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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News as heard inside the BARN for January 31st…

Posted by Brian Allmer on January 31, 2013

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“Senators Again Strive to End Redundant Pesticide Permit Requirements”

Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns and Kansas Senator Pat Roberts have introduced legislation to eliminate a burdensome, costly and redundant Environmental Protection Agency permit requirement for applications of pesticides. Johanns says the agenda the Administration’s EPA is pushing amounts to more red tape, more roadblocks and more needless headaches. He notes the President has repeatedly promised to eliminate duplicative regulations – but says actions speak louder than words. That’s why he is acting with Roberts on an economically and environmentally responsible solution to this government-made problem. According to Roberts – the double layer of red tape isn’t just costly to the agriculture industry and consumers – but creates confusion and the potential for significant penalties. He says this bill eliminates a redundant permit requirement while still ensuring proper pesticide use through existing law.

In January 2009 – the Sixth Court of Appeals issued an opinion in that requires pesticide applications to be permitted under the Clean Water Act. This National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is added to the label requirements and restrictions already placed on the use of a pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. With their bill – Roberts and Johanns seek to ensure Clean Water Act permits aren’t needed for the applications of pesticides and amends FIFRA by stating no permit shall be required for the use of a pesticide that is registered under the act. Roberts introduced the same legislation in the last Congress. It was blocked from floor consideration. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees passed similar legislation with strong bipartisan support in the 112th Congress.

Jerry Moran of Kansas, Roy Blunt of Missouri, John Barrasso and Michael Enzi of Wyoming, John Thune of South Dakota, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, David Vitter of Louisiana, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and John Boozman of Arkansas are co-sponsoring the legislation.


“A New Congress, Another Chance for HSUS-UEP Agreement to Become Law”

United Egg Producers and The Humane Society of the United States expect legislation that would establish a national standard for hen housing will be introduced in Congress soon. Oregon Representative Kurt Schrader is expected to sponsor the measure in the House – with California’s Diane Feinstein expected to sponsor the Senate bill. The legislation comes out of an agreement HSUS and UEP made two years ago to transition the egg industry from conventional cage housing to enriched colony cage housing. The two groups have set September 30th as the target date for passage of the legislation.


“USDA Has MILC Information for Dairy Producers”

Beginning February 5th – USDA will issue payments to dairy farmers enrolled in the Milk Income Loss Contract program for the September 2012 marketings. USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan Garcia made the announcement Wednesday. MILC was extended through September 30th in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. USDA previously announced all MILC contracts would be automatically extended – so eligible producers do not need to re-enroll in the program. Those with approved contracts will continue to receive monthly payments as available.

USDA says the payment rate for September 2012 is approximately 59-cents per hundredweight. For October 2012 marketings – the payment rate is approximately two-cents per hundredweight. The payment rate for November 2012 marketings is zero. Dairy farmers need to complete a new Average Adjusted Gross Income form for 2013 before the October MILC payment can be issued. The new CCC-933 form is available at local USDA Service Centers and online at www dot fsa dot usda dot gov slash ccc933 (

Dairy operations can choose a production start month other than October 2012. Those who wish to do so must visit their local FSA office during the month of February.

Additional information on program requirements, updates and signups will be provided to producers as it becomes available. More information on the program is available at www dot fsa dot usda dot gov (


“CDC Looks at Causes of Foodborne Illness Between 1998 and 2008”

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that leafy vegetables caused more illnesses than any other commodity during the period from 1998 to 2008. The CDC split foods into 17 categories and matched them with outbreak-associated illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths. More illnesses were linked to leafy vegetables than any other commodity. The report attributed 46-percent of illnesses to produce – citing the large number of norovirus illnesses as a major driver of the result. Leafy vegetables specifically contributed to 22-percent of illnesses. Dairy, fruits-nuts and poultry followed leafy vegetables as the commodities most linked to the most illnesses. The report found that more deaths were attributed to poultry than to any other commodity. The report states that to the extent these estimates reflect the commodities causing all foodborne illness – they indicate that efforts are particularly needed to prevent contamination of produce and poultry.

Produce Marketing Association President and CEO Bryan Silbermann says the news will be used to spur additional research. He says the association views the report as an opportunity to identify new targeted research and learning to make the industry more effective.

According to the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest – the fact that the produce categories of leafy greens, fruits and nuts and vine-stalk vegetables show up in the report as contributors to illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths underscores the need for rapid implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.


“Oil Spill Adds to Mississippi River Woes”

An oil spill is adding to the trouble on the Mississippi River caused by the drought. The U.S. Coast Guard says around eight-hundred barges are backed up in the southern portion of the river. A towboat with two barges ran into a railroad bridge on January 27th – spilling oil from a tank containing 80-thousand gallons of light crude and halting river traffic at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Traffic can only resume once the restricted area can be safely entered.


“Soy Booster Plot Program Announced by ASA and Partners”

The American Soybean Association is seeking 125 growers across the soybean-growing region to conduct a Soy Booster field trial on their farm this production season. The 2013 Soy Booster Plot Program is a partnership between ASA, FMC Corporation and NACHURS. They will work with participating growers to conduct field trials utilizing FMC’s Capture Liquid Fertilizer Ready insecticide and NACHURS HKW6 liquid starter fertilizer on soybeans. Through these trials – individual soybean farmers will have the opportunity to observe and measure how the application of these products will enhance profitable production on their farm.

Participating growers will need to devote 20 acres treated with the Capture LFR and NACHURS HKW6 liquid starter fertilizer and leave 20 acres untreated. For more information – go to www dot SoyGrowers dot com slash SoyBooster (

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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