural pesticides (i.e., herbicides, fungicides, bactericides, insecticides and acaricides). The updates in PR Notice 2016-X focus on pesticides labels and are aimed at improving information about how pesticide users can minimize and manage pest resistance. Updates fall into the following three categories: (1) additional guidance to registrants and a recommended format for resistance-management statements or information to place on labels; (2) references to external technical resources for guidance on resistance management; and (3) instructions on how to submit changes to existing labels in order to enhance resistance-management language. Draft PR Notice 2016-XX, which only applies to herbicides, communicates the Agency’s current thinking and approach to address herbicide-resistant weeds by providing guidance on labeling, education, training, and stewardship for herbicides undergoing registration review or registration (i.e., new herbicide actives, new uses proposed for use on herbicide-resistant crops, or other case-specific registration actions). It is part of a more holistic, proactive approach to slow the development and spread of herbicide-resistant weeds and prolong the useful lifespan of herbicides and related technology. The Agency is focusing on the holistic guidance for herbicides first because (1) herbicides are the most widely used agricultural chemicals, (2) no new herbicide mechanism of action has been developed in the last 30 years, and (3) herbicide-resistant weeds are rapidly increasing. In the future, the Agency plans to evaluate other types of pesticides (e.g., fungicides, bactericides, insecticides, and acaricides) to determine whether and what guidance may be appropriate for these types of pesticides. To view and provide comments on these draft Pesticide Registration Notices and any supporting material, please visit EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0242 for PRN 2016-X and EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0226 for PRN 2016-XX. The comment period for each closes on August 2, 2016. See Slowing and Combating Pest Resistance to Pesticides for more information on pesticide resistance management.

Add “Dear County Agent Guy” to your summer reading list Jun 6, 2016 by Amanda Radke in BEEF Daily

Everyone tells I should write a book looks like some else has beet me to it. There’s nothing better than unwinding from a long summer day of hard work outside than with a cold drink and a good book. I recently received a review copy for a book titled, “Dear County Agent Guy: Calf Pulling, Husband Training, and Other Curious Dispatches from A Midwestern Dairy Farmer,” written by Jerry Nelson, and I definitely recommend it for a light-hearted, fun summer read. Released on May 3, the book features highlights of Nelson’s columns as a freelance agricultural writer. Nelson captures life on a ranch in a humorous way that’s certainly easy to relate to. Photo Credit: Author Jerry Nelson His first column, “Dear County Agent Guy” is what inspired the title of the book, and Nelson asks his local Extension agent for advice on how to get the ducks, crocodiles, cattails and jet skis out of his flooded corn fields. He has a section on marriage and talks about how he asked his wife to help him chase cows in the dark in her wedding dress on their wedding night before taking off for their honeymoon. Check out these 5 western novels to add to your summer reading list He writes a lot about his kids, and at 32 weeks pregnant, I could relate to his humor comparing child birth with calving cows. He even offered the calf puller to his wife’s OBGYN in the delivery room! Nelson shares a lot of his personal life, from losing his dad to meeting his future wife, and his family values, passion for agriculture and love of the written word clearly come across in this series of short stories. The book was a quick read that I devoured in one sitting, but it’s just as easy to pick it up and read a few short stories and save it for later, picking up where you left off. So if you’re looking for a fun, entertaining read from someone who “gets it,” you’ll love “Dear County Agent Guy” and the honest, humorous stories that Nelson shares in his book. Do you have any book recommendations to add to my summer reading list? I would love to hear them! Share them in the comments section below. The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Penton Agriculture.

