June 4, 2013

  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 06/04/2013 by Nathan Bowen

    Following its Memorial Day recess, the Senate resumed its debate on the Farm Bill yesterday. As that chamber continues to work through the hundreds of amendments that have been filed on the bill, Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said Monday that she hopes to finish the bill this week. However, an agreement on which amendments will be voted on remains elusive. Without an agreement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to file cloture on the bill which would trigger a vote on the bill as early as Thursday.

    Meanwhile, according to a Friday memo from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) that outlined the House’s June legislative agenda, the House is expected to consider a series of appropriations and national security measures this month, before potentially turning its attention to the Farm Bill. In his memo, Cantor said he “look(s) forward to a robust debate and an open process on the House floor.”

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 06/04/2013 by Nathan Bowen

    The House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee will markup the FY2014 Agriculture and FDA funding bill tomorrow. The bill, which is expected to be on the House floor later this month, provides $19.5 billion for the discretionary programs under the subcommittee’s jurisdiction. This funding level is $1.3 billion less than last year’s enacted discretionary funding level, though nearly equal to post-sequestration funding levels. Notably, the bill would keep APHIS funding stead, providing $803.5 million for animal and plant health activities. Funding for FDA’s food safety activities are increased by $27 million in the bill.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/04/2013 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Study Shows EPA Overestimates Poultry Pollution in Chesapeake Bay

    A recent University of Delaware-led study in partnership with the Delaware Department of Agriculture has concluded that nitrogen levels in manure originating within poultry houses are 55 percent lower than figures EPA has used to set pollution limits in the Chesapeake Bay.

    The study, headed by Professor James Glancey at the university’s Bioresources Engineering and Mechanical Engineering departments, was based on thousands of manure tests throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, including Maryland. In one particular case in Sussex county, the study found 260,000 tons of poultry litter were produced annually, in stark contrast to the current EPA model estimate of 1.46 million tons. An article in the News Journal of Wilmington stated that genetic improvements in birds, enhanced growing environments, and other moves to limit pollution from poultry producers have had a positive effect on the industry’s environmental footprint.
     

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/04/2013 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Pennsylvania Turnpike travelers can purchase locally grown food directly from producers at three service plaza farmers markets open Friday through Monday during the growing season.

    The markets are located at the Allentown Service Plaza in Lehigh County, Sideling Hill Service Plaza in Fulton County and New Stanton Service Plaza in Westmoreland County. They will operate through Nov. 30. The summer hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    “Traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike, you’ll see acres of farms that provide fresh, local produce to Pennsylvanians,” Agriculture Secretary George Greig said. “These service plaza farmers markets offer motorists the chance to grab a healthy snack during a road trip or pick up products during their commute home.’’ For more information, click here.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/04/2013 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Colorado: CDA Explores Small Hydropower Opportunities

    Through the “Advancing Colorado’s Renewable Energy” (ACRE) program, the Colorado Department of Agriculture hopes to create a small hydropower road map for Colorado agriculture.

    In 2012, the Colorado General Assembly reauthorized funding over five years for CDA’s ACRE program. The program’s purpose is to promote the feasibility and development of agricultural energy-related projects. In past years, ACRE has funded a broad array of research, feasibility, and implementation projects in agricultural applications of many types of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.

    “In 2013, CDA will focus ACRE resources in just a few energy themes, including small hydropower applications,” said Eric Lane, CDA’s Conservation Services division director. “We continue to explore new opportunities in renewable energy and energy efficiency within our agricultural community that will, in turn, help producers, the environment and the state ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/04/2013 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Bayer CropScience Breaks Ground on North American Bee Care Center

    Bayer CropScience recently broke ground on its North American Bee Care Center, in recognition of the importance of honey bee health to agriculture. Senior company managers, bee health experts and representatives from the community were on hand to begin work on the new facility, approximately a 6,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building which will complement an existing Bee Care Center that was established last year at the company’s global headquarters in Monheim, Germany.

    Housed in the Bee Care Center will be a full laboratory and teaching apiary; honey extraction and workshop space; interactive learning center; and meeting, training and presentation facilities for beekeepers, farmers and educators, as well as office space for graduate students. Although the North American Bee Care Center will have its own honey bee colonies for teaching and demonstration purposes, the facility will be supported by other research apiaries, located nearby the Research Triangle Park area, to ...

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