Updates and news from Private Landowner Network
Preventive Maintenance Needed for Ag Employees As Well as Equipment
Private landowners need to take as good of care of themselves as their equipment.
Keith Morton: He's always looking for ways to do things better
Knowledge he gained from Mississippi State University Extension management programs and specialists, from production conferences, and from farmers willing to share their experience and advice, has led to the adoption of practices that boosted yields, reduced costs, and increased revenues on Keith Morton's north Mississippi farm.
ANRC needs public input for Arkansas water plan
LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission is in the process of writing a new Arkansas water plan. The plan is a comprehensive program for the orderly development and management of water and related land resources, or in other words, it is the state policy for water.
June 3 is Deadline for Choosing ACRE as Revenue-protection Plan
What makes the decision challenging is that producers can't possibly know by the enrollment deadline whether ACRE or DCP will have the highest returns.That won't be determined until crop yields and prices are known after harvest.
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Unveils Vision for U.S. Organic Agriculture
Announces Organic Crop Insurance, Other Measure
April surge in snow has small impact: drought continues in much of the West
April saw a surge in snow in many places but didn’t make up the shortfall during previous months.
USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Provide Technical Assistance to Help Rural Businesses Grow
Grants Also Support "Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership" Initiative
Wetlands clean water, provide homes for wildlife across the nation
Wetlands play a crucial role in the world’s ecosystem by protecting and improving water quality, filtering surface water, storing floodwater and creating or enhancing wildlife habitat.
Secretaries Vilsack and Jewell Highlight Federal Preparedness for 2013 Western Wildfire Season
Officials emphasize interagency partnership, public awareness as keys to protecting communities from wildfire.
Environmental Review to Delay Two Engineered Crops
The crops in question are Dow Chemical’s corn and soybeans that would be resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D and Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant cotton and soybeans.
Agricultural Pioneers Battling Water Scarcity
Entrepreneurs and agricultural pioneers are eager to find new ways to feed the world’s growing appetite with a scarce water supply.
New Belgium Brewing: 2013 Environmental Stewardship Grant Guidelines
New Belgium Brewing is offering Environmental Stewardship Grants to mitigate human impacts on the planet in the areas of youth environmental education, sustainable agriculture, sensible transportation & bike advocacy and water stewardship.
Value-Added Producer Grants Support Local Producers, Biobased Initiatives
Tribes, Biomass Producers, Regional Food Systems to Benefit
Successful Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries Conference Brings Together Diverse Voices
USDA Announces Refined Sugar Re-Export Program Waivers
How’s your habitat?
Park the Bush Hog to Benefit Wildlife
USDA Announces Farm Payments Scheduled to Resume
MILC, SURE, and NAP will restart on May 8.
NRCS Helps Build Resiliency to Climate Change
Congress Puts Brakes on EPA Action: Farm Oil Spill Enforcement Delayed
An amendment to a funding bill will prohibit the EPA from enforcing the SPCC rule until after September 26.
Feral Swine: Ripping and Rooting Their Way across America
Feral swine have been called the “rototillers” of nature. Their longs snouts and tusks allow them to rip and root their way across America in search of food. Unfortunately, the path they leave behind impacts ranchers, farmers, land managers, conservationists, and suburbanites alike.
As honey bee numbers drop, U.S. sees threat to food supply
Honey bees, which play a key role in pollinating a wide variety of food crops, are in sharp decline in the United States, due to parasites, disease and pesticides, said a federal report released on Thursday.
USDA and EPA Release New Report on Honey Bee Health
In October 2012, a National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health, led by federal researchers and managers, along with Pennsylvania State University, was convened to synthesize the current state of knowledge regarding the primary factors that scientists believe have the greatest impact on managed bee health.
Thune Urges Appropriations Committee to Prioritize Forest Management Over Land Acquisition
Senator Thune urges Subcommitte to prioritize pine beetle forest management.
Conservation Stewardship Program Applications Due by May 31
Voluntary program allows producers to maintain or increase productivity of their operations while also conserving natural resources
USDA Expands Support for Farmers Markets to Accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits
Will offer more retail opportunities for SNAP recipients to access fresh, healthy food
Grant helps educate tribes on drought management
With the help of a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service grant, the American Indian Inter Tribal Buffalo Council is working to make tribal lands more resilient to drought.
Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff, Streamlined and Accessible
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has developed a new web-based tool to help producers easily calculate the quality of water flowing off their fields.
NRCS helps improve water quality in watersheds across the country
WASHINGTON, April 25, 2013 - USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced today additional funding for the second year of the National Water Quality Initiative.
U.S. dairy margin insurance programs offer pros, cons
A report released by the Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences discusses the pros and cons of two competing margin insurance programs for dairy farmers proposed in the 2013 Farm Bill.