Private property rights on the ranch Tiffany Dowell Lashmet for Progressive Cattleman Published on 24 May 2016

The ag industry has been concerned for many years about protecting operations from trespassers who seek to secretly videotape footage of animals. Producers point to concerns over the safety of their animals, employees, facilities and privacy as reasons to prevent this type of activity. There also have been allegations that undercover activists have actually encouraged or initiated animal abuse and that the videos released from this type of occurrence were falsified or improperly edited. In light of these issues, several states passed farm protection laws. Opponents, who term these statutes as “ag gag” laws, filed suit challenging the constitutionality of these laws in Idaho, Utah and North Carolina. After a trial court decision declared the Idaho law unconstitutional (this decision was appealed), many producers asked what other legal protections exist to help prevent trespassers on their operation. There are several potential legal claims for a rancher facing undercover video investigations to consider. Civil or criminal trespass. Generally, trespass occurs when a person enters the property of another without permission, although the exact elements of civil and criminal causes of action may vary slightly by state. This claim is available to producers when an undercover videographer enters the property without permission. The claim would not be available, however, if the videographer was hired by the operation as an employee. Civil or criminal fraud. Fraud occurs when false information is presented to another person with the intent that the person rely upon the information. For example, if a potential employee provided false information on an employment application, a claim of fraud may exist. This claim would not, however, be available if someone was not hired by the operation but merely snuck on the premises. Criminal tampering with a government record. In instances where an employee provides a falsified drivers’ license, this charge may be available. Defamation. Defamation law differs in each state, but generally a defamatory cause of action exists when one person publishes a false statement likely to harm the reputation of one person to another. Defamation cases are often long and difficult, particularly because there are many factual issues often raised with regard to whether a statement is true or false. Conspiracy. Generally, conspiracy occurs when two ore more people agree to do something to deceive, mislead or defraud others or break the law. It has been suggested that a conspiracy claim could potentially be used to bring suits against the activists releasing the undercover videos. It does not appear, however, this has succeeded as evidence showing intent is not easily ascertained. Still, many producers who have survived an undercover video situation elected to forgo pursuing these types of claims due to the expense and time required. The best protection for agricultural operations is to implement careful hiring practices and extensive employee training with regard to animal care and handling. Animal care and handling. The best way to defend against an undercover video is to ensure there is no animal abuse or mistreatment occurring. Owners should develop written animal care and handling policies and ensure these policies are reviewed and understood by all employees. Similarly, ongoing trainings and evaluations should be scheduled to ensure proper animal care is occurring. Hiring practices. Producers should weed out any potential undercover activists when hiring employees. Tasks as simple as Googling an employee’s name, running a background check and viewing social media pages can provide invaluable information to employers regarding both the qualifications and intentions of new employees. The vast majority of cattle producers are excellent stewards of the land and caretakers of their animals. These producers have legitimate reasons to protect their animals, employees, facilities and families from trespassers or people gaining access based on false credentials. With the fate of farm protection statutes currently pending in court, producers should carefully consider other options to protect operations. end mark Tiffany Dowell Lashmet Tiffany Dowell Lashmet Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist Agricultural Law Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Email Tiffany Dowell Lashmet

