February 9, 2016

NRCS Celebrates Conservation Efforts In February

VilsackThis week US Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced there’s going to be a celebration:


One of their most popular programs is the conservation stewardship program, which actually started out as the Conservation Security Program in the 2002 farm bill. Today, the program encompasses more than 104,000 square miles which is more than the size of Iowa and Indiana combined.  USDA correspondent Gary Crawford has more:


The Natural Resource Conservation Service is well known to farmers for their work on programs like the Conservation Stewardship Program and Environmental Quality Incentives Program or EQIP. But U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack emphasizes that NRCS has recently expanded it’s program options:


The Regional Conservation Partnership program hopes to work with both public and private entities on environmental improvement projects. Funding is granted through existing  programs like EQIP and CSP.  Funds granted to the RCP program will be weighted 35 percent towards eight critical conservation areas designated by the Secretary of Agriculture.  The remaining 65% of funds will be weighted 40% towards national and multistate projects and 25% towards single state projects.

For more information, you can visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/farmbill/rcpp/


Corn Growers Pursuing Long-Term Feed Demand from Livestock Operations – AUDIO

North Dakota’s anti-corporate farm law dates back to the 1930’s –  it prohibits corporations from owning and operating farmland.

The 2015 North Dakota Legislature passed a law that would make an exemption for swine and dairy operations, in hopes the state might become more competitive in attracting new dairies and swine facilities.

Before the legislature passed exemptions to promote dairy and swine production, North Dakota was the only one of nine states with corporate farming laws with no exemptions – a constraint that supporters of the new law argued was hampering the development of new livestock ventures in the state.

CornventionWe visited on the sidelines of the North Dakota “Cornvention” with Jeff Enger, a producer leader that serves with the North Dakota Corn Growers. The Cornvention wrapped up Wednesday at the Fargo Holiday Inn.

Enger, of Marion, ND,  is chairman of the group’s Livestock and Ethanol Committee. They support trying to gear up long-term demand for corn-feed use —  with expanded livestock operations in the state.

You can listen to our visit —   ND Corn Jeff Enger and Rusty Halvorson

However, opponents to the Dairy and Swine measure in North Dakota gathered enough valid signatures last year to put the issue up to voters on the June 2016 ballot.

The North Dakota Farmers Union is one of the groups pushing to overturn the law at the ballot box.




China Approves Round Up Ready 2 Xtend Trait – AUDIO Reaction

Chinese authorities have announced their approval for the Round Up Ready 2 Xtend trait for import.  The trait, developed by Monsanto, allows soybeans tolerate applications of both glyphosate and dicamba.  The dicamba trait had already been approved in both the United States and Canada, but not China, a major buyer of U.S. soybeans.

Monsanto now awaits Environmental Protection Agency clearance of a herbicide component to the system.

On the sidelines of the trade show for the North Dakota Cornvention in Fargo on Wednesday, we discussed the breaking news with Hank Steinberger, Regional Sales Manager for Wensman Seed.  He’s based in Jamestown, and covers North Dakota and northwest Minnesota.

You can listen to the audio report —  Wensman Seed Henry Steinberger and Rusty Halvorson

One caution, according to BASF employee who trains producers on an similar product available through that company, is that the new low volatility herbicides involved in this system will take an adjustment in spray technique.  Proper selection and calibration of nozzles, wind speed, ground speed, boom height and weed size will all become more important for proper use.

Wensman Seed ND Cornvention