Monday, February 27, 2017

NMSU College of Business tax experts warn of potential fraudulent schemes

NMSU College of Business tax experts warn of potential fraudulent schemes DATE: 02/27/2017 WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, CONTACT: Roy Clemons, 575-646-1552, Now that tax season is upon us, people must be especially diligent to protect themselves against the influx of IRS-type scams. New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has issued a Scam Alert recently about a scam phone call threatening an IRS criminal lawsuit. New Mexico State University College of Business tax expert Roy Clemons wants taxpayers to be aware of the top five schemes that occur during filing season. “People conducting schemes, scams and identity theft are out there trying to get people’s private information and money,” said Clemons, assistant professor in the Accounting and Information Systems Department. Phishing Schemes “Phishing schemes often involve fake emails and websites that trick taxpayers into submitting their private information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card information, etc.,” he said. “Do not click on any link in such emails. Contact the purported agency directly instead to determine if the request is legitimate.” Phone Scams “Be aware of any calls from individuals claiming to work for the IRS,” Clemons said. “Ask the individual for a call back number; the IRS generally contacts taxpayers by mail.” To learn more about the scam reported by Attorney General Balderas visit to view the press release describing the scam. Identity Theft “Tax-related identity theft remains a top concern,” he said. “Be careful about sharing your filing information with individuals.” Return Preparer Fraud “Be careful to avoid suspect tax return preparers,” Clemons said. “Be on the lookout for preparers who promise overly large refunds.” Fake Charities “Rip-off artists often establish fake charities to steal money and/or personal information from taxpayers,” he said. “Before donating, taxpayers should check the IRS Exempt Organization website at to assure they are donating to a legitimate charity.” If a taxpayer has been approached by any of these attempted schemes, they should report it to the Office of the Attorney General by calling toll-free 1-844-255-9210. - 30 - Follow NMSU News on Twitter: Follow NMSU News on Facebook:

Fertlizer part 2

FERTILIZER PART 2 Last week we discussed fertilizers, their solubility and pH, this week we are discussing the salt index. All fertilizers come in salt form. This is not the same a calcium chloride or sodium chloride. Salt index. Seedling injury or "fertilizer burn" occurs when the soil solution in contact with the seed or root contains a high concentration of salts. The plant seedling, because of the high salt concentration, is unable to absorb moisture from the soil solution. Salt injury may result from a high rate of salt-forming fertilizers, improper placement of fertilizers, irrigation with saline water, or farming on saline soils. Determination of the salt index of a fertilizer is a means of measuring its tendency to cause seedling injury or plant "burn." The lower the salt index of a fertilizer, the less likely it is to cause damage. Fertilizers with the highest salt indexes generally supply nitrogen as the primary nutrient, high potash materials have intermediate salt indexes, and phosphate materials have the lowest. Salt Index of Some Fertilizer Materials Material Salt Index ________________________________________________________________________ ammonium sulfate (21% N) 53.7 ammonium nitrate (35% N) 49.3 muriate of potash (50% K) 26.7 sulfate of potash (45% K) 14.1 anhydrous ammonia (82% N) 9.4 diammonium phosphate (21% N, 23% P) 7.5 monoammonium phosphate (12% N, 27% P) 6.7 superphosphate (9% P) 6.4 superphosphate (21% P) 3.5 ________________________________________________________________________ Research results. Here is a summary of some research about fertilizers: • Anhydrous ammonia, whether dissolved in irrigation water or not, causes a surface "sealing" when applied to a calcareous soil. The symptoms of the seal are similar to a sodium-affected soil-poor drainage, which causes water to pool or stand on the soil surface. Not recommended for Eddy County. • Phosphates move very little in the soil, and the secondary orthophosphate (HPO4) is the phosphorus form used most by plants in our soils. Should be applied in the fall or incorporated in the soil pre plant. • Phosphates are readily and rapidly "fixed" by our alkaline soils. Liquid phosphates are fixed much more rapidly than the dry or granulated forms. • The polyphosphates seem to be no better or no worse than the usual phosphate forms. There is speculation that the polyphosphates serve as a chelating agent. If so, they would have decided advantages. Cost per unit of nutrient. Several factors cause fertilizer nutrients to vary in cost, such as the different manufacturing processes required in their manufacture, shipping and handling costs are greater per unit of nutrient in low analysis fertilizers than in high analysis fertilizers, the physical form of the fertilizer, whether gas, liquid or solid affects handling cost. The size of purchase also affects unit cost. In general a low-analysis fertilizer in a small package is expensive in comparison with high-analysis fertilizers in ton lots in bulk form. The farmer who uses several tons of fertilizer each year has more options in buying fertilizer than the person with a lawn, garden, or flower bed. The home owner usually has the choice of buying a pound or two of low-analysis fertilizer or a 50-pound bag of high-analysis fertilizer. Soil sample, information sheets, and instructions for taking samples are available from your local county extension office. Special instructions and information sheets are available for soil tests for lawns, vegetables, and ornamentals; orchard, fruit, and nut trees; and cropland. Subscribe to Eddy County Ag news at: Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating.

Circular 683: Pecan Weevil: Wanted DEAD, Not Alive

The following CES publication is now available online in PDF format. Circular 683: Pecan Weevil: Wanted DEAD, Not Alive By Carol Sutherland (Extension Entomologist, Dept. of Extension Plant Sciences) Jane Breen Pierce (Extension Entomologist, Dept. of Extension Plant Sciences) Brad Lewis (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science) Richard Heerema (Extension Pecan Specialist, Dept. of Extension Plant Sciences)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Are YOu Interested in Becoming a Beef Quility Assurance Producer?