NMSU researchers help discover ideal growing conditions for guar

A number of you farmers may remember but we looked a quar here 15 years ago. I still think it is a good crop to study. NMSU researchers help discover ideal growing conditions for guar DATE: 06/07/2016 WRITER: Kristie Garcia, 575-646-4211, CONTACT: Kulbhushan Grover, 575-646-2352, CLOVIS – Researchers at New Mexico State University’s Agricultural Science Center at Clovis and at the Las Cruces campus have been busy studying the ideal growing conditions for guar crops. Certain climates in New Mexico just may be the perfect locations to grow guar, which is derived from the Hindi word “cow food” and has grown for centuries in south Asia. Guar is a legume crop that is high in protein and has several uses. Depending on its form, it may be used as a dietary supplement, as a tool in the hydraulic fracturing industry or as an ingredient that keeps ice cream from melting too quickly. Before coming to the NMSU Plant and Environmental Sciences Department in 2009, associate professor of sustainable crop production Kulbhushan Grover studied guar in India. Building upon his experience, Grover saw an opportunity to grow guar in New Mexico and established research at NMSU testing its adaptability in the local conditions. “This crop, being a low-water-use crop and a very drought-resistant crop, fits really well in the desert Southwest, including southern New Mexico and eastern New Mexico,” Grover said. “Based on its growing season, it also fits well with our current local cropping systems. It could be a good rotation crop with cotton, chile, onion or any other non-legume crops.” At the science center in Clovis, NMSU crop physiologist and associate professor Sangu Angadi completed a two-year study in the summer of 2015 that primarily focused on the optimal time of year for seeding. “My research focused on when to plant guar in order to maximize productivity,” Angadi said. “Generally, heat and water stress at critical growth stages affect guar yields. We tried to plant from April to July, but we lost the April planting due to a hailstorm.” Sudhir Singla, a graduate student working under Grover’s supervision in plant and environmental sciences at NMSU, knows firsthand about the timing of planting the seeds. He recently defended his thesis, in which he helped determine the best time to plant guar seeds. Together with Grover and Angadi, Singla confirmed that the optimal planting time is summer. “I’m testing the adaptability of guar in southern New Mexico and in eastern New Mexico,” Singla said. “So far, we have found some interesting results, and it seems like the June planting is the best planting.” So, why grow guar in New Mexico? In addition to its low water use, New Mexico has the ideal climate, with its minimal rainfall and high summer temperatures. “The majority of guar is produced in the Thar desert of India and Pakistan,” Angadi said. “Guar is very well adapted to those conditions. Compared to that region, environmental conditions in New Mexico are similar, and the heat and drought stress is common.” Another reason to grow the crop in New Mexico is to take advantage of the demand. At this time, India is the largest producer and exporter of guar, and due to the exponential use of guar gum in the hydraulic fracturing industry, it has become a billion-dollar crop. “With the renewed interest from the oil industry, this crop has a huge potential in the U.S.,” Grover said. “Right now the U.S. is the biggest user of guar gum in the world. Close to 90 percent of the guar that is produced in the world ends up in the U.S. In 2011, the U.S. imported guar products worth $1 billion. There is a huge potential if we want to grow guar domestically to reduce reliance on imports and boost the local economy.” Despite recent discoveries, there is still much to study about guar in the Southwest. In conjunction with Texas A&M and Texas Tech University, efforts are currently underway to secure funding to conduct in-depth guar research, which will include evaluating the crop as it relates to irrigation levels. - 30 - Follow NMSU News on Twitter: Follow NMSU News on Facebook:

Monday, June 6, 2016

Extortion E-mail Schemes Tied to Recent High-Profile Data Breaches

Extortion E-mail Schemes Tied to Recent High-Profile Data Breaches The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) continues to receive reports from individuals who have received extortion attempts via e-mail related to recent high-profile data thefts. The recipients are told that personal information, such as their name, phone number, address, credit card information, and other personal details, will be released to the recipient’s social media contacts, family, and friends if a ransom is not paid. The recipient is instructed to pay in Bitcoin, a virtual currency that provides a high degree of anonymity to the transactions. The recipients are typically given a short deadline. The ransom amount ranges from 2 to 5 bitcoins or approximately $250 to $1,200. The following are some examples of the extortion e-mails: “Unfortunately your data was leaked in a recent corporate hack and I now have your information. I have also used your user profile to find your social media accounts. Using this I can now message all of your friends and family members.” “If you would like to prevent me from sharing this information with your friends and family members (and perhaps even your employers too) then you need to send the specified bitcoin payment to the following address.” “If you think this amount is too high, consider how expensive a divorce lawyer is. If you are already divorced then I suggest you think about how this information may impact any ongoing court proceedings. If you are no longer in a committed relationship then think about how this information may affect your social standing amongst family and friends.” “We have access to your Facebook page as well. If you would like to prevent me from sharing this dirt with all of your friends, family members, and spouse, then you need to send exactly 5 bitcoins to the following address.” “We have some bad news and good news for you. First, the bad news, we have prepared a letter to be mailed to the following address that details all of your activities including your profile information, your login activity, and credit card transactions. Now for the good news, You can easily stop this letter from being mailed by sending 2 bitcoins to the following address.” Fraudsters quickly use the news release of a high-profile data breach to initiate an extortion campaign. The FBI suspects multiple individuals are involved in these extortion campaigns based on variations in the extortion emails. If you believe you have been a victim of this scam, you should reach out to your local FBI field office, and file a complaint with the IC3 at Please include the keywords “Extortion E-mail Scheme” in your complaint, and provide any relevant information in your complaint, including the extortion e-mail with header information and Bitcoin address1 if available. TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF: • Do not open e-mail or attachments from unknown individuals. • Do not communicate with the subject. • Do not store sensitive or embarrassing photos of yourself online or on your mobile devices. • Use strong passwords and do not use the same password for multiple websites. • Ensure security settings for social media accounts are turned on and set at the highest level of protection. • When providing personally identifiable information, credit card information, or other sensitive information to a website, ensure the transmission is secure by verifying the URL prefix includes https, or the status bar displays a “lock” icon. The FBI does not condone the payment of extortion demands as the funds will facilitate continued criminal activity, including potential organized crime activity and associated violent crimes.

