Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Mr. Dan C Lathrop who has served on the PVWUO since 1998 and worked diligently on the 2002 plan and the update, representing Hagerman ditch, and agriculture producer has gone to be with our Lord on December 21st The Celebration Service will be January 14th. I'll let you know the time of day when the family determiners this.
Friday, December 23, 2016
USDA Announces $5 Million in Funds for Smart Technology Innovations in Agriculture This is a corrected version updating the RFA deadline to March 6. WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2016- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of up to $5 million for research to strengthen the science behind the next generation of internet-connected agricultural implements and resources through the Cyber Physical Systems program. Funding for this program is made through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. “Data driven analytical tools throughout the food supply chain—from production through processing, transportation, and food storage—will allow us to make smarter decisions that can promote efficient food production, reduce food waste, and increase food safety,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These investments in cyber physical systems will improve efficiencies across the agricultural industry.” The Cyber Physical Systems Joint Competitive Grant program helps coordinate the work of multiple federal agencies to improve the science behind increasingly complex cyber-physical systems (CPS)—the way the physical world connects to information and communication technologies. Self-driving tractors and cars, remote patient monitoring apps and smart irrigation scheduling are some examples of the cyber-physical systems already in use or testing. The National Science Foundation leads this initiative with support from NIFA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Department of Homeland Security, National Institutes of Health, Department of Transportation, and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to strengthen the science and technology to ensure the growing number of cyber-physical systems being used are safe, secure, scalable, resilient and reliable. CPS technologies can increase efficiencies in agribusiness, provide economic opportunities to workers and promote practices that sustain the environment. Increased secure access to information also helps producers meet the challenges of global population growth, food waste and the impacts of a changing climate. Applications are due by March 6, 2017. Details eligibility for applicants and research topics are available in the Program Solicitation section on the National Science Foundation website and on the NIFA website. Examples of previously funded projects include a University of Tennessee project to develop and test biosensing and animal movement monitoring for early detection of certain infections in confined dairy herds to allow more rapid response when a herd is threatened. An Iowa State University project combines data from unmanned ground and aerial vehicles and satellites with sophisticated analytics for early detection and mitigation of row crop diseases. Science funded by AFRI is vital to meeting food, fiber and fuel demands as the world's population is projected to exceed nine billion by 2050 and natural resources are stressed under a changing climate. In addition, AFRI programs help develop new technologies and a workforce that will advance our nutritional security, our energy self-sufficiency, and the health of Americans. Since 2009, USDA has invested $19 billion in research both intramural and extramural. During that time, research conducted by USDA scientists has resulted in 883 patent applications filed, 405 patents issued and 1,151 new inventions disclosures covering a wide range of topics and discoveries. To learn more about how USDA supports cutting edge science and innovation, visit the USDA Medium chapter Food and Ag Science Will Shape Our Future. NIFA invests in and advances innovative and transformative research, education and extension to solve societal challenges and ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA support for the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel have resulted in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that are combating childhood obesity, improving and sustaining rural economic growth, addressing water availability issues, increasing food production, finding new sources of energy, mitigating climate variability and ensuring food safety. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural science, visit www.nifa.usda.gov/impacts, sign up for email updates or follow us on Twitter @usda_NIFA, #NIFAimpacts. # USDA is an equal opportunity lender, provider and employer. NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension, and seeks to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges.
