News

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/30/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The Secretary of Agriculture invites nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for a 2-year term on the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) established by the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 to provide recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on agricultural air quality issues. Nominations should be postmarked no later than August 13. For more information, click here.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/30/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The USDA Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) recently announced the marketing assistance loan rates for four types of peanuts for the 2015 crop year. The rates are posted on the Farm Service Agency (FSA) website.

    Marketing assistance loans provide interim financing to peanut producers so that commodities can be stored after harvest, when market prices are typically low, to be sold later, when price conditions are more favorable.

    The 2014 Farm Bill established the national loan rate for peanuts at $355 per ton. The price support levels for each peanut type are determined using the national loan rate, five-year-average quality factors, and the three-year simple average weighted production. The rates take effect Aug. 1, 2015, which is the beginning of the peanut crop year.

    Marketing assistance loans for the 2015 peanut crop is available through Feb. 1, 2016.

    To read the full press release, click here.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 06/30/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    The final Waters of the U.S. rule was published in the Federal Register on Monday. The rule, promulgated by EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers will take effect on August 28, 2015. Attorneys general from thirteen states filed a lawsuit on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota challenging the rule. North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said the final rule is even more broad and restrictive than the initially proposed rule. The House voted 261-155 to pass a bill (H.R. 1732) directing EPA to withdraw the proposed rule; a similar bill (S. 1140) passed through the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee but is yet to hit the Senate floor. Last year, NASDA members voted to call on EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the proposed WOTUS rule and collaborate with state departments of agriculture and other stakeholders on the appropriate scope of federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction. NASDA also submitted comments to both agencies, ...

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 06/30/2015 by Britt Aasmundstad

    USDA will open enrollment for the Dairy Margin Protection Program starting July 1st. This voluntary program replaced MILC in the 2014 Farm Bill and is effective through December 31, 2018. The program offers dairy producers catastrophic coverage at no-cost and then various levels of buy-up coverage (fact sheet). Catastrophic coverage provides payments to participating producers when the national dairy production margin—the difference between the price of milk and feed costs-- is less than $4.00 per hundredweight (cwt). USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden said “more than half of our nation’s dairy producers enrolled in the 2015 program.” Enrollment for 2016 is open until September 30, 2015.

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 06/30/2015 by Britt Aasmundstad

    Congress left for their Fourth of July recess without reauthorizing the Export-Import bank, meaning the financing agency will be closed after tonight. The bank provides credit and guarantees loans for United States exporters when private lenders are unable or unwilling to provide financing. Their official website claims to have supported $27.4 billion of U.S. exports in 2014. In recent years, the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank has become increasingly controversial, with some lawmakers saying it disproportionately helps large businesses. Without reauthorization, the charter for the bank will expire on June 30, 2015. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNBC he believes supporters of the bank will try and attach a reauthorization to the pending highway bill before the end of July.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/30/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

    From KXNews: At the North Dakota Department of Agriculture it's take your child to work day...everyday.

    "We scramble when they sleep, hurry, hurry, hurry," says Samantha Brunner, mother of Theodore.

    "That's when the high priority things are done," says Lyndsay Borlaug, mother of Paxton.

    For three reasons: Jamisyn....Paxton.... and Theodore.

    Three temporary and unofficial members of the Department of Agriculture.

    "This is our record. Three at one time," says Betty Schnieder, Department of Agriculture.

    Here, Mothers are allowed to bring their newborn babies to work until they're six months old

    "A packing planner and bouncing chairs and bumbo chairs, anything that we can think of," says Borlaug.

    "I suppose the hardest part is that you get a phone call and you pick it up and that's when he decides to start talking," says Brunner.

    These working moms say they're happy to ...

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  • DeWitt  Ashby Posted on 06/30/2015 by DeWitt Ashby

    USDA is inviting public comment on proposed changes to the Facility Guarantee Program that would expand program coverage and streamline the application process, enhancing the program’s ability to support U.S. agricultural exports.

    The Facility Guarantee Program is designed to boost sales of U.S. agricultural products in countries where demand may be limited due to inadequate storage, processing, handling or distribution capabilities. The program provides credit guarantees to help finance the establishment or improvement of agriculture-related facilities and related activities, as well as the procurement of goods or services to help facilitate importation of U.S. products.

    Under the program, the Commodity Credit Corporation reduces the financial risk to lenders by guaranteeing payments due from approved foreign banks to U.S. exporters or financial institutions.

    Comments must be received by August 14, 2015, to be assured consideration. Comments may be submitted by any of the ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/30/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Attends Portrait Reveal of Congressman Frank Lucas

    The House Committee on Agriculture hosted a ceremony that revealed the Official Portrait of Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK). Lucas served as Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture from early 2011 through 2014. As Chairman, he was instrumental in the passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014. The portrait honors Lucas’ service to the House Committee on Agriculture and will hang on the wall in the Committee Room in the Longworth House Office Building.

     

    Several of Lucas’ family, friends, colleagues, and supporters were in attendance including US Speaker of the House John Boehner, Present House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway, Ranking Member Collin Peterson, and many other Congressman. NASDA intern, Ricki Schroeder of Oklahoma, had the opportunity to attend this ceremony. Schroeder is from Lucas’ district and attends Oklahoma State University, Lucas’ alma mater.

    Written by Ricki Schroeder

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 06/23/2015 by Britt Aasmundstad

    Today, the Senate voted 60-37 to end debate on a bill that would give the president Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). Last week, the House voted 219 to 211 in favor of a standalone TPA bill, which lead to today’s vote. The future of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) provisions are unclear as Congressional leaders say they will bring the bill up for a separate vote before the August recess. The TPA bill, seen as a crucial part of securing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, will be voted on for final passage later this week.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 06/23/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    On Wednesday, June 17, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 2647, the Resilient Federal Forests Act, a comprehensive bill aimed at expediting and improving forest management activities in federal forests. Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee Chairman Thompson stated that litigation has been a barrier to proactive forest land management that maximizes forest diversity, health, and which reduces the risk of wild fire. According to Thompson, the Resilient Federal Forests Act would provide the Forest Service with the authority and flexibility needed to deal with the challenges of process, funding, litigation, necessary timber harvesting and management of U.S. forests.

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  • Rebecca  Creighton Posted on 06/23/2015 by Rebecca Creighton

    The annual COSDA meeting offers an opportunity for members to meet face-to-face to discuss timely issues and receive powerful professional development training. Last year more than 30 states were represented and we hope to have even more states participate this year. The conference will take place in Des Moines, Iowa on October 25-28, 2015. A draft agenda and registration information can be found at http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/cosda.asp.

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 06/16/2015 by Britt Aasmundstad

    Grant funding is now available to states to expand access to renewable fuel infrastructure through the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). Up to $100 million in matching funds is available through BIP, which is administered by USDA-FSA. The grant funding is meant to expand the distribution of higher blends of renewable fuels, specifically through blender pump installation and related costs. The goal of the grants is to double the number of fuel pumps able to disperse higher blends of renewable fuels. Grant applications are due by July 15 and are available at www.grants.gov; search opportunity number "USDA-FSA-2015-22."

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 06/16/2015 by Britt Aasmundstad

    Beginning on June 17th, producers can enroll in Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) for the 2014 and 2015 cropping years. These programs replaced direct payments in the 2014 farm bill and provide financial assistance after specific drops in revenues or crop prices (fact sheet). According to USDA, over 1.76 million producers have elected to participate in these programs nationwide. Producers had until April 7th to choose between ARC and PLC, reallocate base acres and update their yield history. The enrollment deadline for these programs is September 30th.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 06/16/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    Despite the House voting 219 to 211 in favor of reauthorizing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Friday, the next steps for the legislation can best be described as murky due to the overwhelming rejection of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) portion of the legislation by a vote of 126 to 302. Both portions of the package needed to pass in order for the Senate-passed legislation to go to the President for his signature. Last minute defections from House Democrats who normally support TAA sunk that element of the package. This week, House leaders gave themselves until the end of July to reconsider the TAA vote, though it remains unclear whether enough members will change their position on TAA to allow that vote to be successful.

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  • Rebecca  Creighton Posted on 06/16/2015 by Rebecca Creighton

    NASDA’s own Rebecca Creighton was recently featured on a Maryland news broadcast discussing careers in agriculture. View the news clip here. Rebecca graduated from University of Maryland on a Friday and started her work the following Tuesday.

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  • Rebecca  Creighton Posted on 06/16/2015 by Rebecca Creighton
    NASDA and CropLife America Interns Unite for “Bees on their Knees?”

    As part of 2015 National Pollinators Week, NASDA and CropLife America interns joined to help host National C-FAR's fifth hill seminar of 2015 'Bees on Their Knees?' featuring research related to the health of honey bees and other pollinators.

    Pictured from left to right: Liz Uehling, CropLife America Communications Intern; Sarah Doese, CropLife America Government Relations Intern; Ricki Schroeder, NASDA Public Policy Intern; Dr. Jeff Pettis, Research Entomologist at USDA ARS Bee Research Laboratory; Dr. Kevin Hackett, Senior National Program Leader at USDA ARS; Madison Knapp, CropLife America Science & Regulatory Affairs Intern; Zachary Mason, NASDA Public Policy Intern.

    Written by Zachary Mason

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 06/09/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    The House of Representatives will vote on a host of agriculture-related measures this week, as a key Senate committee will markup legislation to pull back EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule.

    In the face of retaliation from Canada and Mexico following a World Trade Organization decision that U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements violate the U.S.’s international trade obligations, the House is set to vote this week on legislation (H.R. 2393) that would repeal COOL requirements for beef, pork, and chicken. Late last month, NASDA urged Congress to address the issue to bring the U.S. back into compliance with our international agreements in order to avoid retaliatory measures.

    The House will also vote on legislation (H.R. 2051) to reauthorize mandatory price reporting for livestock products from swine, cattle, and lamb. Legislation (H.R. 2088) to reauthorize grain standard inspections is also under consideration this week.

    The House could also consider the ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/09/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Through a new software program, the Clemson University Department of Plant Industry has mapped the state's 25,000 to 30,000 honeybee colonies in an effort to prevent accidental pesticide exposure. Join us for an informative webinar where we’ll demo the software and have a Q&A with Clemson about how the program has been implemented in South Carolina.
    Wednesday, JUNE 10, 3 P.M. (EST)

    Reserve your spot
     

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 06/02/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is hosting a webinar for conservation partners interested in more information about applying for this year’s round of Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) funding. The webinar is open to both conservation partners and the general public, and will be held on Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST. To join the webinar, visit https://usdanrcs.adobeconnect.com/r75qxphcya9/. Login to Adobe Connect using the Guest option and enter your name.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 06/02/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has amended the new animal drug regulations to implement the veterinary feed directive (VFD) drugs section of the Animal Drug Availability Act of 1996 (ADAA). FDA published in the Federal Register the final rule revising the VFD regulations in 21 CFR Part 558, which becomes effective in 120 days. At the same time, FDA revised Guidance for Industry #120, Veterinary Feed Directive Regulation. The draft guidance is available for public comment. A VFD drug is intended for use in animal feeds, and such use of the VFD drug is permitted only under the professional supervision of a licensed veterinarian. FDA released the following Fact Sheet.

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