USDA Provides Targeted Assistance to Cotton Producers to Share in the Cost of Ginning

USDA Provides Targeted Assistance to Cotton Producers to Share in the Cost of Ginning 06/06/2016 05:00 PM EDT USDA Provides Targeted Assistance to Cotton Producers to Share in the Cost of Ginning One-time Payments to Begin in July to Assist with 2016 Ginning Season WASHINGTON, June 6, 2016 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide an estimated $300 million in cost-share assistance payments to cotton producers through the new Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program, in order to expand and maintain the domestic marketing of cotton. "Today's announcement shows USDA continues to stand with America's cotton producers and our rural communities," said Vilsack. "The Cotton Ginning Cost Share program will offer meaningful, timely and targeted assistance to cotton growers to help with their anticipated ginning costs and to facilitate marketing. The program will provide, on average, approximately 60 percent more assistance per farm and per producer than the 2014 program that provided cotton transition assistance." Through the Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program, eligible producers can receive a one-time cost share payment, which is based on a producer's 2015 cotton acres reported to FSA, multiplied by 40 percent of the average ginning cost for each production region. With the pressing need to provide assistance ahead of the 2016 ginning season this fall, USDA will ensure the application process is straight-forward and efficient. The program estimates the costs based on planting of cotton in 2015, and therefore the local FSA offices already have this information for the vast majority of eligible producers and the applications will be pre-populated with existing data. Sign-up for the program will begin June 20 and run through Aug. 5, 2016 at the producer's local FSA office. Payments will be processed as applications are received, and are expected to begin in July. Since 2011, cotton fiber markets have experienced dramatic changes. As a result of low cotton prices and global oversupply, cotton producers are facing economic uncertainty that has led to many producers having lost equity and having been forced to liquidate equipment and land to satisfy loans. The ginning of cotton is necessary prior to marketing the lint for fiber, or the seed for oil or feed. While the Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program makes payments to cotton producers for cotton ginning costs, the benefits of the program will be felt by the broader marketing chain associated with cotton and cottonseed, including cotton gins, cooperatives, marketers and cottonseed crushers and the rural communities that depend on them. The program has the same eligibility requirements as were used for the 2014 Cotton Transition Assistance Program, including a $40,000 per producer payment limit, requirement to be actively engaged in farming, meet conservation compliance and a $900,000 adjusted gross income limit. To learn more about the Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program, visit or contact a local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit Since 2009, USDA has worked to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. USDA has also provided $5.6 billion in disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; and extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,500 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit #

State’s animal health agency: Horse owners should vaccinate against West Nile virus