The Night Before Christmas (In New Mexico Is) By Woods E. Houghton Twas the night before Christmas, In New Mexico you know, Way out on the prairie, without any snow. Asleep in their cabin, were Buddy and Sue, A dreaming of Christmas, like me and like you. Not stockings but boots, at the foot of their beds, For this was New Mexico, What more need be said? When all of a sudden from out the still night, There came such a ruckus, it gave me a fright! And I saw cross the prairie, like the shot from a gun, A loaded up buckboard, Come on at a run. The driver was "whistling" and "shouting" with a will, The "Horses" (not reindeer) he drove with such skill. "Come on there Buck, Poncho, and Prince, to the right" There'll be plenty of travelin' for you-all tonight.. The driver in his Levis, and a shirt that was red, Had a 10 gallon stetson on the top of his head. As he stepped from the buckboard, he was really a sight, with his beard and mustacho,,so curly and white. As he burst in the casa, the children awoke, And both so astonished, that neither one spoke. And he filled up their boots with such presents galore, That neither could think of a single thing more. When Buddy recovered the use of his jaws, He asked in a whisper "Are you really Santa Claus?" "Am I the real Santa? Well, what do you think? And he smiled as he gave his mysterious wink. Then he left in his buckboard, and called back in a drawl, TO ALL CHILDREN OF NEW MEXICO - FELIZ NAVIDAD
Thursday, December 22, 2016
NMSU Professor Working to Remove Water Pollutants by Billy Huntsman, Media Relations, NMSU College of Engineering Editor’s note: Dr. Catherine Brewer has received a 2016 grant through NM WRRI entitled, Biochar for Desalination Concentrate Management, a project funded by the NMSU/Bureau of Reclamation Cooperative Agreement An assistant professor in NMSU’s Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering recently received a $373,000 grant from NASA and a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Catherine Brewer’s three-year NASA grant is for research pertaining to the absorption of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) from the water beneath the White Sands Test Facility. “NDMA is a probable human carcinogen,” Brewer said. “In the 1960s and ‘70s, NASA tested a series of rocket fuels for the Apollo program at the WSTF. After each test, the test engine and fuel lines had to be cleaned and flushed. The wastewater from those flushes was treated to destroy the fuel compounds and then emptied into the desert.” Unbeknownst to the engineers at the time, the treatment process to destroy the fuel residues created trace amounts of NDMA in the water, Brewer said. “In the 1980s, NASA became aware of the NDMA and other organic pollutants in the water underneath WSTF,” Brewer said. “Since then, they have been pumping up the water, treating it and re-injecting it underground.” Brewer said the treatment process will likely need to be continued over the next century with thousands of gallons per day, requiring much electricity and costing a great deal. “The purpose of this project is to see if we can make activated carbons out of pecan shells that can adsorb the NDMA out of the water as effectively but for a lower cost,” Brewer said. Brewer said the project started two years ago and is currently in the analytical method development stage—measuring NDMA concentrations in water at the part per trillion level. “After that, the remaining time of the three-year project will be spent designing the adsorption water treatment system using the pecan shell activated carbons,” Brewer said. The NSF grant is for Brewer to research a water desalination system that uses heat from burning bio-waste, such as pecan shells, pecan orchard prunings, cotton gin trash and yard waste. The system design is intended to reduce the effects of scaling, a common problem when desalinating water, especially in this region, Brewer said. In addition to these two projects, Brewer has also been the principal investigator for five other projects, funded by the Sun Grant Program South Central Region, the NMSU-Bureau of Reclamation Cooperative Agreement, the Western Excelsior Corporation, NASA and the USDA. These five projects have received more than $574,000 in funding. “On every project, I have worked with researchers from multiple colleges, multiple institutions, and industry,” Brewer said. “As a land-grant institution, NMSU is well-suited for this kind of research as it is easy to pull together the needed expertise from basic science, applied agricultural science, engineering and extension. I am very grateful for the wonderful collaborators I have found here.”