If we were to have a meeting on this subject 1. Would you attend? 2. Where would be the best place to hold it? a. Hope b. Artesia c. Carlsbad. E mail me back and let me know!!!! Date March 22, 23, or 24. Day meeting or night? E-mail me your answers Procedure Step 1: New Mexico Trained Producer To become a New Mexico BQA Trained Producer, you must complete and pass the BQA Certification Test. This can be accomplished by going to your local County Extension Office where the brief written test will be administered. If you are unfamiliar with Beef Quality Assurance principles, you will need to view the BQA Training Module before taking the test. In fact, all producers are encouraged to do this. You can do this at the local extension office or here on-line by viewing "Training Module." Step 2: New Mexico Certified BQA Producer The second step in the program is to become a New Mexico BQA Certified Producer. This step can only be completed after satisfactorily completing the requirements to become a New Mexico BQA Trained Producer as outlined above. Certified Producers must complete two additional documents, the VCPR document and the Critical Management Plan/Affidavit of Compliance The completion of these two documents are the producer's way of certifying that he/she agrees to follow proper BQA guidelines in cattle production. To view the BQA Training Module, click here. (Note: Viewing the entire BQA Training Module may take from 1 to 2 hours. You may view portions of the module and return later to complete viewing at any time.) The New Mexico Beef Quality Assurance Program (BQA) asks producers, veterinarians, and all others involved in the production of beef to use common sense, reasonable management skills and accepted scientific knowledge to avoid defects in the product we deliver to the consumer. In response to that opportunity, the New Mexico Beef Quality Assurance Program was developed. This program provides guidance in educating beef and dairy producers in the importance of management practices used in beef production. The New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service provides leadership to this program. A Beef Quality Assurance Task Force provides guidance and advice to the program, in conjunction with the New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association, Dairy Producers of New Mexico, the New Mexico Livestock Board, the New Mexico Beef Council, and other related organizations and allied industries. What is BQA? Beef Quality Assurance is a nationally coordinated, state implemented program that provides systematic information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how common sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions. BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase – and can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry. BQA programs have evolved to include best practices around good record keeping and protecting herd health, which can result in more profits for producers. When better quality cows leave the farm and reach the market place, the producer, packer, and consumer all benefit. When better quality beef reaches the supermarket, consumers are more confident in the beef they are buying, and this increases beef consumption. The efforts of BQA across the nation have been instrumental in recent successes that continue to re-build and sustain beef demand. Through BQA programs, producers recognize the economic value of committing to quality beef production at every level - not just at the feedlot or packing plant, but within every segment of the cattle industry. The guiding principles of BQA are based on these core beliefs: • WE BELIEVE production practices affect consumer acceptance of beef. • WE BELIEVE the BQA Program has and must continue to empower beef producers to improve the safety and wholesomeness of beef. • WE BELIEVE these fundamental principles are the fabric of the BQA Program. Empowering people…because producers can make a difference. Taking responsibility…because it’s our job, not someone else’s. Working together…because product safety and wholesomeness is everyone’s business.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Alfalfa Weevils

Alfalfa Weevils The alfalfa weevil is the most important pest of alfalfa in Eddy County NM.It overwinters as both eggs and adults. During mild winters in Eddy County, larvae may also begin hatching. However, hatching generally begins in early spring and feeding on the growing tips of alfalfa becomes evident in February or March. Young larvae are yellowish in color, but as they mature, they turn green with black heads and possess a white stripe down the center of the back. Jane Pierce of the Artesia Center is reporting finding economic levels along with aphids. Dr. Pierce is find them as well as aphids. For more information see:

Overhaul of New Mexico gross receipts tax proposed

Overhaul of New Mexico gross receipts tax proposed Albuquerque Journal By Dan Boyd Some critics have described New Mexico’s current gross receipts tax structure as “Swiss cheese” due to all the carve-outs, and Harper’s bill would rebrand the gross receipts tax as a sales tax, which most other states impose. He also said that doing away with most gross receipts tax exemptions would make the tax code more equitable.. The legislation would also have to gain approval from Gov. Susana Martinez, who has vowed to veto any tax increases approved by the Legislature. But Harper said staffers with the Governor’s Office have told him there’s a good chance the governor would sign the bill.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Medicated Feed

As of January 1, 2017, animal producers will not be able to purchase feeds over the counter that contain antimicrobials deemed important for human health. Instead, to buy and use feeds containing those antimicrobials, animal producers must be authorized by a licensed veterinarian who is operating under the Food and Drug Administration’s revised Veterinary Feed Directive, or VFD, rule. The VFD rule has been in effect for 20 years, but it affected only a small number of producers and just a few antimicrobials. As of January 1, changes to the rule will mean that it will impact most animal producers and apply to many more antimicrobials. The antimicrobials that will be covered by the VFD rule are considered “medically important,” because they are important for human health. A list of medically important antimicrobials is in Appendix A of FDA’s Guidance for Industry #152: And, information on drugs transitioning from over-the-counter status to VFD status is available here: Also, after January 1, animal drug sponsors will have removed the claims of “growth promotion” and “feed efficiency” from the labels of medically important antimicrobials. Animal drug sponsors, in cooperation with CVM, are currently changing the labels for their products so that production claims such as “growth promotion” or “feed efficiency” will be gone from labels, thus those uses will no longer be permitted. These changes will have a significant effect on the animal production industry. We believe that you, in your role as a County Agricultural Agent, can help animal producers learn about the changes and how to comply. Animal producers must have a VFD order – issued by a licensed veterinarian, operating under a veterinarian-client-patient relationship – to use a feed with a medically important antimicrobial. (To find out more about veterinary-client-patient relationships, see Guidance for Industry #120, which you can get to from the VFD page listed below.) The feed distributor that the producer works with must receive the order before releasing the VFD feed to the animal producer. The veterinarian can, for example, give the producer a second copy of the order (one for the producer to keep, and one for the producer to give to the feed distributor), or the veterinarian could send the order directly to the feed distributor. The animal producer must use VFD feeds only in accordance with the VFD order. In other words, the producer can feed only those animals identified by the order, and only during the time period specified in the order. Feeding animals other than those specified in the VFD order or feeding them beyond the expiration date of the VFD order is considered an “extra-label” use of feed. That’s an illegal use. Once the order expires, if continued treatment is required, the animal producer must get a new VFD order from the veterinarian. We understand that there are some questions concerning the use of antimicrobials in feed for show animals, including animals used in FFA and 4-H shows. If you or the animal producers you work with have specific questions about the VFD rule and show animals, please send those questions to this e-mail address: Your questions will be promptly answered. The changes in the VFD rule will help FDA address the issue of antimicrobial resistance. In principle, giving antimicrobial drugs to food-producing animals at low levels for long periods of time and giving the antimicrobial drugs to large numbers of animals may contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance, which makes diseases caused by resistant bacteria more difficult to treat. Finding antimicrobials to treat a disease is far more difficult when the disease is caused by resistant bacteria. A veterinarian’s involvement is important because veterinarians have the medical training necessary to diagnose the disease and to identify the appropriate antimicrobial for the specific situation. The veterinarian’s involvement will help to ensure judicious use of antimicrobials. Here’s how you can find out more about the VFD rule. More information, including brochures in both English and Spanish for producers, veterinarians, retailers, and distributors, is available on FDA’s VFD page: (Information about the reasons for the change is in Food and Drug Administration Guidance for Industry #213, which you can find here Should you have additional questions, please contact And, for other information about safe feed, please come to www.FDA.Gov/SafeFeed, a site maintained by CVM’s Animal Feed Safety System Team. Sincerely, The FDA CVM Animal Feed Safety System Team