State’s animal health agency: Horse owners should vaccinate against West Nile virus (ALBUQUERQUE) – As mosquito season approaches, the New Mexico Livestock Board is encouraging horse owners across the state to vaccinate their horses against West Nile virus (WNV). “Horse owners are encouraged to contact their veterinarian about vaccinating their horse or horses,” said acting state veterinarian Dr. Alexandra Eckhoff. According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, horses represent 96.9 percent of all reported non-human cases of West Nile virus in mammals. Symptoms include fever, lack of coordination, difficulty or inability to rise, drooping lips, weakness, muscle twitching, and sensitivity to sound and/or touch. Approximately one-third of horses affected can die from the virus, and those that survive may have permanent neurological damage. The virus is carried by many different mosquito species, which transmit it from infected birds to horses, humans, and other mammals. It is not transmissible from horse to horse or from horse to human. Both horses and humans are dead-end hosts for WNV, meaning they cannot pass the virus on to other biting mosquitoes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), WNV is not transmitted: • From person to person or from animal to person • From handling live or dead infected birds. (Wear gloves to dispose of dead birds in a garbage can.) • By consuming infected birds or animals. (Cook bird meat and any other meat fully.) For more information, please visit and The New Mexico Livestock Board works to protect New Mexico livestock free of disease and safe from theft. To carry out this work, the agency’s 60 full-time inspectors and another 60 full- and part-time deputies continuously patrol and perform inspections around the state to help. The agency also houses the Office of the State Veterinarian, whose team collaborates with various government and private-sector partners to ensure that New Mexico remains free of animal disease.

USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Help Socially Disadvantaged Rural Businesses

USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Help Socially Disadvantaged Rural Businesses WASHINGTON, June 6, 2016 - USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Administrator Sam Rikkers today announced that USDA is seeking applications for grants to provide assistance to socially-disadvantaged business groups in rural areas. "Rural America is an incredibly diverse place with many types of businesses and business owners participating in the economy," Rikkers said. "This funding will give small, rural businesses the technical assistance they need to compete in the global marketplace." The funding is being provided through the Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant (SDGG) program. USDA provides grants to local cooperatives and other organizations that provide technical assistance to socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Examples of technical assistance include providing leadership training, conducting feasibility studies and developing business and strategic plans. Recipients eligible for these grants include groups of cooperatives, individual cooperatives and cooperative development centers that serve socially-disadvantaged groups. The cooperatives or development centers can be based in any area, but the groups that receive technical assistance must be located in an eligible rural area. USDA is encouraging applications for projects in census tracts with poverty rates of 20 percent or higher. USDA is making $3 million in grants available. The maximum award a recipient may receive is $175,000. All grants are awarded through a national competition. More information on how to apply can be found on page 36254 of the June 6, 2016 Federal Register. Applications must be submitted by August 5, 2016, or electronically by August 1, 2016. USDA awarded 126 grants totaling $19.5 million through the Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant program between 2009 and 2015. Past recipients of these grants have been able to make life-changing improvements in rural areas. For example, in 2013, the Southern California Focus on Cooperation received a $200,000 SDGG grant to provide technical assistance to 95 immigrant and minority farmers. The technical assistance helped the farmers improve their productive capacity, helped them better manage their cooperative business and increased their revenue. Many of the farmers helped by this project had spent years suffering from persecution and oppression and had had no access to formal schooling in their native lands. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (@USDARD) has invested $11 billion to start or expand 103,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 7,000 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; financed 185,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. For more information, visit #