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Dr. Dennis Doc" Hallford, of Las Cruces, NM, passed away Tuesday, December 13, 2016 after a lengthy illness. He was born February 11, 1948 in Abilene, TX to the late Tommy L. and Tiny Hallford. He was a graduated of Abilene Cooper High School and Tarleton State University (Stephenville, TX.), where he earned his B.S. degree in General Agriculture. After teaching one year at Tarleton, he married his college sweetheart, Marilyn Williams, and earned his Masters and PhD in animal science at Oklahoma State University. In 1975, he embarked on an illustrious career at New Mexico State University in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences. He retired in June 2016 after 41 years of teaching research and service at NMSU. He served as supervisor of the West Sheep Unit and the Endocrinology Lab, was chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee for 25 years and member and chair of the Radiation Safety Committee for 32 years, as well as on numerous departmental, college, university, and professional committees. He served as advisor to 62 graduate students and was author or co-author of over 600 refereed journal articles, proceedings and abstracts on endocrine influences on reproductive functions in domestic animals, particularly sheep. Among his numerous honors were being named "Regents Professor" and "Distinguished Achievement Professor". He received the NMSU Cardinal Key Honor Society's "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" in only his second year at the university. Other recognitions include College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences Distinguished Teaching, Distinguished Research and Distinguished Service awards, Burlington Northern Foundation Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching, Robert L. Westhafer Award for Excellence in Teaching, Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching, Gamma Sigma Delta's Distinguished Graduate Teaching Advisement Award, Western Section, American Society of Animal Science (WSASAS) Distinguished Teaching Award and WSASAS Service Award. He was also awarded both the NMSU University Research Council's Outstanding Researcher honor and Award for Exceptional Achievement in Creative Scholarly Activity. Doc was named Outstanding Alumni from the College of Agriculture at Tarleton State University and the Oklahoma State University Department of Animal Sciences "Advanced Degree Graduate of Distinction. He served as faculty advisor of the Aggie Rodeo Association, Block and Bridle Club, Animal and Range Sciences Graduate Student Association and Pre-Vet Club. Students named him "Outstanding Club Advisor", while NM Wool Growers presented him with their Amigo Award and the NMSU Environmental Health and Safety Office their "Friend of Safety" award. Dr. Hallford was also named one of Top 20 animal science professors in the country and Who's Who Among American Teachers.. He was a member of the American Society of Animal Science, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Gamma Sigma Delta, Honor Society of Agriculture. Dennis is survived by his wife, Marilyn, daughter and sonin-law, Amy and Brian Kord, and granddaughters, Shelby and Sophie, all of Las Crueses. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, and cousins. A memorial service honoring Dennis' life will be held in January, 2017. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the "Dr. Dennis (Doc) and Marilyn Hallford Endowed Fund" in care of NMSU Foundation, MSC 3590, Las Cruces, NM 88003
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Obama signs water bill with caution on drought provisions By Philip Brasher © Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc. 7 WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2016 - President Obama signed into law a water projects authorization bill and issued a statement cautioning agency managers to heed endangered species requirements before increasing irrigation water supplies in California's drought-stricken Central Valley. Critics of the drought relief, led by retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said the provisions would divert more water to California farmers than should be permitted by biological opinions that enforce the endangered species protections and protect Pacific salmon fisheries. Help grow your crop insurance business with a proven leader focused on overall service and satisfaction. Obama's signing statement sought to address that concern by saying he interprets the legislation to require “continued application and implementation of the Endangered Species Act, consistent with the close and cooperative work of federal agencies with the State of California to assure that state water quality standards are met. “This reading of the short-term operational provisions carries out the letter and spirit of the law and is essential for continuing the cooperation and commitment to accommodating the full range of complex and important interests in matters related to California water.” A spokesman for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who co-authored the provisions along with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the president's statement was consistent with congressional intent. Paul Wenger, president of the California Farm Bureau, said the new law will provide needed “flexibility in operating the pumps that supply the state and federal water projects.” Like what you see on the Agri-Pulse website? See even more ag, rural policy and energy news when yousign up for a four-week free trial Agri-Pulse subscription. He said the provisions should have no negative impact on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, “since it will only take exceptional flows and capture those for use” in the Central Valley and southern California. “The biological opinions allowed biologists to utilize their intuition relative to harm to protected species,” he said. “They must now use metrics based on science and real-time data. Such a novel idea to base operations on such important things as our water infrastructure components on verifiable metrics.” In order to ensure that farmers have adequate water during spring planting, the bill includes a provision that would expand the current water transfer period from the current July-September window to April-November. Another provision in the bill would require agencies to explain why they were pumping water at levels lower than what is allowed by biological opinions for protecting the fish habitat. The bill, called the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, authorizes three inland navigation reports based on final Army Corps of Engineers reports - the Calcasieu Lock (Louisiana), the Upper Ohio Navigation System (Pennsylvania), and deepening of Brazos Island Harbor in Texas (Brownsville Ship Channel). #30 For more news, go to: www.Agri-Pulse.com
Monsanto Shareowners Approve Merger with Bayer December 13, 2016 Jim SteadmanPosted By: Jim Steadman | Email EmailPrintFacebook2LinkedIn2TwitterGoogle During a special meeting on December 12, Monsanto shareowners approved the merger of the company with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bayer. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Monsanto shareowners will receive $128 per share in cash at the closing of the transaction. “We are pleased we received such strong support from our shareowners,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto chairman and chief executive officer. “This is an important milestone as we work to combine our two complementary companies and deliver on our shared vision for the future of agriculture. By bringing together our expertise and our resources to drive this shared vision, we can do even more together to benefit growers around the world and to help address broad global challenges like climate change and food scarcity.” “The acquisition of Monsanto is driven by our strong belief that this combination can help address the growing challenges facing farmers and the overall agriculture industry today and in the future,” said Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG. “Together, Bayer and Monsanto will be able to offer the new, innovative solutions that our customers need. We look forward to completing the transaction and working closely with Monsanto to ensure a successful integration.” Based on a preliminary tabulation of the shareowner vote, approximately 99% of all votes cast (which represents approximately 75% of all outstanding shares on November 7, 2016, the record date for the special meeting) were voted in favor of the merger. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals. Bayer, with the support of Monsanto, has now submitted a number of filings, including the U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Act filing. Closing is expected by the end of 2017. Additional information about the proposed transaction can be found online.
Export Sales Drive Market as Potential for Explosive Growth Builds December 19, 2016 New OA Cleveland WebBy: Dr. O.A. Cleveland EmailPrintFacebook2LinkedInTwitterGoogle New York cotton futures prices continue to outlast the bearish overtone of USDA’s December supply demand report, as U.S. export sales lead the way. Mill buying kept prices in a supportive mood all week as the 71-72 cent range, basis March, dominated weekly trading. The range-bound trading between 70.50 and 73.00 cents is expected to account for the bulk of the trading through the end of the calendar year, as the market continues to consolidate and attempt to establish the 71.50 cent level as a new level of support. Yet, for now, the next level of support is the 70 cent level. Nevertheless, trading remains in the middle of the four week range. Kindling and other wood are being stacked higher and higher in preparation for an explosive fire under the market. The ingredients seem to be in place, but the bevy of world stocks still sits over the market and is keeping the explosive ingredients away from the blaze. Call sales dwarf call purchases, and speculative fund managers continue to add to their already record long speculative long positions. That was very evident again this week, as mills added to their bets of lower prices as funds added to their respective bets for higher prices. A showdown appears inevitable. The technical momentum suggests the market is attempting to move slowly, but the inequality in the call sales ratio, coupled with the managed fund positions, cannot be ignored much longer. Look for the current trading range to continue with a definite upward bias. Yet, given the market’s heavy speculative position, there is some nervousness surrounding the back and forth of U.S.-Russia relations. Net U.S. export sales for the past week were the second highest of the marketing year, totaling 318,000 RB (311,700 upland and 6,400 Pima), plus an additional 66,000 RB of upland sold for 2017-18, took weekly total sales to 384,100 RB. (The question arises from time to time of the use of RB which stand for “running bales.” Sales and shipments are reported in running bales, or actual bales, typically weighing between 500-502 pounds. World and U.S. production and other supply demand data are reported in 480 pound bales, better known as “statistical bales,” or just bales.) Vietnam (89,700) and China (84,000) remained as the primary buyers along with Pakistan, Indonesia and Turkey. Shipments were very positive, totaling 281,400 RB of upland and 16,700 RB of Pima. Primary destinations of upland were Vietnam, China, Mexico, Indonesia and Colombia. Primary destinations of Pima were China, Peru and Vietnam. U.S., Australian and Brazilian cotton continue to be the primary choice of mills, but only U.S. high quality cotton is readily available. The current trading range is beginning to grow a bit old, and the very narrow 70 +/- cent bottom and the 72+/- cent top trading range has existed for some three weeks. A decisive close outside of this range could occur anytime now and will likely give the market new direction. The world remains awash with stocks, but Chinese news speaks of improved demand, as reported by USDA last week. This, as well as the aforementioned call sales and long fund position, begs for higher prices. Too, the expectation for higher inflation means higher commodity prices across the board. Nevertheless, old crop prices – the March, May and July contracts – are beginning to separate themselves from the new crop 2017-18 contracts. This is expected to continue. Give a gift of cotton today.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Prepare Your Poultry Flock for Winter Cooler temps and shorter days mean one thing: Winter is on it’s way. With a little preparation, you can make this winter a little easier on you and your flock. • Add a light to stimulate egg production—hens need about 14 hours per day. By applying extra light in the morning rather than the evening, chickens will naturally go to roost with the setting sun. Learn more about proper light management. • Worried about frostbite? Raise cold-hardy breeds in areas with cold weather (ex. Chantecler or Wyandotte). Keep an eye on birds with large single combs as these are prone to frosting. Most importantly, keep the coop well ventilated. Why? Poorly ventilated coops and barns trap moisture and humidity which can lead to frostbite. Keep some coop windows open—cover with UltraScreen to provide exceptional ventilation while keeping out the elements. • Frozen waterers are guaranteed. Open trough waterers can be used (no floats, valves or vacuum to worry about), but they quickly become dirty. Our Heated Poultry Waterer works well for us, and the drip-catch nipples prevent the water from being soiled. • Molt happens. It’s best to feed your birds the nutrition they need to regrow their feathers. (Some birds will regrow feathers in a few weeks, others may take a few months.) Feathers are predominantly protein, so mix in added protein with your feed or look for a blend with at least 16% protein. Using a feed grinder can ensure freshness and source verification.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
USDA Announces New Conservation Opportunities to Improve Water Quality and Restore Wildlife Habitat DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 7, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will offer farmers and ranchers more opportunities to participate in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The announcement includes new CRP practices to protect water quality and adds an additional 1.1 million acres targeted to benefit wildlife, pollinators and wetlands. “The Conservation Reserve Program is an extremely popular voluntary program that offers producers and landowners a wide variety of opportunities to prevent erosion, protect wildlife habitat and reduce nutrient runoff,” said Vilsack. “With the program close to the legal enrollment limit of 24 million acres, USDA has been working to use all of the tools at our disposal to maximize benefits by combining multiple soil, water and wildlife objectives in the areas where it is needed most.” Vilsack unveiled a new conservation initiative known as Clean Lakes, Estuaries and Rivers (CLEAR), which will add new tools to CRP that can help to improve water quality. CLEAR will assist landowners with the cost of building bioreactors and saturated buffers that filter nitrates and other nutrients from tile-drained cropland. Early estimates indicate that CLEAR could help to reduce nitrate runoff by as much as 40 percent over traditional conservation methods. CLEAR may cover up to 90 percent of the cost to install these new practices through incentives and cost-share. These new methods are especially important in areas where traditional buffers have not been enough to prevent nutrients from reaching bodies of water. USDA will also add an additional 1.1 million acres to a number of key CRP practices that are critically important to wildlife and conservation. These include 700,000 acres for State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) efforts, which restore high-priority wildlife habitat tailored to a specific state’s needs. In addition to SAFE, 300,000 acres will be added to target wetlands restoration that are nature’s water filters and 100,000 acres for pollinator habitat that support 30 percent of agricultural production. The continued strong demand for CRP combined with the limited acreage available for enrollment and lower land rental rates, allows USDA to modify certain program components without affecting the integrity of the program. Signing incentives are being reduced by $25 per acre on certain practices for fiscal year 2018 enrollments (incentives are currently between $100 and $150 per acre) and a cap on the maximum soil rental rate is being instituted for Continuous CRP at $300 per acre. The savings from these changes are being reinvested back in CRP, including the additional acres for SAFE, pollinator habitat and wetlands restoration. To learn more about FSA’s conservation programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation or contact your local FSA office. To find your local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov. Throughout the Obama Administration, USDA has generated thousands of critical partnerships to conserve and protect our natural resources on working landscapes, while enrolling a record number of acres in conservation programs. Seventy-percent of the nation's land is owned and tended to privately, and America's farmers, ranchers and landowners have willingly stepped up to address the growing impacts of a changing climate. With USDA's support, they are working to implement voluntary practices that improve air and water quality, prevent soil erosion and create and protect wildlife habitat. Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $29 billion to help producers make conservation improvements, working with as many as 500,000 farmers, ranchers and landowners to protect land and water on over 400 million acres nationwide. Read more about USDA’s record conservation outcomes under this Administration at Caring for our Land, Air and Water: Preserving Precious Natural Resources for Tomorrow. # USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.