WHAT FERTILIZER SHOULD I USE? What type of fertilizer should you buy and apply this spring. The answer to that question is not an easy one. Economics is important, but quality, rather than cost per unit of nutrient, should be the deciding factor in fertilizer section. The cost and availability of fertilizer took an unprecedented roller coaster ride in the past few years leaving many farmers and home owners wondering what this year is going to be like. Fertilizer quality cannot be defined in rigid terms. If you know the composition and properties of fertilizers and their behavior in the soil, you have a guide for choosing them for specific purposes. Making the right choice has real economic consequences. Characteristics that should be appraised before a fertilizer is selected are: solubility, effect upon soil pH, form of nitrogen, the salt index, and cost per unit of available nutrient. Solubility: Fertilizer compounds differ greatly in their solubility in water. These differences are usually unimportant for application in the solid form. High solubility, however, is one of the major considerations for the grower who purchases solid fertilizer for dissolving in irrigation water, or for application in foliar sprays. Let's compare the solubility of a few fertilizers. When looking at this chart think of the 100 gal of water as being a pickup and the amount listed under it as the number of pounds the pickup can carry or each type of fertilizer. Solubility of Some Fertilizers Pounds Soluble Compound in 100 Gallons of Water __________________________________________________________________ ammonium nitrate 1,617 urea 902 ammonium sulfate 623 diammonium phosphate 574 monoammonium phosphate 312 muriate of potash 283 potassium nitrate 263 sulfate of potash 92 __________________________________________________________________ Fertilizers that have low initial solubility will release nutrients to the soil and plant gradually over an extended period of time. Fertilizer nutrients may be divided into three classes according to their influences on the soil reaction (pH): (1) acidic -- pH below 7.0 (2) neutral -- pH of 7.0 and (3) basic -- pH above 7.0. Use of anhydrous ammonia and ammonia compounds will eventually have an acidifying effect on the soil. This soil acidifying action tends to bring into solution or make available some minor elements such as iron, manganese, copper, zinc, and molybdenum. This does not mean that the entire soil becomes acidic, just the area around each fertilizer particle or concentration of particles. This acidifying effect is usually of short duration particularly in Eddy county soil. Phosphates are generally neutral in their effect on soil pH, and potassium carriers are basic. The form of nitrogen applied influences directly the nutrition and growth of the plant. In general, plant roots assimilate two common forms of nitrogen-nitrate (NO3) and ammonia (NH3). Most plants seem to prefer the nitrate form. Nitrate and ammonium are readily absorbed and utilized by plant roots. Under favorable conditions, ammonium nitrogen is converted to the nitrate form by nitrifying bacteria in the soil. Therefore, the ammonium forms are not available as rapidly as the nitrate forms. Under adverse soil conditions (temperature below 50 degrees F, too wet or too dry, high salt concentrations, etc.), the conversion of ammonium to nitrate is retarded or halted, and the soil accumulates high levels of ammonium. These high levels may become toxic to plants. Urea is quite soluble and is rapidly broken down to a usable form of nitrogen. Besides uptake by plants, nitrogen is also removed from the soil by leaching and volatilization. Leaching means the nitrogen is washed or flushed out of the soil by irrigation or rain water. Volatilization means the nitrogen escapes as gas. Nitrate nitrogen is sometimes leached from the soil, and ammonium is sometimes volatilized if it is not converted to the nitrate form. Ammonium is rarely leached because it is usually adsorbed to the clay particles of the soil. Nitrate does not become attached. Stabilized ammonium fertilizer is slowly converted to the nitrate form. Since that nitrate is available to the plants over a longer time, it is less subject to leaching or conversion to nitrogen gas. Next week we will cover fertilizer salt index. Subscribe to Eddy County Ag news at: Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


TEN STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL VEGETABLE GARDEN It is that time of the year when people start thinking about vegetable gardening. The same basic steps are used no matter the size or shape of your garden. Step 1. Select a good location, in Eddy County that means a place without rocks if possible. You want an area with good sunlight and I like to have some afternoon shade just because it gets so hot. If you don’t have shade plant your taller crops like corn on the west side of the garden. Step 2. Plan your garden out. Planning ahead will help avoid problems and make your garden easier to work in. I recommend people keep a journal from year to year; this is true for farmers as well. Measure and write down the size of the garden and any containers you may plan on using. I am a visual person so I like to draw out my garden on paper. Decide what vegetables species you want to grow. Mark them out on the paper with room for the plant growth, especially vine plants like watermelons and squish. Step 3: Grow recommended varieties for Eddy County. The Extension office gives two publications away that you may want Circular 457, Gardening in New Mexico and Circular 457-B Growing zones and crop varieties for home vegetable garden. These are both available on line as well. Step 4: Obtain good seed, plants, equipment and supplies. I tell everyone but don’t always do it make a list with alternate varieties before you go shopping. Try not to impulse buy too much, but it is fun to experiment and try different item. Buy from reputable suppliers. Step 5: Prepare and care for the soil. The most important thing you can do to Eddy County Soil is add organic matter. Soil sample and fertilize at the correct abount. Step 6: Plant you vegetables at the correct time and at the correct spacing, usually it is on the seed package or our garden guide. Step 7: Irrigate with care. Rainfall is supplemental to irrigation in Eddy County. Because you planned out your garden you have plants with similar water need near each other. Step 8: Mulch and cultivate to control weed. Get the weed when they are small, the more you mulch the less you have to weed. Step 9: Be prepared for pest and problems, spend time out in your garden and observe, if you see an insects or plants in distress, find out what it is and why. Step 10: Harvest at peak quality, after all this work you do not what it to immature or to mature. For more details than I can write in this article see Circulars 457-A and B. Also I will be adding a few article as the growing season progresses. Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating

Friday, February 10, 2017

Prescribed Fire Training and Demonstration

Prescribed Fire Training and Demonstration NMSU Corona Range and Livestock Research Center Target Burn Date: February 22, 23, or 24, 2017 (Weather Permitting) Sponsored by NMSU Cooperative Extension and NM Prescribed Fire Council Are you interested in learning how to actually use prescribed fire as a management tool on your private property? Maybe you attended one of our prescribed fire workshops and gained valuable knowledge. However, there is a significant leap between classroom learning and drip torch lighting. We invite you to join us at the NMSU Corona Range and Livestock Research Center where you will have an opportunity to get a drip torch in your hand and gain firsthand experience and skills necessary to safely and successfully use fire as a management tool. Because using fire is weather dependent, we have designated three days in late February as target burn days; specifically February 22, 23 and 24. A week before the target burn day we will contact all registered participants with a projected burn window given the weather forecast and proceed accordingly. To register for the prescribed fire training visit our webpage and click on the registration link. Additional details will be forthcoming. For more information contact Doug Cram, 575-646-8130, or contact the NM Prescribed Fire Council.


MASTER GARDNER CLASS OFFERED BY EDDY COUNTY EXTENSION AND NMSU-C Eddy County Extension Service will be offering “Master Gardening” class, February 16 to April 28 2017. Call NMSU-C at (575)234-9268 a fee of $125. Classes will be from 6:30 pm to 8:30pm every Thursday night. It is also a chance to meet other people who are interested in gardening and landscaping. Many professional landscape care givers attend these class as well as home owners. This is a beginner’s series and will cover topics such as basic plant science, how a plant grows and works, weather and how it determines what you can grow, basic insect science, vegetable and small fruit production, plant diseases, flower gardening, weed identification and control, pesticide safety and mode of action. The facility for this series includes, Dr. Jane Pierce, Extension Entomologist, Dr. Natalie Goldberg, Extension Pathologist, Dr, Bob Flynn, Extension Agronomist, Dr. Stephanie Walker Vegetable Specialists, Dr. Richard Heerema tree nut specialist, and local county agent Woods Houghton. The fee for this class, which includes an extensive handbook. Many groups chose to form master gardener clubs, which continue to meet after the classes. Pre-registration starts now at the NMSU- Carlsbad continuing education. If you are in need of special assistance due to a disability in order to participate please contact the Eddy County Extension Office 887-6595 before February 8th. For more information contact the Eddy County Extension office or NMSU-C. This and all programs are available to everyone regardless of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, or veteran status. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating “to put knowledge to work”. There will be two more on Entomology and tree pruning February 16 Plant basics Woods Houghton February 23 Xeriscape Carlos Valdez*. March 2 Tree Nuts Richard Herma* March 10 Vegetables Dr. Stephanie Walker* March 16 Plant Pathology Dr, Goldberg* March 23 Weed Control Dr. Leslie Beck* March 30 Pesticide Woods Houghton April 6 Soils and irrigation Dr. Flynn* April 13 Soils and fertility Dr. Flynn* April 21 Turf Grass / Fruit Trees Sandra Barraza