Friday, June 3, 2016

USDA Expands Access to Capital for Rural Businesses

USDA Expands Access to Capital for Rural Businesses BLOOMINGTON, Ill., June 3, 2016 – USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Sam Rikkers today unveiled new rules to expand access to capital for rural businesses. "Access to capital is one of the most important needs for businesses," Rikkers said. "USDA is partnering with the Treasury Department and other agencies to ensure that rural businesses have the resources they need to prosper and grow. The regulatory changes I am announcing today will help businesses expand their operations and create jobs." The changes, published in today's Federal Register, make it easier for rural businesses to qualify for loans in USDA's Business & Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program. They allow businesses to use the New Markets Tax Credit as a form of equity, and allow, for the first time, employees of a business to qualify for loan guarantees to purchase stock in a business by forming an Employee Stock Ownership Plan or worker cooperative. Other improvements include: • New, loan application scoring criteria, including priority for loans to businesses that will create quality jobs, such as those with health care benefits; • Reduced paperwork requirements to refinance loans; • Strengthened eligibility criteria for non-regulated lenders (such as privately owned finance companies) to participate in the B&I program; • Expanded loan eligibility, including in urban areas, for projects that process, distribute, aggregate, store and/or market locally or regionally produced foods. The stock ownership provisions are modeled after rural cooperative businesses. Co-ops have been economic development partners with USDA for decades. A January 2016 USDA report indicated that cooperatives earned $6.5 billion in net income and generated $246.7 billion in total revenue in 2014. For a complete overview of the new rules, see page 35984 of the June 3, 2016 Federal Register. USDA awarded more than 3,500 Business & Industry program loans totaling $9.7 billion between 2009 and 2015 to help rural businesses create or retain jobs. One of these loans – for $1.8 million in 2013 – helped White Rock Specialties, LLC buy equipment and convert an old school in Mosca, Colo., into a potato packing facility. White Rock has a large supply of potato growers in the San Luis Valley and focuses on locally grown organic specialty potatoes. Another B&I loan from 2013 helped DeVilbiss Healthcare, LLC relocate its manufacturing facility from China to Somerset, Pa., preserving 92 jobs and creating an estimated 20 new full-time, living-wage jobs. By providing access to capital and opening up new markets, USDA is helping American businesses compete and win in the tough arena of international trade. For more information, visit Chapter 6 of The expanded loan eligibility for projects that process, distribute, aggregate, store and/or market locally or regionally produced foods is part of USDA's broader effort to support strong local and regional food systems that connect rural and urban communities. USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative coordinates the Department's work to help farmers, ranchers and businesses access the growing market for local and regional foods, which was valued at $12 billion in 2014 according to industry estimates. Under this Administration, USDA has invested $1 billion in more than 40,000 local and regional food businesses and infrastructure projects. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (#USDARD) has invested $11 billion to start or expand 103,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 7,000 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; financed 185,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. For more information, visit #

Thursday, June 2, 2016

EPA Releases Draft Triazine Ecological Risk Assessments for Comment

EPA Releases Draft Triazine Ecological Risk Assessments for Comment EPA is releasing the draft ecological risk assessments for atrazine, propazine and simazine, which evaluate risks to animals and plants including, amphibians, birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, aquatic invertebrates, aquatic plant communities, and terrestrial plants. All three pesticides are in the triazine class of pesticides. EPA invites stakeholders to comment on the draft ecological risk assessments when the Federal Register notice publishes and the public comment period opens within a week. The draft assessments are currently available on the agency’s website. EPA will be accepting public comments for 60 days after the Federal Register publishes. After receiving and reviewing public comments, the agency will amend the assessments, as appropriate. EPA will have atrazine's assessment peer reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Panel in 2017. With regard to atrazine, the herbicide is one of the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States. It is used primarily on corn and sorghum in the Midwest and sugarcane in the South Central and Southeastern United States to control broadleaf and grassy weeds. EPA’s human health assessment for the three triazines is currently under review, and we expect to release it later in 2016. Read the triazine draft ecological risk assessments on EPA’s Website. On this page, you will find a pre-publication copy of the Federal Register notice and the draft risk assessments until the public comment period begins. Once the Federal Register notice publishes, the assessments and all related materials will be available on and comments can be submitted at in dockets EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266 (atrazine); EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0250 (propazine); and EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0251 (simazine).