Conservation and the Fiscal Cliff Deal
Enhanced Tax Incentive & Charitable Deduction Survive
Quantifying Debris - A Marine Debris Workshop
Wet Spring Good News for Arkansas Forage Growth
Drought may still impact cattle industry, so farmers and ranchers are not complaining about the rain this spring.
MSU pushes RISER plan for efficient crop irrigation
“The RISER plan developed by MSU can help producers better manage irrigation and increase production and profitability" said Jason Krutz, MSU Extension Service irrigation specialist.
USDA accepting REAP fund applications for blender pump installation
The USDA is accepting applications for federal REAP funds to help gasoline retailers install blender pumps designed to provide choice in ethanol blends.
USDA Announces 2013 Cotton Loan Rate Differentials
ASA protests crop insurance cuts in Obama budget
Food aid restructuring also problematic to the group.
USDA Proposes Simplified Application Process for Renewable Energy Funding
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a series of changes to make it easier for agricultural producers and rural small businesses to apply for renewable energy and energy efficiency funding
Group Touts Dairy Security Act for Next Farm Bill
Discussion between DSA supporters and opponents begins to heat up as legislators prepare for action on next farm bill.
Fracking 'not significant' Cause of Large Earthquakes
New research suggests that fracking is not a significant cause of earthquakes, but scientists argue that the integrity of well bores drilled for fracking is of much greater concern.
Toxic Metal May Play Part in Bee Decline
Bee decline, often attributed solely to neonicotinoid pesticides, may be a result of metal pollution from aluminum and nickel.
2013 EE Week Photo Contest
Do you have an inspiring photo of how you and your school or organization are engaging students in environmental education? EE Week invites you to upload your photos, including those from digital cameras, camera phones and social media sites like Instagram to the EE Week Photo Contest. Your photo can depict activities either inside or outside the classroom, before, during or after EE Week.
The NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants
The NEA Foundation provides grants to improve the academic achievement of students in U.S. public schools and public higher education institutions in any subject area. Any practicing U.S. teacher, counselor, or education support professional employed by a public school, including public higher education institutions, is eligible to apply for a grant from the Foundation.
Bird feeders can promote avian diseases
LITTLE ROCK – A number of Arkansans, as well as birdwatchers in other states, are reporting sick birds, primarily pine siskins, at their bird feeders and in their yards.
Prize money increased to $60,000 for Hot Springs Fishing Challenge
HOT SPRINGS – Big Al the Second and his fishy fellows will lurk in Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine this summer as the Second Annual Hot Springs Fishing Challenge throws more money and more species into the net.
Immigration Reform Heats Up, Agriculture Watching Closely
“At the end of the day, we have to have a guest worker program that’s affordable for employers, that meets the need for a year-round labor force and also is more market-based and less bureaucratic." -- Kristi Boswell, AFBF director of congressional relations
AGFC crews rush to help stop flow of oil near Lake Conway
MAYFLOWER – If not for the quick work of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff, other state and local agencies, along with various hazardous material cleanup crews, the oil spill at Mayflower may have been much worse. Last week, a 20-inch pipeline carrying heavy Canadian crude oil burst spilling thousands of gallons of oil into a residential storm drain that leads to Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir.
The State of Our Rivers and Streams
A recent EPA survey shows that more than half of the nation’s rivers and stream miles are in poor condition for aquatic life.
Arkansas opens probe into Exxon oil spill; clean-up continues
Arkansas on Tuesday launched an investigation into an Exxon Mobil pipeline rupture that spilled thousands of barrels of crude oil into a housing development last week, just as forecast rain was expected to complicate the clean-up.
Exxon replacing oiled Arkansas lawns, ruptured pipeline still shut
Exxon Mobil Corp on Wednesday was digging out oiled lawns to replace them with fresh sod in an Arkansas neighborhood where a crude oil pipeline ruptured last week, but the line remained shut with no estimate of when it would restart, the company said.
Spring and Conservation: Both in Season Now
USDA Announces Program to Facilitate the Export of Further Processed Eggs and Egg Products
Coalition Urges USDA to Protect Mandatory COOL
Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) provisions for meat and agricultural products was challenged by the WTO as a barrier to international trade, which elicited a new and strengthened AMS rule on labeling.
Aging inland waterways infrastructure to be rehabbed?
Congress takes up funding legislation to repair structures and inland waterways.
Dairies in California Consider Incentives to Move Out of State
Nearly a dozen states are courting California dairy farmers, who are hurting from high feed costs and low milk prices.
Marine Recreational Information Program Update New Public Access Fishing Site Register is Launched
On January 24, 2013, NOAA Fisheries launched a new comprehensive, online database of public recreational fishing sites on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.
New Bobwhite Foundation Gets $1 Million Commitment As a Challenge for Additional Contributions
A bobwhite enthusiast in Texas kicked off fundraising for the new Bobwhite Foundation this week with a $100,000 endowment … and a promise to match up to $1 million in “endowed” donations from any other source within the next two years.
The path less traveled: Young people leave cities to farm
The average American farmer was 57 years old in 2007, closer to his first Social Security check than his first crop. That number, recorded in the five-year Ag Census by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, has been rising a year to 18 months every census since 1987. If the trend holds true through the 2012 census, which is still under way, the new average age will be nearly 59, this at a time when global demand for food has American farms producing more crops than ever before.
Exxon oil spill cleanup ongoing in Arkansas, pipeline shut
Exxon Mobil Corp continued efforts on Monday to clean up thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude oil spilled from a near 65-year-old pipeline in Arkansas, as a debate raged about the safety of transporting rising volumes of the fuel into the United States.
Project Noah is an award-winning software platform designed to help people reconnect with the natural world.
Little Rock Corps of Engineers launches water level app
LITTLE ROCK – The Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District recently launched a mobile App for fisherman, navigators, paddlers and park visitors.
USDA Announces New Conservation Collaboration with DuPont to Promote Sustainable Harvesting of Bio-based Feedstocks for Cellulosic Ethanol
Vilsack today announced a new federal-private collaboration with DuPont to safeguard natural resources on private lands used to supply bio-based feedstocks for cellulosic ethanol production.
USDA Invites Applications for Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Improvement Projects
Vilsack today announced that USDA is seeking applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Funding is available from USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
Vilsack Outlines USDA Efforts to Raise a Healthier Generation of Americans; Highlights Efforts to Increase Access to Affordable and Healthy Food
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today discussed USDA efforts to improve access to healthy foods, and outlined the need for a renewed commitment to improve childhood nutrition, which includes empowering parents to provide healthy meals for their families.
Younger Farmers Join Food Movement
The average age of farmers in the United States is 57. In 1982, 16 percent of head farmers were younger than 35, but by 2007 that number had declined to 5 percent, according to a USDA report released last month. But behind the aging industry an even larger force is at work: the consolidation of U.S. farmland, experts say.
News Release: EPA Survey Finds More Than Half of the Nation’s River and Stream Miles in Poor Condition?
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the results of the first comprehensive survey looking at the health of thousands of stream and river miles across the country, finding that more than half – 55 percent – are in poor condition for aquatic life.
USDA Announces No Marketing Quota For 2014 Wheat Crop
Secretary Vilsack Launches USDA "StrikeForce" Initiative to Boost Rural Economic Growth and Opportunity
Terrafirma Takes Flight
The Land Trust Alliance has created a one-of-a kind charitable risk insurance pool to defend more than 20,000 land trust properties covering 6,354,434 acres in 46 states and Washington, DC from conservation violations or legal attack by developers and other parties. Terrafirma RRG LLC is owned by 420 land trusts that now have a safety net and can keep the promise of permanence.
The Enhanced Easement Incentive: Fiscal Cliff Update
Fiscal Cliff Deal Renews Tax Incentive Through 2013
State Climatologist: Global surface temperatures likely to set a new record this year
Global temperatures have been relatively flat for the past several years. Good evidence exists that the same factors contributing to the drought – the El Niño-La Niña cycle — have temporarily stalled global warming. For the short term, the next four or five years, farmers and ranchers might hope global warming does pick back up this year.
The Conservation Reserve Program
This year the CRP is celebrating its 27th year of water, air, soil and environmental protection.
Saving the Earth, Saving Tax Dollars: The Case for Conservation Compliance
Argument for why the next Farm Bill should contain the conservation compliance provisions that withholds subsidies from farmers who do environmental damage.
Women Farmers Invited to Beginning Farmer Program
The Center for Rural Affairs and Women, Food, and Agriculture Network are partnering to sponsor beginning women farmer and rancher programs.
2013 National Cooperative Soil Survey National Conference
This conference will be held in Annapolis MD from Junde 16-21 and is entitled "Soil Survey- Planning for Soil Health in the Critical Zone."
New Waterfowl Survey Technique for the Lower Mississippi Flyway increases Efficiency, Accuracy and Coverage of Arkansas’s January 2013 Count
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists recently conducted their annual late-January aerial waterfowl survey in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, or Delta, and the Arkansas River valley.
American Agriculture Movement (AAM) reunion to record farmers’ stories for history
The American Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock, TX is hosting a reunion of AAM participants on June 12-13, hoping to record farmer's stories to build an exhibit on AAM.
USDA Announces 45th General Sign-Up for the Conservation Reserve Program
Sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program will begin on May 20 and end on June 14. The CRP is a voluntary program that aims to protect our natural resources, while providing significant economic and environmental benefits to rurual communities.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Partners Invest in Conservation for Mississippi River Health
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the investment of $59 million this year from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for the health of the Mississippi River basin, making a total of approximately $289 million for the initiative that reduces nutrient and sediment run-off.
Don’t Take Your Ecosystem to a Doctor
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Glenn Suter II, who’s been an EPA scientist since 1998.
2013 Sage Grouse Initiative Tracking Success Report Released
NEW 2013 REPORT REVEALS WHY A NEW PARADIGM FOR CONSERVATION WORKS
Crop insurance: What’s ahead in next farm bill, budget-cutting?
California Strawberry Growers Serve as Conservation Leaders
California’s strawberry farmers continue to serve as global leaders in developing sustainable strawberry farming practices to reduce negative impacts to air, water and land.
USDA Emergency Farm Loans
47 counties in the State of Arkansas were recently approved by the Secretary of Agriculture as natural disaster areas due to the Drought that occurred October 1, 2012 and continuing.
Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL)
Short-term financing is available through low interest loans secured by eligible harvested commodity production.
NDSU Develops Farm Fuel Budget App
Producers can compare projected fuel costs and use based on alternate crop acreages, tillage systems and crop rotations.
Farm Service Agency Announces Important Program Updates
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers that the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended the authorization of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill) for many Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) commodity, disaster, and conservation programs through 2013. FSA administers these programs.
House Legislator Roby Introduces CRP Reform Bill
Bill would tighten the Conservation Reserve Program, allowing more land to be used for production.
COASTAL PROGRAM GRANTS FOR 2013
DEADLINE: Sept 28, 2013 This date is the end of the Federal fiscal year.
Farm Service Agency Announces Important Program Updates
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers that the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended the authorization of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill) for many Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) commodity, disaster, and conservation programs through 2013.
Honey Bee Losses Defy Solitary Explanations
The bee population in North America has declined almost 50 percent over the past two decades, but reasons for the Colony Collapse Disorder range everywhere from varroa mite to bad beekeeping.
Farm Bill Extension Draws Mixed Response
A nine-month extension of the 2008 farm bill – tied to legislation allowing Congress to step away from the “fiscal cliff” – was secured following a late-hour House vote on Jan. 1.
Will raise taxes by some $620 billion by increasing tax rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples.
Will provide a permanent 40 percent tax rate on estates worth more than $5 million ($10 million per couple).
Extension will maintain direct payments, which would have been otherwise axed.
Tunnel Your Way to a Longer Growing Season
The Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers. The goal of the initiative is to assist producers to extent the growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner.
Melons and Cotton Intercropping System a Head-turner, Cost-saver
Georgia farmer experiments with intercropping system and cuts cost while being a good steward of the land.
2011 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program Applications
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will continue to accept SURE applications for 2011 crop losses through June 7, 2013. The SURE Program provides payments to producers when crop revenues are less than the crop guarantee. The SURE Program payment is equal to 60 percent of the difference between the crop guarantee and revenue.
To determine the guarantee and revenue for the SURE Program, all crops on all farms for a producer are included in the calculation. Payments under the SURE Program are limi
Wetlands reserve program marks 20 Years of wetlands conservation
In its two decades of existence, USDA’s Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) has restored more than 2.6 million acres of wetlands habitat across the U.S., creating prime wildlife habitat and cleaner water.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the voluntary program that works with landowners to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on private and tribal lands, a mission that helps rural and urban communities throughout the country by reducing flood damage, contributing
Farmers and Ranchers See Successful Harvest Despite Drought
The hard work of farmers and ranchers to install conservation practices on their land coupled with a $27 million investment from USDA helped numerous farmers and ranchers in drought stricken areas across the U.S. still see a successful harvest last fall.
Utah Farmers and Ranchers Help Voluntary USDA Conservation Program Reach 50M-Acre Mark
In just four years, America’s top conservationists have enrolled 50 million acres in USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), a program that helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners take conservation to the next level.
Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area Grows
Louis Bacon, owner of Blanca Ranch, completed a 90,000 conservation easement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency's largest donated conservation easement. This helps build the Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area, one of the world's longest protected wildlife corridors through Colorado and New Mexico.
USDA Announces Projects to Protect Natural Resources In the Mississippi River Basin
Farmers and landowners in portions of Cross, Crittenden, Mississippi and Poinsett counties in Arkansas have until July 1, 2012, to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation practices through the Northeast Arkansas Association of Conservation District, Lower St. Francis Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI) project.
USDA and Arkansas Partners Announce Added Incentives on Conservation Program to Benefit Illinois River Watersheds
USDA and Arkansas Partners Announce Added Incentives on Conservation Program to Benefit Illinois River Watersheds
USDA Revises National Nutrient Management Standard to Achieve Maximum Agricultural, Environmental Benefits
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has revised its national conservation practice standard on nutrient management to help producers better manage the application of nutrients on agricultural land.