House Passes Resolution to Halt BLM Planning Rule

Here in Eddy County there is a good relationship with federal land management, but our local office has to follow national guidelines. House Passes Resolution to Halt BLM Planning Rule AFBF Press Release The House on Tuesday approved a Farm Bureau-supported resolution (H.J. Res. 44) to stop an Obama administration rule that would weaken the influence of local and regional officials on Bureau of Land Management decisions. Dubbed “Planning 2.0,” the rule incorporates numerous Obama-era presidential and secretarial orders along with internal agency guidance and policy documents. According to the groups, under the pretext of “climate change” and “landscape-scale” management, the rule will lock local and state officials out of BLM’s decision-making process, ultimately allowing “implementation of unilateral management schemes, mitigation, adaptive management and other internal agency pronouncements.”

Aggie credentials to be a regent at NMSU

Aggie credentials: A couple of Republican senators are proposing a law that would require at least two members of the New Mexico State University Board of Regents to have experience in agriculture. Currently, one member of the five-member board must be a student. But there is no requirement that any of the regents have experience as a farmer, rancher, soil conservation manager or know how to drive a tractor. “Since it is the agricultural research school, I feel it is important to have two members with an ag background,” Sen. Cliff Pirtle, a farmer from Roswell, told the Senate Rules Committee, which voted 4-3 Wednesday morning to advance the bill. Pirtle argued that as the school handles funding for agricultural research, it is only fitting to require a few of its leaders to have agricultural bona fides. But some members of the committee said they do not want to keep otherwise qualified regents off the board.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

House Ag Announces First Two Hearings

House Ag Announces First Two Hearings The House Agriculture Committee announced two public hearings next week as the committee readies for considerations on the 2018 Farm Bill. State of the rural economy is on the table for the first hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 15. The second hearing, to be held the following day, will delve into the pros and cons of restricting the types of foods and beverages that people can buy with their SNAP benefits—a topic long contested by nutrition advocates and industry groups. Both hearings will be held at the Longworth House Building in Washington, D.C. For more information on the House Agriculture Committee hearings

Turnover in the House and Senate Agriculture Committees' Staff Leadership

Turnover in the House and Senate Agriculture Committees' Staff Leadership In the House of Representatives, agriculture committee Chairman Mike Conaway announced Matt Schertz will become staff director, replacing long-time Conaway aid Scott Graves. Schertz has worked for the committee since 2002 and has a long history of working with the sorghum industry. Graves will head up the agriculture practice at Williams and Jensen, a law and lobbying firm in Washington, D.C. Earlier this week, Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) announced he is naming James Glueck to be staff director, replacing Joel Leftwich. Glueck, from Canyon, Texas, was named policy director of the committee in late 2016 and was a senior policy adviser prior to that. Glueck also has a long history of working with the sorghum industry. Leftwich is expected to leave his role later this month, but his next opportunity has yet to be announced. NSP knows the strong leadership of these two individuals and looks forward to working with them as we move into the next farm bill.

Pesticides May Get ESA Review

Pesticides May Get ESA Review Agri-Pulse reported on a decision issued last week by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that may require the Environmental Protection Agency to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the effects of 31 pesticide active ingredients on endangered species. The claims by the Center for Biological Diversity were dismissed by a district court judge, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals mostly agreed. But the appeals court also said that a portion of pesticide products should be subject to examination under the Endangered Species Act. Further proceedings will take place in the district court.

Texas Receives Section 18 Exemption for Transform

Texas Receives Section 18 Exemption for Transform Texas producers have received Section 18 emergency use exemption for the use sulfoxaflor, the active ingredient in Transform WG, on grain sorghum for the 2017 growing season. This exemption gives farmers more options to treat sugarcane aphids. Transform has been an important tool for sorghum producers, used by more than 10 states under the Section 18 emergency use exemption in previous growing seasons.


IN SHELL PECAN INSPECTONS IN ARTESIA If you have pecan trees in the city Limits of Artesia, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, NMDA, has placed a stop movement order for all pecans in their shells. There is no restriction on shelled pecans. This was done to protect the multimillion dollar commercial pecan trade of New Mexico and the western United States. The object is to try and find how extensive the Pecan Weevil has moved and keep it from moving anywhere else. If you need to move in shell pecan out of the city limits of Artesia for any purpose, you need to have them inspected and a phytosanitary certificate issued that accompany the pecans in transit. Even for short distance out of the city limits. Pecan buyers should not buy pecan from inside the city limits of Artesia without the phytosanitary certificate. An NMDA inspector will be a Jamaica park, Bullock and 6th street on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm to inspect and issue these certificates. They will also have information and be able to answer questions you may have. Even if you are not going to move them out of the city limits, the inspectors will be glad to look at your pecans for pecan weevil. We need to know so your trees can be included in the control program this summer. It is extremely important that all the trees that may have pecan weevil be found so if you’re not sure you have it bring suspect pecans to them to check. If you just have questions come and ask. The current plans are to do this for two weeks, February 14, 15, 21 and 22. The Pecos Valley Pecan Growers, NMDA appreciate your cooperation and effort to protect this important crop. Subscribe to Eddy County Ag news at: Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cattle Vaccination and Immunity