USDA Unveils New Improvement to Streamline Crop Reporting

USDA Unveils New Improvement to Streamline Crop Reporting Update Lets Farmers and Ranchers Report Common Acreage Information Once WASHINGTON, May 31, 2016 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that farmers and ranchers filing crop acreage reports with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and participating insurance providers approved by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) now can provide the common information from their acreage reports at one office and the information will be electronically shared with the other location. This new process is part of the USDA Acreage Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI). This interagency collaboration also includes participating private crop insurance agents and insurance companies, all working to streamline the information collected from farmers and ranchers who participate in USDA programs. “If you file your report at one location, the data that’s important to both FSA and RMA will be securely and electronically shared with the other location,” said FSA Administrator Val Dolcini. “This will avoid redundant and duplicative reporting, and we expect this to save farmers and ranchers time.” “Accuracy in crop reporting is a key component for crop insurance, because an error in this information can affect premiums or claims. This is going to greatly improve efficiencies and reduce mistakes,” said RMA Administrator Brandon Willis. Since 2009, USDA has been working to streamline the crop reporting process for agricultural producers, who have expressed concerns with providing the same basic common information for multiple locations. In 2013, USDA consolidated the deadlines to 15 dates for submitting these reports, down from the previous 54 dates at RMA and 17 dates for FSA. USDA representatives believe farmers and ranchers will experience a notable improvement in the coming weeks as they approach the peak season for crop reporting later this summer. More than 93 percent of all annual reported acres to FSA and RMA now are eligible for the common data reporting, and USDA is exploring adding more crops. Producers must still visit both locations to validate and sign acreage reports, complete maps or provide program-specific information. The common data from the first-filed acreage report will now be available to pre-populate and accelerate completion of the second report. Plans are underway at USDA to continue building upon the framework with additional efficiencies at a future date. Dolcini also reminded farmers and ranchers that they can now access their FSA farm information from the convenience of their home computer. “You can see your field boundaries, images of your farm, conservation status, operator and owner information and much more,” said Dolcini. The new customer self-service portal, known as FSAFarm+, gives farmers and ranchers online access to securely view, print or export their personal farm data. To enroll in the online service, producers are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for details. To find a local FSA office in your area, visit Since 2009, USDA has worked to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. USDA has also provided $5.6 billion of disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like to Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,500 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit # USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil

USDA Extends Deadline for Recording Farm Structure

USDA Extends Deadline for Recording Farm Structure Gives Non-Family Farming Operations More Time to Restructure in Response to ‘Actively Engaged’ Farm Management Rule WASHINGTON, May 27, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a one-time, 30-day extension to the June 1 deadline for recording farm organization structures related to Actively Engaged in Farming determinations. This date is used to determine the level of interest an individual holds in a legal entity for the applicable program year. Farming operations will now have until July 1 to complete their restructuring or finalize any operational change. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued the extension in response to farmers and ranchers who requested more time to comply, and to assure that everyone has enough time to provide their information under the new rules. “Most farming and ranching organizations have been able to comply with the actively engaged rule,” said Vilsack. “This one-time extension should give producers who may still need to update their farm structure information the additional time to do so.” The 2014 Farm Bill provided the Secretary with the direction and authority to amend the Actively Engaged in Farming rules related to management. The final rule established limits on the number of individuals who can qualify as actively engaged using only management. Only one payment limit for management is allowed under the rule, with the ability to request up to two additional qualifying managers operations for large and complex operations. The rule does not apply to farming operations comprised entirely of family members. The rule also does not change the existing regulations related to contributions of land, capital, equipment or labor, or the existing regulations related to landowners with a risk in the crop or to spouses. Producers that planted fall crops have until the 2017 crop year to comply with the new rules. The payment limit associated with Farm Service Agency farm payments is generally limited annually to $125,000 per individual or entity. Since 2009, USDA has worked to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. USDA has also provided $5.6 billion of disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like to Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,500 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit #