Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is urging the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to consider the benefits Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) technology can provide for wildfire monitoring and suppression when it chooses up to six new testing sites for these aircraft. The testing sites will help the FAA study how to best integrate UAS technology into our national airspace in a way that protects the privacy and safety of Americans.
Congress passed legislation over a year ago directing the FAA to begin a process that incorporates UAS technology into the civil aviation system with six test sites around the country. The FAA has announced guidelines for its selection process with specific safeguards designed to ensure the privacy and safety of anyone living near a test site. Bennet is urging the FAA to locate at least two of the six sites in states that regularly experience wildfires.
In a letter to FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta, Bennet wrote, “Unmanned aerial vehicles hold out the potential to help first responders map, measure, and combat fires in ways that will strengthen our firefighting capabilities. This technology can help first responders see through smoke, utilize infrared technology, and fly through areas too dangerous for traditional aircraft, allowing them to identify hotspots and predict directional changes in a fire more effectively.”
photo courtesy of the US Fish & Wildlife Service (stock)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior today announced changes to regulations enabling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to better monitor and address the long-term impacts of renewable energy projects and other activities on federally-protected eagles. In addition to these immediate changes, the Service will continue its comprehensive review of all eagle permitting regulations to determine if other modifications are necessary to increase their efficiency and effectiveness.
“Renewable energy development is vitally important to our nation’s future, but it has to be done in the right way,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “The changes in this permitting program will help the renewable energy industry and others develop projects that can operate in the longer term, while ensuring bald and golden eagles continue to thrive for future generations.”
In 2009, the Service began a permitting program under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act applicable to developers of renewable energy projects and other activities that may “take” (injure, kill or otherwise disturb) bald and golden eagles. The Eagle Act allows the Service to authorize the programmatic take of eagles, which is take associated with, but not the purpose of, an otherwise lawful activity and does not have a long-term impact on the population.
These permits have been for a maximum of five years – a period that does not reflect the actual operating parameters of most renewable energy projects or other similar long term project operations. The revised rule, a result of extensive stakeholder engagement and public comment, extends the maximum permit tenure to 30 years, subject to a recurring five-year review process throughout the permit life.
Only applicants who commit to adaptive management measures to ensure the preservation of eagles will be considered for permits with terms longer than five years. Any such increased measures, which would be implemented if monitoring shows that initial permit conditions do not provide sufficient protection, will be negotiated with the permittee and specified in the terms and conditions of the permit.
All permits will be closely monitored to ensure that allowable take numbers are not exceeded and that conservation measures are in place and effective over the life of the permit. Steps taken today will increase transparency and accountability by making annual reports and five-year compilations of eagle fatalities available to the public.
The revised regulations also increase the fees charged for processing programmatic permit applications to reflect the true cost to the Service of developing adaptive conservation measures and monitoring the effectiveness of the terms and conditions of the permits. Permits also will now be transferable to new owners of projects, provided that any successor is qualified and committed to carrying out the conditions of the permit. For more information, click here.
The revisions announced today are in addition to a larger review of the 2009 Eagle Permitting Rule that the Service began in 2012. Since the regulations began to be implemented, stakeholders and the public have identified a number of issues that may be improved by regulatory revisions. For this reason, the Service solicited public comments about the permit program concerning a number of specific issues, including:
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WASHINGTON, DC – CropLife Foundation (CLF) today releases “The Role of Seed Treatment in Modern U.S. Crop Production,” an in-depth report detailing the uses of seed treatments, primarily fungicides and insecticides, and the resulting benefits for growers, consumers and the environment. The report highlights the role of modern seed treatments in producing healthier, more uniform crops; increasing crop value; and allowing growers to plant earlier in the season, all while reducing potential environmental exposure through an increasingly precise application method.
Seed treatment refers to the direct application of crop protection products to the surface of a seed prior to planting. This method of crop protection suppresses, controls and repels pathogens, insects and other pests that threaten to limit seed viability and health from the time that the seed enters the soil through its development. Seed treatment also helps protect high-quality seed that has been enhanced through other agricultural technologies, such as hybrid or genetically modified seed, resulting in added value to growers.
The CLF report cites research conducted throughout the country on some of the measurable, beneficial impacts of seed treatment: Read the rest of this entry »
Beef exports remained on a record-setting pace in October while pork exports put up one of their strongest performances of the year, yet remain behind 2012’s record-high levels, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Top beef export markets Japan and Mexico both increased the volume of their U.S. beef purchases in excess of 40 percent for the month, while sales to the booming Hong Kong market skyrocketed 148 percent. Overall, October U.S. beef exports reached 107,471 metric tons valued at $564.5 million, increases of 6 and nearly 14 percent, respectively.
Pork exports in October were the largest of the year on a value basis at $539.9 million, and second-largest in volume at 186,637 metric tons, but still declined 11 and 14 percent, respectively, from last October’s all-time single-month highs for both volume and value. Both the ASEAN and the Central and South America region recorded double-digit increases, as they have all year, but other key markets trailed 2012’s historic highs.