Cattle Vaccination and Immunity Guide B-222 John Wenzel College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University Author: Extension Veterinarian, Department of Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources, New Mexico State University. (Print friendly PDF) Developing immunity in cattle requires an effective herd health program. Vaccinations are not a silver bullet cure all for disease in a cowherd, but are a primary component of a complete herd health program. Vaccines contain antigens of disease-causing agents, and are used to stimulate cattle’s immune systems and create an immune response before significant natural exposure to disease-causing agents. It is important to understand that vaccination does not equal immunization. Many factors influence the immune response to vaccinations, including stress, vitamin and mineral balance, nutrition, and overall health of the animal being vaccinated. A basic understanding of how the immune system responds to a vaccine is important to understanding how vaccines function. The first time a cow’s immune system encounters a pathogen (disease-causing agent), it often cannot respond quickly enough to prevent disease. However, the immune system usually succeeds in neutralizing the infection over time. After an animal recovers from an infection, memory cells that have been produced by the immune system remain for months to years. Memory cells are programmed to recognize specific pathogens if they are encountered again, and facilitate a response before the pathogen can cause disease. Memory cells recognize parts of a pathogen’s body called antigens. Antigens are molecules unique to each pathogen, and memory cells use antigens to recognize specific pathogens. Vaccines work by exposing the immune system to antigens from a specific pathogen, tricking the body into thinking is has encountered the actual pathogen. Exposure to an antigen stimulates an immune response, which creates memory cells for that pathogen without causing the negative effects of an actual first infection. Most vaccines are either modified-live vaccines (MLV) or killed vaccines (killed). The MLV contain live microbes that have been modified so that they have the antigenic components of the disease-causing agent but do not cause disease; killed vaccines contain antigen components or pieces of the disease-causing agent. Presenting the antigens to the immune system for processing greatly depends on the type of vaccine used and on the route of administration. For example, an MLV vaccine labeled for intramuscular injection (injection directly into muscle tissue) may not yield the desired immune response if it is administered subcutaneously (injected into the fatty layer of tissue directly beneath the skin). Secondary exposure to a pathogen or its vaccine makes the immune system stronger and better prepared for future exposure. This is because some memory cells have a longer lifespan than others; this is also what makes the timing of vaccinations so important. A second (booster) vaccination creates a stronger immune response of longer duration because the concentration of memory cells and their effectiveness increase with repeated exposure to an antigen (Figure 1). This is why one vaccination usually does not provide sufficient protection. Most vaccines require a booster two to four weeks after the initial vaccination and annually thereafter. The goal is to stimulate the immune system by repeated exposure to an antigen so antibodies are present in the body at a level that is highly protective if exposure to the actual pathogen occurs. However, disease may still occur in cases where pathogen exposure exceeds the animal’s protective level for that disease. Graph of change in serum antibody concentration over time after a primary and secondary exposure to vaccine antigen. Figure 1. Change in serum antibody concentration over time after a primary and secondary (booster) exposure to vaccine antigen. Why vaccinated animals still sometimes get sick The most common reason vaccinated animals get sick is because they fail to fully respond to vaccination, or fail to become immunized. Procedures to maximize immune response include following label directions for timing, route of administration, and proper vaccine handling, and minimizing stress that can suppress immune function. Some vaccines, especially MLVs, must be handled very carefully. Exposure to heat, sunlight, or being mixed too long prior to use can reduce a vaccine’s effectiveness. All vaccines must be kept cool, even while the vaccine is in the syringe. Nevertheless, even when everything is done correctly some animals fail to mount an immune response sufficient to create immunity to the disease. Factors contributing to this failure are poor nutrition (including micro and macro mineral imbalance or deficiency), vitamin deficiency, congenital immunodeficiency, and poor overall health. While it does not provide perfect protection, vaccination is the most effective tool available to prepare an animal’s immune system to respond to disease challenges. Preparing the immune response before exposure to stress and disease will result in cattle being better able to mount an adequate immune response when challenged. A sound vaccination program developed with your veterinarian and carried out using proper timing and technique is critically important for maintaining the health and profitability of your herd. Glossary Pathogen: disease-causing agent Antigens: molecules unique to each pathogen by which the immune system recognizes the pathogen Modified-live vaccines (MLV): vaccines containing live microbes that have been modified so that they have the antigen components of the disease-causing agent but do not cause disease Killed vaccines: vaccines containing antigen components or pieces of the disease-causing agent Intramuscular injection: injection directly into muscle tissue Subcutaneous injection: injection into the fatty layer of tissue immediately beneath the skin Primary vaccination: the initial exposure to an antigen via vaccination Booster vaccination: second vaccination to stimulate the immune system via repeated exposure to an antigen Congenital immunodeficiency: weakness of the immune system present at birth For more on this topic, see the following publications: B-223: Calf Vaccination Guidelines B-224: Cow Herd Vaccination Guidelines B-226: Increasing the Effectiveness of Modified Live Vaccines All Livestock and Range Publications: Original authors: John Wenzel, Extension Veterinarian; Boone Carter, Extension Associate; and Clay P. Mathis, Extension Livestock Specialist. Photo of John C. Wenzel. John C. Wenzel is the Extension veterinarian in the Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources department at NMSU. He earned his B.S. from NMSU and his DVM from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. His work focuses on cow/calf medicine and preventative health programs for livestock producers in southwestern New Mexico. To find more resources for your business, home, or family, visit the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences on the World Wide Web at Contents of publications may be freely reproduced for educational purposes. All other rights reserved. For permission to use publications for other purposes, contact or the authors listed on the publication. New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Revised May 2015

12 Tips for Carefully Choosing Income Tax Return Preparers

12 Tips for Carefully Choosing Income Tax Return Preparers February 06, 2017 The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this week warned taxpayers to be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers, one of the most common “Dirty Dozen” tax scams seen during tax season. The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service. But there are some dishonest preparers who set up shop each filing season to perpetrate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers. That's why unscrupulous preparers who prey on unsuspecting taxpayers with outlandish promises of overly large refunds make the Dirty Dozen list every year. "Choose your tax return preparer carefully because you entrust them with your private financial information that needs to be protected," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "Most preparers provide high-quality service but we run across cases each year where unscrupulous preparers steal from their clients and misfile their taxes." Return preparers are a vital part of the U.S. tax system. About 60 percent of taxpayers use tax professionals to prepare their returns. Illegal scams can lead to significant penalties and interest and possible criminal prosecution. IRS Criminal Investigation works closely with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to shutdown scams and prosecute the criminals behind them. Choosing Income Tax Return Preparers Carefully It is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare a tax return. Well-intentioned taxpayers can be misled by preparers who don't understand taxes or who mislead people into taking credits or deductions they aren't entitled to in order to increase their fee. Every year, these types of tax preparers face everything from penalties to jail time for defrauding their clients. Here are a few tips when choosing a tax preparer: Ask if the preparer has an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Paid tax return preparers are required to register with the IRS, have a PTIN and include it on tax returns. Inquire whether the tax return preparer has a professional credential (enrolled agent, certified public accountant or attorney), belongs to a professional organization or attends continuing education classes. A number of tax law changes can be complex. A competent tax professional needs to be up-to-date in these matters. Tax return preparers aren't required to have a professional credential. The IRS website has more information regarding the national tax professional organizations. Check the preparer's qualifications. Use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications. This tool can help locate a tax return preparer with the preferred qualifications The Directory is a searchable and sortable listing of certain preparers registered with the IRS. It includes the name, city, state and zip code of: Attorneys CPAs Enrolled Agents Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents Enrolled Actuaries Annual Filing Season Program participants Check the preparer's history. Ask the Better Business Bureau about the preparer. Check for disciplinary actions and the license status for credentialed preparers. For CPAs, check with the State Board of Accountancy. For attorneys, check with the State Bar Association. For Enrolled Agents, go to and search for “verify enrolled agent status” or check the Directory. Ask about service fees. Avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of their client's refund or boast bigger refunds than their competition. Don't give your tax documents, SSNs, and other information to a preparer when only inquiring about their services and fees. Unfortunately, some preparers have improperly filed returns without the taxpayer's permission once the records were obtained. Ask to e-file your return. Make sure your preparer offers IRS e-file. Paid preparers who do taxes for more than 10 clients generally must file electronically. The IRS has processed more than 1.5 billion e-filed tax returns. It's the safest and most accurate way to file a return. Provide records and receipts. Good preparers will ask to see your records and receipts. They'll ask questions to determine your total income, deductions, tax credits and other items. Do not rely on a preparer who is willing to e-file your return using your last pay stub instead of your Form W-2. This is against IRS e-file rules. Make sure the preparer is available. In the event questions come up about your tax return, you may need to contact your preparer after the return is filed. Avoid fly-by-night preparers. Understand who can represent you. Attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents can represent any client before the IRS in any situation. Annual Filing Season Program participants may represent you in limited situations if they prepared and signed your return. However, non-credentialed preparers who do not participate in the Annual Filing Season Program may only represent clients before the IRS on returns they prepared and signed on or before Dec. 31, 2015. Never sign a blank return. Don't use a tax preparer that asks you to sign an incomplete or blank tax form. Review your return before signing. Before you sign your tax return, review it and ask questions if something is not clear. Make sure you're comfortable with the accuracy of the return before you sign it and that your refund goes directly to you – not into the preparer's bank account. Reviewing the routing and bank account number on the completed return is always a good idea. Report abusive tax preparers to the IRS. You can report abusive tax return preparers and suspected tax fraud to the IRS. Use Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. If you suspect a return preparer filed or changed the return without your consent, you should also file Form 14157-A, Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit. You can get these forms on To find other tips about choosing a preparer, understanding the differences in credentials and qualifications, researching the IRS preparer directory, and learning how to submit a complaint regarding a tax return preparer, visit Remember: Taxpayers are legally responsible for what is on their tax return even if someone else prepares it. Make sure the preparer you hire is up to the task.

New NMSU professor to research, teach dryland ecology

New NMSU professor to research, teach dryland ecology DATE: 02/07/2017 WRITER: Kristie Garcia, 575-646-4211, CONTACT: Niall Hanan, 575-646-3335, Niall Hanan spent much of his time studying range ecology while conducting his doctorate fieldwork in West Africa. He’s familiar with semi-arid environments, and he has experience with ecological modeling. Hanan is the newest addition to the New Mexico State University Plant and Environmental Sciences Department and the Jornada Basin Long Term Ecological Research program. In both capacities, he will help build upon the dryland ecology program. He will first focus on research at the Jornada Experimental Range northeast of Las Cruces. Eventually, he will develop and teach dryland ecology courses for both undergraduates and graduates in the PES Department. Debra Peters, Jornada Basin LTER program lead principal investigator, said Hanan is an ideal fit for the research team. “All of us with the Jornada LTER Program are very excited about Dr. Niall Hanan joining the faculty of NMSU,” Peters said. “Niall is a landscape ecologist who has worked in a number of dryland ecosystems throughout the world. His extensive experience working on global change questions and scaling issues fit quite well with the Jornada LTER goals, and we expect that he will play an important leadership role in the writing and development of our next LTER renewal proposal.” Operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, data have been collected on the Jornada Experimental Range since 1915. Data have been collected for the LTER project, administered by NMSU, since 1983. Hanan, who majored in biology while studying at Liverpool Polytechnic, said he’s fascinated by the data from the Jornada that goes back many decades. “The perspective of this region is very different from West Africa, so it will be interesting to synergize those two perspectives,” he said. Originally from the United Kingdom, Hanan taught at Colorado State University and, most recently, at South Dakota State University. While at SDSU, he was primarily a researcher at the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence, a research and educational collaboration between the university and the United States Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science center. He earned his doctorate in biology from Queen Mary University of London. His research and teaching at NMSU will focus on how dryland systems should be managed, both for livestock and as a result of climate change. Rolston St. Hilaire, NMSU Plant and Environmental Sciences department head and professor, said the department will benefit from Hanan’s expertise. “With the addition of Niall to the department, we have gained tremendous expertise in understanding large scale spatial vegetation patterns,” St. Hilaire said. “And this will allow the department to better study the dynamics of dryland ecosystems.” While Hanan said NMSU is already a globally recognized leader in dryland ecology, he wants to help leverage its reputation. “Because of NMSU’s history and geography, along with the Jornada LTER’s resources and great history, the university has potential to be even more of a global leader,” he said. “Not only is the dryland research and education program here relevant to New Mexico and the Southwestern United States of America, but it looks out further and contributes to dryland management and grazing systems around the world.” - 30 - Follow NMSU News on Twitter: Follow NMSU News on Facebook:

Those of you who use fumigant for gopher control.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) has identified you as one of our constituents that may be affected by fumigants and their use. Fumigants can be very effective when treating for burrowing rodent pests such as prairie dogs and gophers. Other known names for fumigants include Weevilcide, Fumitoxin, and Phostoxin. The most common formulation in New Mexico comes in the form of pellets. However, over the past few years we have seen an increase in the misuse of fumigants which has unfortunately lead to several deaths. NMDA is proactively addressing this issue by providing an informational flyer regarding fumigants that provides some helpful facts and links. The flyer is meant to serve as a helpful reminder for those who use fumigants as a pest control option. We hope that you can utilize the flyer to help educate pesticide applicators and the public about the seriousness surrounding the misuse of fumigants. If you are interested in a larger version of the flyer please let us know and we can send them to you. Remember to ALWAYS Read and Understand the Pesticide Label prior to use. Remember that 1/6 of a tablet contains enough poison to kill an adult. Remember Do NOT Share your Restricted Use Pesticides. To learn more about fumigants and rodent control options please visit our website: If you have any containers or unused pesticide products that you would like to dispose of please contact NMDA at 575-646-2134 or email us at and we will assist you. Please contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have regarding fumigants and/or their use. Sincerely, Pesticide Compliance Agricultural and Environmental Services Division New Mexico Department of Agriculture (3190 South Espina) MSC 3AQ New Mexico State University P.O Box 30005 Las Cruces, NM 88003-8005 Phone:(575) 646-2134 Email:

Monday, February 6, 2017


WHY ARE MY PECANS NOT FILLED? Why are my Pecan nuts not filled? Is a common question I receive at this time of the year? Pecan nut growth is has two phases. The first phase is nut growth; this determines the size of the nuts. The second phase is nut fill. We are going to discuss the later phase in this article. Around mid-August the nuts will quit growing and start filling. The embryo, (kernel tissue) will reach full size about the third part of September. The nut will continue to fill while conditions permit; the shuck is green and temperature is warm. The storage materials are translocated into the nuts from nearby leaves during the last 6 weeks of filling. A high quality kernel will contain 73% oil, 14% protein, 3-5% water and 1.5% other minerals. The degree to which nuts are filled or how well the kernels are developed at harvest is determined by a number a factors. (1) The size of the crop in relation to the foliage. If there are a lot of nuts but the leaves are small and sparse due to lack of nitrogen or zinc the nuts will not fill. (2)The size of the nuts, if the nuts are large (phase I) it will take more to fill them. (3) Condition of the leaves. In order for the leaves to produce the nutrients to fill the nuts they need to large and in good condition. High aphid or poor tree health will reduce the ability of the leaves to produce nutrients. (4) The size of the preceding crop will affect filling. If the prior crop was large this year crop may be smaller and not as well filled. Also if there are a lot of nuts and no August nut drop the nuts many not fill. (5) Weather condition greatly effect filling. If it is hot and dry it is difficult no matter how much water is put on the ground for the trees to translocate enough water to cool them and produce and transport nutrients. The late rain this year may cause nuts not to fill as well. Also we did not have a very large August nut drop so more nuts stayed on the tree. If the water has any salt in it, which ours does, it make this even more difficult. Rain during the growing season leaches salts and enables all plants to better move water and nutrients. (6) Last but not least is what the pollen source was. All pecans are a result of cross pollination, if the pollen source was from a small nut variety the nuts may not fill as well as if the pollen was from a large nut variety. Example is Burkett pollen on to the Western Schley ovum. The specific effect of unfavorable growing condition on nut development is determined by the time at which the unfavorable condition occurred. Poor growing condition in the early season will result in a smaller number of nuts as well as a smaller nut itself. If they occur in the late season nuts may not be poorly filled. Home owner and producers need to practice cultural management that will provide maximum leaf surface in the spring and early summer. Nitrogen fertilization and irrigation around mid-March before bud break, followed by applications of Zinc will help shoot growth and leaf development. Sufficient moisture, insect control and fertilization will help carbohydrates to be manufactured and stored in late summer increasing quality, and quantity of nuts. There have been a lot of questions about Pecan Weevil and what to treat with. This time of year there is no labeled product that is helpful. The time to control Pecan weevil will be in the mid-August time frame. At this time of the year the Pecan weevil has most likely burrowed into the soil near the tree from which it came. It will be 4 to 6 inches deep. If you have had Pecan Nuts with a small hole in the hard shell about the size of a bb or #2 pencil lead, please call the your Extension Office, in Eddy County that is 575-887-6595. For more information Contact your Local County Extension office. Subscribe to Eddy County Ag news at: Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating.

Utah bill seeks jail time for flying drones near livestock

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah lawmaker wants to send people to jail for harassing farm animals with drones, all-terrain vehicles and even dogs through a proposal that's unique in the U.S. and has gained an unlikely opponent. Republican Rep. Scott Chew, who's also a rancher, said Tuesday that he introduced the bill because farmers incur significant costs and hardships when livestock are injured. Senior attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Lora Dunn, says the measure is the first of its kind in the country. The Humane Society of the United States says the plan is redundant and may discourage members of the public from getting close enough to livestock to expose farmers' mistreatment of their animals. Utah already has a law that makes it illegal to injure or kill farm animals.

Arrowhead program to support agricultural innovation Adriana M. Chavez, For the Sun-News 3:05 p.m. MT Feb. 1, 2017

LAS CRUCES - A new program by New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center is offering help to those looking to develop innovative ideas related to agricultural technology. The Arrowhead Technology Incubator is launching AgSprint, a five-month venture builder program designed to support innovation in agriculture, early this spring. AgSprint acts as a facilitator, connecting agricultural entrepreneurs to financing, demonstration and validation partners, academic faculty, corporate partners and more. “The ideal candidate would be someone who is very driven, seeking capital, industry connections and/or development partners, and is who is very passionate about contributing to efficiency and productivity in agriculture,” said Zetdi Sloan, director of Arrowhead Technology Incubator. “Ag tech applicants run the gamut from basic business operations – reducing paperwork, improving productivity and enabling e-commerce – to specialties such as drone and robotic technology for overseeing fields, moisture levels, pesticide and fertilizer usage and equipment, as well as for developing new seed varieties and predicting crop yields and commodity prices.” Sloan said that the initial three weeks of the program will follow the ICORPS model that tests the feasibility of the venture. Graduates will receive $2,000 and the necessary National Science Foundation lineage to apply for the $50,000 national ICORPS program. Additionally, applicants will be able to receive up to three micro-grants, valued at $650, to cover the expenses of professional services such as technical writing, website development, counsel on patents and technology licensing, and regulatory consulting. Those who show promise will also be invited to continue the program for the next four months. Participants are able to access the program remotely. AgSprint is of particular importance to NMSU as the university board of regents oversees both the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Rolando Flores, dean of ACES, is supportive of AgSprint. “One of the college’s priorities is in the area of value added,” Flores said. “AgSprint is a great avenue for our faculty to contribute their knowledge and expertise to advance agribusiness initiatives that can positively impact the economy of our state.” AgSprint-supported ventures will receive customized support tailored to each entrepreneur’s unique path to business development and financial success. Along with the Arrowhead Investment Fund, AgSprint can tap into private, state and federal funding, curate a list of opportunities and assist with proposal/pitch development to make time-to-market more efficient. Founded by civic leaders, AgSprint’s mission is equal parts public and private and designed to bridge the gap between what people need and what governments can provide. AgSprint will focus on developing ideas in areas such as animal health and nutrition; bioenergy; drones and robotics; food technology, safety and traceability; and soil and crop technology, among other themes. By bringing together researchers, regulatory consultants, public/private funders, ag business experts and technical resources, AgSprint offers a wealth of knowledge under one roof. Funding for AgSprint is provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration University Center program and New Mexico Gas Co.

What do you want?

It the first part of the Year and I was wondering if there were any particular educational program you would like us to schedule or set up. Examples would be Wildlife issue programs like Predators, gophers, deer any thing along those lines. Livestock program, Beef quality assurances, etc. Think about it and if there is something that would help you do a better job of feeding, supplying our nation let me know, either by comments or email or give me a call.

This year's fee, which goes into effect March 1, will be 24 cents lower than the 2016 fee

This year's fee, which goes into effect March 1, will be 24 cents lower than the 2016 fee FMN Grazing 0202 (Photo: Courtesy of Jacob Chavez) 92 CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE FARMINGTON — The Bureau of Land Management has announced a reduction in the federal grazing fee for 2017. This year's fee, which will go into effect March 1, will be $1.87 per animal unit month for BLM-administered lands and $1.87 per head month for lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, according to a BLM press release. The grazing fee last year was 24 cents higher at $2.11. One animal unit month or head month represents the use of public lands for one month by one cow and her calf, one horse or five sheep or goats, the release states. Jacob Chavez lives in Turley and operates Majestic Enchantment Fly Fishing on the San Juan River. He and his family also graze 60 to 80 beef cattle on public and private lands at various sites in Blanco and their farm in Turley. Chavez said the fee reduction is welcome news. "Every little bit helps us," he said. "Especially in this economy, the cost of feeding and branding the cows can get expensive." Chavez, who also grows alfalfa to feed his cattle, said falling beef prices have been hard on the ranching portion of his business. “Prices are just not where they need to be," he said. "But we're fifth-generation ranchers and have been here since 1906 — it's in our blood.” Jacob Chavez "Prices are just not where they need to be," he said. "But we're fifth-generation ranchers and have been here since 1906 — it's in our blood." A larger cattle operation is run by Patrick Montoya, who also lives in Blanco. He and his family own four beef cattle ranches near Gobernador and have about 900 cattle that graze on BLM and Forest Service land in New Mexico and Colorado. "I think (the fee reduction) is going to help," Montoya said. "Anything that is cheaper as far as money out of your pocket is a plus." Montoya said the fee decrease is significant. And he said it's uncommon to see such a dramatic decrease in grazing fees. Like Chavez, Montoya said the price he's paid for his beef is low, but store prices remain high. For a 600-pound steer, Montoya said he receives $1.50 per pound, and for a 600-pound heifer, he receives $1.30 per pound. "Two years ago, it was much higher," he said. "I just wish they'd do something about the prices in the store — those prices are still high." According to the BLM release, the grazing fee is determined by a congressional formula. It applies to nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the BLM, as well as almost 6,500 permits administered by the Forest Service. The fee applies to 16 western states, including New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah, for public lands administered by BLM and the Forest Service. Each year, the grazing fee is determined by using a 1966 base value of $1.23 per animal unit month or head month for livestock grazing on public lands in those western states. "This figure is then calculated according to three factors — current private grazing land lease rates, beef cattle prices and the cost of livestock production. In effect, the fee rises, falls or stays the same based on market conditions, with livestock operators paying more when conditions are better and less when conditions have declined," the BLM release states. BLM officials could not be reached for comment today. Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.

