February 25, 2014

  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 02/25/2014 by Nathan Bowen

    Following Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks in Singapore this weekend that many had hoped would result in significant progress towards an agreement, a final deal remains elusive. Market access issues for agricultural products—especially access for US exporters to the Japanese market—remain unresolved. Japan’s recent market access proposal has drawn significant opposition from the US agriculture sector, as it would exempt significant numbers of US products from tariff elimination. These US agriculture interests are concerned not only for the potential lack of access to the Japanese market, but more significantly, the precedent it would set for future trade agreements. The next round of ministerial-level talks has yet to be set, but could likely occur in May.

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  • Dudley Hoskins Posted on 02/25/2014 by Dudley Hoskins

    USDA-NRCS will provide approximately $3 million in technical and financial assistance for farmer and ranchers seeking to improve bee health. The program will focus on improving pollinator health in five Midwestern states (Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin). USDA will make the funding available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to provide guidance and support to producers for implementing certain conservation practices. USDA selected these five Midwestern states because June to September the region is the resting ground for over 65 percent of the commercially managed honey bees in the U.S. Applications for funding are due by March 21, 2014. More information can be found on the NRCS website.

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  • Dudley Hoskins Posted on 02/25/2014 by Dudley Hoskins

    Several Non-Governmental Organizations filed suit in federal district court in Honolulu seeking to defend a 2013 county disclosure law. The Kaua’i County Council approved Ordinance 960 last November by overriding the Kaua’i Mayor’s veto, which held the bill was preempted by state and federal law. The Ordinance requires disclosure of pesticide use, GE crops, and buffer zones around certain facilities.

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  • Dudley Hoskins Posted on 02/25/2014 by Dudley Hoskins

    The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) filed a petition with EPA requesting an urgent review of the Agency’s rules relating to glyphosate use and the loss of Monarch Butterflies in the U.S. NRDC’s petition claims the use of glyphosate on syobeans and corn has negatively impacted the existence of milkweed which is the butterfly larvae’s primary food source.

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  • Dudley Hoskins Posted on 02/25/2014 by Dudley Hoskins

    EPA proposed revisions to its Agriculture Worker Protection Standard to protect farmworkers from overexposure to pesticides. The proposed rule would:
    • Require farm operations to train their workers every year, as opposed to every five years as currently required, and require farms to retain those training records for two years (there is currently no record keeping requirement);
    • Prohibit workers who are 16 years old or younger from mixing or applying pesticides (there is currently no restriction). Children and grandchildren on family farms would be exempt from the restriction;
    • Require posting of treated areas where entry must be barred for more than 48 hours; and
    • Prohibit farmworkers from entering the 25 to 100-foot buffer areas around a treated farm field and forest area. The restriction now applies only to nurseries and greenhouses.

    EPA will publish the proposed rule in the federal register (docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0184-0002) within the next 10 ...

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  • Dudley Hoskins Posted on 02/25/2014 by Dudley Hoskins

    USDA-APHIS announced it will extend the comment period on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on environmental impacts that may result from the potential approval of petitions seeking a determination of nonregulated status of three cultivars of herbicide resistant corn and soybeans produced by Dow AgroSciences LLC (particularly the herbicide 2,4-D). Comments on the draft EIS were required to be received on or before February 24, 2014. APHIS will now accept all comments on the draft EIS received through March 11, 2014.

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  • Dudley Hoskins Posted on 02/25/2014 by Dudley Hoskins

    The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 requires FAA to integrate drone, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), use into national airspace by September 2015. FAA officials recently stated the agency is behind on its congressionally mandated timeline to develop a regulatory framework incorporating UAS commercial use. FAA will likely issue two rules segregating regulatory compliance by weight (UAS that are under55 pounds) and by elevation (UAS that operate over 400 feet).

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/25/2014 by Amanda Bryant Culp
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  • 02/21/2014
    Press Release
    After nearly two years of investigation and legal action, James Ruster, owner of Mitchell Hill Farm in Ellsworth, was sentenced on February 18, 2014, for one felony violation of Michigan’s Food Law, the first-ever felony conviction under this law.
    Ruster pled guilty to willful misbranding ...