“The ebbs and flows of export markets require us to make continual adjustments,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “For example, Japan remains the United States’ top value market for pork exports, but relentless competition from other international suppliers is making it tougher for us to maintain our market share.”
Seng also noted while the U.S. Congress continues to debate budget cuts that could affect spending on programs like the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program that support U.S. agricultural exports, the European Commission has proposed more than tripling its spending to support EU agricultural and agri-food sector products.
“There is no question that exports create jobs and support a positive balance of trade,” said Seng. “The European Commission sees that link and is looking to put significantly more resources into their export initiative, so we can expect to face even heavier competition in the top value markets going forward.”
WASHINGTON (Dec. 6, 2013) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) public hearing Thursday on the 2014 Standards for the Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS):
“While we are pleased that EPA held this hearing to gain feedback, NFU members are incensed with EPA’s initial proposal. At a time when the price of corn is below the breakeven point for farmers, EPA’s proposal slashes the corn ethanol requirement to a level below current production. This will have a devastating impact on farmers and the rural economy.
CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…
Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation
“Boehner Suggests One Month Farm Bill Extension”
The leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees say they’re making progress on the farm bill – but House Speaker John Boehner isn’t seeing that progress. On Thursday – during his weekly news conference – he suggested the 2008 Farm Bill should be extended for a month. Reuters reported that a House aide said the House could vote next week to extend the now-expired farm law into January.
The Environmental Protection Agency hosted a public hearing on the proposed rule to reduce the 2014 renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard Thursday. The proposed rule would reduce the 2014 RFS volume obligations for conventional corn-based ethanol by 1.39-billion gallons. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Past President Steve Foglesong was among those testifying. Foglesong – a cattle feeder and corn grower in Illinois – says it’s time to look at reforming the RFS and let the market pick winners and losers instead of the government. He says NCBA supports the proposed rule. While it’s a step in the right direction – Foglesong says NCBA believes more work needs to be done to level the playing field for all users of corn. Over the past four years – according to NCBA – the average cost to grain finish a market steer has increased by more than 200-dollars per head. Foglesong says these costs aren’t sustainable for a segment of the industry that relies on corn. When state governors were denied a waiver of the RFS in light of the worst drought in over 50 years – he says it became evident the RFS needs to be fixed.Read the rest of this entry »
January 28-29-30, 2014…CLICK HERE to view a complete schedule
(Greeley, CO) December 6th, 2013 - The 2014 Colorado Farm Show will award seven graduating High School seniors a total of $14,500 to help students reach their higher education goals. Six $2,000 Chuck Urano Memorial Scholarships and 1 $1,500 Carl Luther Memorial Vo-Tec Scholarships will be awarded Wednesday January 29, 2014 at the Events Center Meeting Rooms at Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley Colorado.
To date, The Colorado Farm Show has awarded over $123,000 to Colorado High School Seniors, who are pursuing careers in agriculture.
Winners of the 2014 Chuck Urano Memorial Scholarships:
Brett Arnusch of Keenesburg Co., Topanga McBride of Severance CO., Rachel Seedorf of Yuma CO., Drew Thompson of Holly CO., Reece Melton of Dacono CO. and Shelby Teague of Fort Morgan CO.
Receiving the Carl Luther Memorial Vo-Tec Scholarship:
DENVER — Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 — Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper today ordered flags be lowered to half-staff on on all public buildings statewide on Saturday, Dec. 7, in recognition of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and as proclaimed by President Barack Obama. Flags should be lowered from sunrise to sunset.
DENVER — Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 — Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced several Boards and Commissions appointments today. The appointments were to the Correctional Industries Advisory Committee; the Water Resources; and Power Development Authority.
The Water Resources and Power Development Authority finances, develops, constructs and maintains water projects in Colorado and administers the Drinking Water and Water Pollution Control Revolving Funds. The appointments must be confirmed by the Colorado Senate. The members appointed for terms expiring Oct. 1, 2017:
H. Webster Jones of Steamboat, to serve as a representative of the Yampa White Drainage Basin, and planning and development.
Roy Ellsworth Heald of Colorado Springs, to serve as a representative of the Arkansas Drainage Basin.
GREELEY, CO December 5, 2013 – Animal Health International, Inc. today announces the formation of their Sales and Customer Service team dedicated exclusively to the Equine market, building upon the Company’s long history of service to and support of the equine veterinary community.
“As a company, we’ve always demonstrated a strong commitment to provide equine veterinarians the products and solutions they need to best manage their practice,” said Mark Ziller, President of Animal Health International’s Companion Animal Division. “Equine care is a specialized area of veterinary medicine, with unique acute care and preventative care challenges and unique practice management challenges. We have put together an experienced, knowledgeable team of professionals who understand those challenges, and are able to marshal the resources of Animal Health International to help equine veterinarians face those challenges.”
Submitted to BARN Media by: Hannah Holm, Coordinator, Water Center at Colorado Mesa University
Denver can take a little more water from the Colorado River’s headwaters to increase the reliability of its system, but won’t develop any new transmountain diversions without West Slope agreement and will help repair damage from past diversions. Those are some of the key provisions in the Colorado Cooperative Agreement between Denver Water and 42 West Slope water providers and local governments from the Grand Valley to Grand County.
The Colorado Cooperative Agreement covers a whole suite of issues related to Denver’s diversion of water from the Fraser and Blue River drainages, tributaries to the Colorado River. In October, with little fanfare, this historic agreement received its final signatures and was fully executed. It took 5 years of mediation and nearly 2 years of ironing out the details with state and federal agencies, against a backdrop of decades of litigation, to get to this point.
According to material from the Colorado River District’s latest quarterly meeting, the agreement, “is the direct result of Denver Water’s desire to expand its Moffat Tunnel transmountain water supply from the Fraser River in Grand County and to enlarge Gross Reservoir in Boulder County.” This project is expected to divert, on average, approximately 18,000 acre feet/year of water beyond the average of 58,000 acre feet/ year it already diverts, which amounts to about 60% of the natural flow in the Fraser River at Winter Park.
Under the agreement, the West Slope parties agreed not to oppose the increased Moffat Collection System diversions, and Denver Water agreed not to expand its service area and not to develop new water projects on the West Slope without the agreement of the resident counties and the Colorado River District. The agreement also includes dozens of other provisions designed to limit water demands in Denver and address water quality and flow conditions in the Colorado River and its tributaries. Here’s a sampling: Read the rest of this entry »
(BARN Media & CoAgNews Network – Briggsdale, CO) Deember 5th, 2013 - Joining me Inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network for this month’s Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Radioline Report is RMFU President Kent Peppler of Mead, CO, discussing several topics including: the Farm Bill, the recent RMFU Convention and Peppler will also take a look back at 2013 and a look ahead at 2014 from his perspective for the RMFU…
To listen to the interview with RMFU President Kent Peppler, click the mp3 audio link below…
WASHINGTON (Dec. 5, 2013) – National Farmers Union (NFU) Vice President of Government Relations Chandler Goule participated in the Farm Journal Forum today on a panel entitled, “Point Counterpoint: Policy Innovations and Implications for Implementation.”
“The Farm Journal Forum is always a great opportunity for policy dialogue across all sectors of the agriculture industry,” said Goule.
Joining Goule on the panel was Mary Kay Thatcher, Director of Public Policy, American Farm Bureau Federation. Sara Wyant, president of Agri-Pulse, moderated the panel.
“NFU is optimistic that the conference committee will come to an agreement soon on the 2013 Farm Bill,” said Goule. “It is critical to our members and all Americans that a farm bill be signed into law soon. The lack of certainty for so long is detrimental to making business and other household decisions.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.
WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and lead in clean energy, EPA today released its 2013 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan that outlines actions planned over the next year to cut energy use and waste in agency operations. President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance in October 2009, setting aggressive targets for reducing waste and pollution in Federal operations by 2020. EPA’s 2013 Sustainability Plan builds on four years of progress under the Executive Order and provides an overview of how the agency is saving taxpayer dollars, reducing carbon emissions, and saving energy.
The 2013 Sustainability Plan will also help guide EPA’s actions to meet the new goal President Obama set today with a Presidential Memorandum directing the Federal Government to consume 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 – more than double the current level. Meeting this renewable energy goal will reduce pollution in our communities, promote American energy independence, and support homegrown energy produced by American workers.
(Denver, Colorado) – December 5, 2013 - USDA Colorado Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Leland Swenson announced that producers now have until January 15, 2014, to report crops that have a November 15, 2013, reporting deadline without paying a late-file fee. Crops under this waiver include wheat and native and improved grasses intended for grazing or haying. The Risk Management Agency (RMA) did not grant a waiver so producers need to consult their crop insurance agent for deadlines for insured crops.
“In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit their local county FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline,” said SED Swenson.
The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for all counties in Colorado:
November 15, 2013: Apiculture, PRF/Perennial Forage, Farm seeded small Grains.
Greeley, CO Thu Dec 05, 2013 USDA- CO Dept of Ag Market News
Daily Grain Bids for Denver and Surrounding Areas
Spot bids to producers for grain delivered to terminal and country
elevators. Bids dollar/bu. except for Barley which is dollar/cwt.
Bids are as of 3:00 PM MST.
Bids Change (cents)
US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat 6.83-7.05 9 lower
Up to 12 percent protein
Greeley, CO Thu Dec 05, 2013 USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News
Colorado Hay Report
Compared to last week: Colder weather and snow have moved into the state from
the North, with below average temperatures predicted to remain through the
weekend. As a result buyer demand is very light on slow trading activity.
Prices remain mostly steady to weak. There are still large amounts of low
quality hay on are on the market due to late season rains during second and
third cuttings. The lower quality hay continues to put downward pressure on the
market, which has limited trading activity until buyers and sellers can agree on
a market price.
If you have hay for sale or need hay, use the services of the Colorado
Department of Agriculture website: http://www.coloradoagriculture.com. All prices
reported FOB the stack or barn unless otherwise noted. Prices reflect load lots
of hay the most recent sales.