Grant Funding Available to Expand New Mexico Agriculture

Grant Funding Available to Expand New Mexico Agriculture The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is inviting New Mexicans involved in agricultural production to apply for one of two funding grant programs. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (Specialty Crops) is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). NMDA serves as the fiscal agent for New Mexico’s share of the federal funding. This program aims to enhance the competitiveness of New Mexico-grown specialty crops. “Chile, onions, pecans, honey, greenhouse/nursery crops, lavender – they’re all examples of specialty crops, which means research, education, or marketing and promotion projects built around them could be considered for this federal funding,” said Felicia Frost, the NMDA marketing specialist who administers New Mexico’s share of the federal funds. The definition and eligibility of specialty crops can be found at, under the services, and grant & opportunities section. The deadline to apply for funding through the Specialty Crops program is 5 p.m. MST on April 10, 2017. Funding is expected to become available on October 1, 2017. Project length for this program varies from one to three years. The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) is also funded by USDA. This program provides assistance to any size of agricultural entity, in order to explore new marketing opportunities and to encourage research and innovation that will benefit multiple producers or agribusinesses. The goal of the FSMIP is to improve the efficiency and performance of the agricultural marketing system in the U.S. Applicants may do this by focusing on addressing barriers, overcoming challenges or realizing opportunities manifesting at any stage of the marketing chain including direct, wholesale and retail. NMDA’s deadline to apply for funding through the FSMIP is 5 p.m. MST on March 1, 2017. Funding is also expected to become available October 1, 2017. “Proposals to both grant programs are given greater consideration when they have what it takes to succeed beyond the life of the grant – in other words, if they make good business sense in the long term,” said Frost. The programs prohibit the use of grant funds for projects that potentially will benefit only one person or entity and cannot be used to purchase land, buildings, equipment, or any other type of capital improvement. Funds are paid on a reimbursement basis – meaning they’re released only after the grantee has submitted a progress report, as well as an invoice and corresponding receipts. Frost and other NMDA staff are hosting two free workshops for potential applicants to understand these grant programs and how to apply for them. The workshops will be: Santa Fe: February 16 from 2 to 4 p.m., location TBD, check NMDA web page for updates. Las Cruces: February 21 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., at the NMDA (Main Conference Room), 3190 S. Espina St. For more information on these grant opportunities, as well as the workshops, call 575‑646-4929 or visit

Thursday, February 2, 2017


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thurs., Feb. 2, 2017 CONTACT: Madeleine Russak (626) 390-2158 ENGAGE CUBA NEW MEXICO STATE COUNCIL PRAISES SEN. UDALL FOR INTRODUCING LEGISLATION TO HELP FARMERS EXPORT TO CUBA ~ The Engage Cuba New Mexico State Council, the New Mexico chapter of the Engage Cuba coalition, praised Sen. Udall for supporting expanded trade with Cuba ~ WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) joined a bipartisan group of senators, including Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and John Boozman (R-AR), in introducing the Agricultural Export Expansion Act, which would remove arbitrary restrictions on offering private financing for U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba. The New Mexico chapter of the national Engage Cuba coalition, called the Engage Cuba New Mexico State Council, praised Senator Udall for supporting New Mexico farmers who seek to expand agricultural exports to our island neighbor. Cuba imports nearly 80% of its food, which amounts to about $2 billion annually, creating a huge potential export market for American farmers only 90 miles off our shores. However, U.S. financing restrictions limit the ability of U.S. producers to compete for market share. "New Mexico farmers can sell to Cuba, but with one hand tied behind their backs. This commonsense legislation simply lets them compete. Removing arbitrary financing restrictions on selling to Cuba could significantly increase New Mexico agricultural exports, create jobs across the state and provide the Cuban people with high-quality American food," said James Williams, President of Engage Cuba, a national coalition of private companies, organizations and local leaders dedicated to lifting the Cuban embargo. "We applaud Senator Udall for his leadership in supporting New Mexico agribusiness by making it easier for farmers to sell to our island neighbor." U.S. producers have been allowed to export agricultural commodities to Cuba since Congress passed the Trade Sanctions Reform Act (TSRA) in 2000, but with restrictions on financing. As a cash poor country, U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba have declined every year since 2009 – in terms of dollar amount, market share, and in the variety of products shipped. The U.S. used to be the number one supplier of agricultural commodities to Cuba, but has since dropped to fifth behind Brazil, China, Argentina, and Vietnam. More information on Cuba's agricultural market is available here. On, Jan. 12, a national coalition of over 100 U.S. agriculture, trade, commerce-related businesses and associations, urged then President-elect Trump to support American agriculture by strengthening the bilateral trade relationship between the U.S. and Cuba. The letter, organized by the Engage Cuba and USA Rice, also encourages the president to support the Agricultural Exports Expansion Act. U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Angus King (I-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) joined in cosponsoring the Senate bill. The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill as an amendment to a financial services spending bill last year, as well as in July 2015. The House companion version, the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act was introduced by U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford (R-AR), Ted Poe (R-TX), and Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Mike Conaway (R-TX), on Friday, January 13. About Engage Cuba Engage Cuba is the leading coalition of private companies and organizations working to end the travel and trade embargo on Cuba. As a 501(c)(4) bipartisan non-profit whose funds are entirely dedicated to advocacy efforts, Engage Cuba is the only organization whose focus is U.S.-Cuba legislative advocacy. Engage Cuba is also committed to supporting the Cuban people and helping organizations and businesses navigate Cuban and U.S. regulations. The organization has the largest bipartisan lobbying operation working on U.S.-Cuba policy. Together with the Engage Cuba Policy Council of renowned experts, Engage Cuba provides timely updates on opportunities for U.S. business in Cuba, regulations, and market analysis. To get involved with Engage Cuba’s mission or learn more, visit: