News

  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 12/16/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic (HPAI) H5 avian influenza in wild birds in Whatcom County, Washington. Two separate virus strains were identified: HPAI H5N2 in northern pintail ducks and HPAI H5N8 in captive Gyrfalcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds.

    Neither virus has been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the United States. There is no immediate public health concern with either of these avian influenza viruses. Both H5N2 and H5N8 viruses have been found in other parts of the world and have not caused any human infection to date.

    The finding in Whatcom County was quickly reported and identified due to increased surveillance for avian influenza in light of the HPAI H5N2 avian influenza affecting commercial poultry in British Columbia, Canada. Washington State, USDA, and other Federal partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing of birds in the nearby area.

    All bird ...

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 12/16/2014 by Nathan Bowen

    Over the weekend, the Senate passed the $1.1 trillion 2015 fiscal year spending package (H.R. 83), commonly referred to as the Cromnibus, by a vote of 56-40. The bill now goes to the President’s desk for signature. The spending bill will fund the government through September 30, 2015 with the exception of short-term funding through Feb. 27 for the Department of Homeland Security. The package provides $20.6 billion in discretionary spending for the Agriculture Department, Food and Drug Administration and related agencies. There are numerous agricultural-related policy riders included in the spending measure.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 12/16/2014 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    2015 Winter Policy Conference Quickly Approaching

    NASDA is excited to announce our upcoming 2015 Winter Policy Conference, which will be held February 1-4 in Washington, District of Columbia. This national conference will be widely attended by leading state agriculture officials, federal partners, and a variety of key industry representatives.

    This event will focus on the key partnerships that state departments of agriculture hold with Federal and other non-governmental partners. Online registration for this event can be completed here. Early-bird registration rates expire on Wednesday, January 14. For hotel reservation information, click here.

    This event has been graciously sponsored by Syngenta, Bayer CropScience, GROWMARK, Monsanto, the Produce Marketing Association, and Journal Communications. Companies who are interested in sponsoring this national event should contact Amanda Culp at amanda@nasda.org or click here for a brochure.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 12/16/2014 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Minnesota: Grant Money Available for Agriculture Teachers

    Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) is accepting grant applications for its 2015 Ag Literacy Grant Program. Up to $400 of special project grant funding is available to K-12 practicing teachers wishing to bring agriculture to life in the classroom, garden or on a field trip. MAITC has $10,000 planned for 2015 grants.

    The goal is to provide a financial incentive for teachers to effectively integrate agricultural content into core academic subjects like science, social studies or language arts. The application deadline is January 10, 2015.

    “We know teachers are always in need of funds to help engage students in special ways,” said Al Withers, MAITC Program Director. “It’s amazing what they can do and the positive impact they can have on their students’ learning with a few hundred dollars in their budget.”

    MAITC is looking to support grant applications for field trips to farms or agriculture processing sites, school gardens, and other ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 12/16/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Now that the Senate has passed the $1.1 trillion Crominbus bill, the last major legislative action still outstanding in the 113th Congress is the House-passed tax package H.R. 5771 (Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014), which would retroactively extend a number of expired tax provisions (including Sec. 179 and Bonus Depreciation) for the 2014 calendar year. Sen. Majority Leader Reid made a motion to proceed the bill yesterday, and the tax bill is expected to be the very last measure the Senate will take up before it adjourns this week.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 12/16/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported on its progress addressing Swine Enteric Coronavirus Disease (SECD) since issuing a Federal Order six months ago, which required reporting of SECD to federal and state animal health officials. USDA reported receiving more accurate and timely information about SECD affected herds and their locations, which allows animal health officials to better understand how the disease spreads and what measures are most effective in containing it. A team of USDA epidemiologists is wrapping up its investigation of 11 potential pathways for how SECD entered the country and will analyze its findings over the next several months before drafting its report and findings. USDA is using the $26.2 million in funds provided in June to offset the cost of diagnostic testing, biosecurity and herd plans for producers and veterinarians, and will continue to do so as long as funding remains. SECD is known to spread more readily in the ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 12/16/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a final environmental impact statement (EIS) on varieties of cotton and soybeans that have been genetically engineered for resistance to several herbicides, including the one known as dicamba. APHIS issued the final EIS as part of its review to determine whether to deregulate these GE crops. In August of 2014, APHIS issued its draft EIS, and the final EIS affirms APHIS’ preferred alternative to deregulate these new GE crops. This decision is also consistent with APHIS’ plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) that found the GE cotton and soybeans are unlikely to pose a plant pest risk to agricultural crops or other plants in the United States.

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  • Megan  McDonald Posted on 12/16/2014 by Megan McDonald

    NASDA's Barb Glenn and Megan McDonald recently met with Sue McCrum, President of American Agri-Women, and Doris Mold, First Vice President, Resolutions and Vital Issues of American Agri-Women. Doris and Sue are interested in forming a Greater DC area chapter of women working in the American agriculture industry. They discussed their ideas on how to form a DC Chapter, and expressed their interest in reaching women in DC, as well as outside the beltway, in Virginia, Maryland, and possibly Delaware. American Agri-Women is the nation’s largest coalition of farm, ranch and agribusiness women with more than fifty state, commodity and agribusiness affiliate organizations throughout the country. AAW members have been advocating for agriculture since 1974.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 12/09/2014 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    USDA recently announced the theme and speakers for their 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum. The "Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century" themed event will feature Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, European Commissioner of Agriculture & Rural Development Phil Hogan, Dr. Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, USDA's Chief Economist Joseph Glauber, and more. There will also be over 100 additional speakers during 25 themed breakout sessions.  For more information, click here.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 12/09/2014 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Donates Toys to Salvation Army Littlest Angel Recipient

    NASDA "adopted" a 10-year-old girl for this year's Salvation Army Angel Tree Program. Pictured are NASDA interns Emily Ruby and Rebecca Creighton with a portion of the gift for NASDA's angel. NASDA participates in this important Salvation Army program each Christmas.

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  • Barbara P. Glenn Posted on 12/09/2014 by Barbara P. Glenn

    Agriculture in each of our 50 states is the focus of many top quality videos by America’s Heartland (AH) – found here. For each state, AH has links to several videos as well as to the state department of agriculture. Also listed are the state’s top five commodities and the top five ag exports. Last week, several ag group leaders, including NASDA CEO Dr. Barb Glenn, attended a meeting of America’s Heartland Advisory Board held at the American Farm Bureau Federation offices in Washington, DC. America’s Heartland is the only nationally-distributed weekly program offering positive stories about American agriculture. Started in 2005, the award winning series has become a flagship program on public television stations across the US. It airs on 270 public television stations in 107 TV markets in 33 states covering 60% of the U.S. It airs in many top 25 U.S. markets and four times a week on RFD-TV. In January 2015, America’s Heartland will begin ...

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 12/09/2014 by Nathan Bowen

    House and Senate lawmakers are awaiting the release of the nearly $1.1 trillion government spending bill to keep the government open after the current continuing resolution expires Thursday night. The bill, would fund the most government agencies through the end of the fiscal year in September. The Department of Homeland Security would be funded on a shorter-term basis as Congressional Republicans seek to express displeasure with the president’s executive order on immigration. The funding bill had been expected to be released Monday night, but is now expected to be released today. It may be necessary to pass a short-term extension for two or three days to allow time for both houses of Congress to consider the larger funding bill. It is still unclear what—if any—policy riders the bill may include.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 12/09/2014 by Nathan Bowen

    Incoming House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) announced incoming Republican members of the committee this week. Former NASDA member and incoming Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA) was tapped for the committee. Other new committee members include Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and incoming representatives Rick Allen (R-GA), Mike Bost (R-IL), Tom Emmer (R-MN), John Moolenaar (R-MI), and David Rouzer (R-NC).

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 12/09/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Last week, the House approved H.R. 5771 (Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014) by a vote of 378-46, which will extend a number of expired tax provisions (including Sec. 179 and Bonus Depreciation) retroactively for 2014. The House bill also includes a provision toincrease the barge diesel user fee on barges and tow-boat operators from 20-cents a gallon to 29-cents a gallon, which is similar to S. 2955 (A bill to revise the Inland Waterways Trust Fund financing rate). The user fee increase is considered a “PayFor” and is widely supported by the ag community and the commercial barge and towing operators. H.R. 5771 now moves to the Senate, which was seeking a multi-year extension, but is expected to agree to the House-passed one-year extension.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 12/02/2014 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Congress returns to work this week to wrap up key items on spending measures and tax extenders before the end of the year. Congress must take action to either pass an omnibus spending bill or a continuing resolution (CR) by December 11th in order to prevent a government shutdown, and there have been bi-partisan efforts to renew some of the expired tax provisions, including Sec. 179 and Bonus Depreciation, through a tax extenders package before the end of the year.

    However, the President’s Executive Action on Immigration has, by all accounts, complicated the bi-partisan negotiations made on these two initiatives and has frustrated those conversations going into the final weeks of the lame duck. It remains unclear if Congress will approve a short-term CR, a broader omnibus spending bill, or a hybrid approach referred to as a “Cromnibus” bill, which would keep the government funded through September 2015 and include a stopgap measure for the Department of Homeland ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 12/02/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    In October, USDA announced an extension to the enrollment and the comment period on the Margin Protection Program and Dairy Product Donation Program. The deadline for producers to enroll in the voluntary program is this Friday, December 5, 2014. The comment period will remain open through December 15, 2014. USDA developed a Margin Protection Decision Tool to assist producers in calculating the best levels of coverage for their respective operations.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 12/02/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a final rule amending its regulations for importation of poultry and poultry products from regions where highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is considered to exist. The final rule amends the interim rule, made effective and published in the Federal Register in 2011, to allow the importation of live AI-vaccinated zoological birds and poultry and the importation of HPAI-resistant pigeons, doves, and other Columbiform species under certain specific conditions to minimize disease risk. The rule will also allow avian carcasses and products imported as trophies to move to establishments approved to treat them for HPAI.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 12/02/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA announced nearly 2,500 applicants will receive disaster assistance through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) for losses suffered from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2013. ELAP was reauthorized in the 2014 Farm Bill and provides disaster relief, retroactively, to livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish producers not covered by other agricultural disaster assistance programs. Eligible losses may include excessive heat or winds, flooding, blizzards, hail, wildfires, lightning strikes, volcanic eruptions, and diseases, or in the case of honeybees, losses due to colony collapse disorder. Because the Farm Bill caps ELAP disaster funding at $20 million per federal fiscal year and due to the number of requests, USDA will issue reduced payments to ensure all eligible applicants receive a prorated share of the assistance.

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