EPA Clarifies Placement of Required First Aid Statements on Pesticide Product Labels EPA is clarifying where first aid statements must be placed on pesticide product labels. First aid statements provide important information concerning appropriate first aid in the event of accidental exposure to a pesticide. First aid statements must be immediately visible on a pesticide product when the product is sold or distributed. It should not require opening a booklet or other manipulation of the label to read the first aid statement. For the most hazardous products (Toxicity Category I), the first aid statement must appear on the front panel unless we have approved something different. For Toxicity Categories II or III, the first aid statement can appear on the front, side or back panel, but it must be visible without manipulation of the label. If a registrant chooses to list first aid statements for Toxicity Category IV products, this language must also appear on a visible panel. Recent variation in types of labels has led to less-consistent placement of the first aid statement. Because of the importance of first aid information, we have decided to make it clearer to registrants where first aid statements must appear on labels. EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs has sent a memorandum to pesticide registrants clarifying the required placement of first aid statements. Read the memorandum in the docket (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0545). You may submit comments via the docket on this memorandum until January 6, 2017. We plan to update the Label Review Manual to include this information.
EPA Places Restrictions on Pesticide Use to Protect Four Endangered and Threatened Species EPA is placing geographically specific pesticide use restrictions on the use of eight gas cartridge products containing sodium and potassium nitrate, carbon and carbon dioxide, and sulfur to protect four endangered and threatened (listed) species in certain areas of the United States. These include the gopher tortoise, Hualapai Mexican vole, Mount Graham red squirrel, and Utah prairie dog. Gas cartridge products are used to control burrowing mammals. The restrictions can be found in EPA’s Endangered Species Protection Program Bulletins. The new labels for gas cartridge products reference the Bulletins, thus making them enforceable. The new labels should largely replace the previous ones on the market by mid-2018. In order to allow gas cartridge users adequate time to plan for future applications in light of the new use limitations, the Bulletins will become enforceable in June 2017. This action represents the first case where we are taking measures to protect listed species as a result of registration review and prior to formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Registration review is EPA’s review of each registered pesticide at least every 15 years to determine whether it continues to meet the FIFRA standard for registration. For information on the registration review of the gas cartridge products see: sodium and potassium nitrate – EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1118; carbon and carbon dioxide – EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0705; and sulfur – EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0176 at www.regulations.gov.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Release No. 0256.16 Contact: Office of Communications (202) 720-4623 firstname.lastname@example.org USDA Invests $33 Million to Improve Water Quality in High-Priority Watersheds WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2016 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced an investment of more than $33 million in 197 high-priority watersheds across the country to help landowners improve water quality through the Natural Resource Conservation Service's (NRCS) National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI). The NWQI helps farmers and ranchers implement voluntary conservation practices, such as nutrient management, cover crops, conservation cropping systems, filter strips, terraces and buffers, which protect and improve water quality where it is needed most. Conservation practices enhance agricultural productivity and profitability while also improving water quality by enhancing soil health and optimizing the use of agricultural inputs. "USDA is committed to working hand-in-hand with farmers, ranchers, and landowners to address water quality issues and provide the tools necessary to ensure clean, safe water for communities and wildlife," Vilsack said. "This latest investment is yet another example of how voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs are benefitting both producers and our natural resources." This year, NRCS added 42 new watersheds to the NWQI and selected 21 watersheds for new assessment projects. These assessment watershed projects span 17 states and include a variety of land uses and water quality issues. NRCS will provide resources for these assessment projects to leverage existing plans, data, and information, and fill gaps needed to complete watershed assessments and develop outreach plans. Experience and data gained from several studies, including the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), have shown that improvements in water quality are more likely to be detected when conservation systems are placed in the most vulnerable areas of a watershed. The goal of the NWQI is to implement conservation practices within a local area to protect water bodies within priority watersheds. NRCS works closely with conservation partners and State water quality agencies to select watersheds where on-farm conservation can deliver the greatest benefits for clean water. State water quality agencies also work to align U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding with these priority watersheds. This targeted approach to improve water quality is working across the country. Conservation work on seven watersheds in Texas contributed to positive results and improving trends in water quality in Chambers Creek. With continued conservation efforts, Chambers Creek will not be added to the State's Clean Water Act list of impaired waterbodies due to agricultural impacts. Since 2012, conservation systems have been placed on almost 600,000 acres in priority watersheds through NWQI, supported by approximately $125 million in USDA investments. Now in its sixth year, NWQI has expanded to include more small watersheds across the nation, and it builds on efforts to deliver high-impact conservation in areas such as the Mississippi River basin, Gulf of Mexico, Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes. Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $29 billion to help producers make conservation improvements, working with as many as 500,000 farmers, ranchers and landowners to protect over 400 million acres nationwide, boosting soil and air quality, cleaning and conserving water and enhancing wildlife habitat. For an interactive look at USDA's work in conservation and forestry over the course of this Administration, visit http://medium.com/usda-results. #
Monday, December 5, 2016
Farm income to sink even more than expected, USDA says By Spencer Chase © Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
ALBUQUERQUE — Assistant State Conservationist Kris Graham Chavez of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New Mexico announced Wednesday that a sign-up for fiscal year 2017 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is underway and all New Mexico agricultural producers should consider applying for financial assistance under special conservation initiatives. The sign up deadline is Dec. 16. While producers can apply year round for EQIP assistance, this application cutoff announcement is specific to the following nine National Initiatives, two State Initiatives and two Local Programs that are Organic, On-Farm Energy, Conservation Activity Plans, Ogallala National Initiative, StrikeForce, Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Initiative, Drought Initiative, National Water Quality Initiative, New Mexico State Acequia Initiative, New Mexico Watershed Initiative, FY 2017 General EQIP and 2016 North Central RCPP. Producers can apply by visiting their local USDA Service Center and submitting their Conservation Program Application (NRCS-CPA-1200). Producers who have established a Client Gateway account may submit their application online. Producers need to receive a farm and tract number from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) by the application deadline. “We want New Mexico farmers and ranchers to know that we are ready to assist producers get conservation on the ground and hope they will take this time to stop by their local NRCS office to discuss their current conservation needs," Chavez said. "If one of these initiatives does not fit the needs of the customer, the field office staff will be happy to discuss a conservation plan and financial assistance that will be available in Fiscal Year 2018 that would fit their operation." EQIP provides a targeted, science-based approach to restoring and protecting habitat while strengthening rural economies and cultivating collaboration among conservation partners. EQIP provides a flat rate payment to producers to install conservation practices, such as Range Planting, Windbreaks, Residue Management No-Till, Riparian Forest Buffers, Watering Facilities, Fence, Tree Planting, and Wildlife Habitat Management. NRCS provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment. For more information about NRCS New Mexico visit NRCS New Mexico.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for December 2016 12/01/2016 10:00 AM EST WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) today announced interest rates for December 2016. The CCC borrowing rate-based charge for December is 0.750 percent, up from 0.625 percent in November.