Wisconsin nutrient management plan workshops

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will conduct training sessions in the coming weeks to help livestock producers write nutrient management plans. Certain livestock operations are required to have the plans but DATCP Nutrient Management and Water Quality chief Sara Walling says it is a good idea for all livestock operations. Not… Read more »

When is manure a pollutant?

The Wisconsin State Supreme Court has ruled that while manure is a nutrient when it is applied to farm fields, it becomes a pollutant when it runs into a well. In 2011, Robert and Jane Falk of West Bend spread manure from their 600-cow dairy on their fields in compliance with their approved nutrient management… Read more »

Wisconsin OYF finalists named

The 2015 Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Weekend candidates have been announced: Andrew and Beth Belter, Athens Tom and Amanda Cornette, Luxemburg Jeremy and  Erin Miess, Muscoda Marieke Penterman, Thorp Amy Raboine, Reedsburg Craig and Nicole Schmidt, Juneau The six exceptional young farmers will participate in the 62nd Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) Awards Weekend… Read more »

CSP comment period extended

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is extending the public comment period on the Conservation Stewardship Program interim rule. Public comments will now be accepted through January 20, 2015. There are a number of statutory changes made to the CSP by the 2014 Farm Bill. Among the proposed changes in the Interim Rule.  A… Read more »

EPA announces coal ash standards

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced the first national regulations for the safe disposal of coal ash from power plants. The ash is categorized as a “nonhazardous waste”.  It does mean coal ash cannot be disposed in landfills and certain other facilities that do not properly protect groundwater.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the… Read more »

Comments sought on EQIP changes

USDA is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The new rule will be published in Friday’s Federal Register and the comment period will run for 60 days. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the changes are intended to simplify the EQIP regulation regarding conservation practice scheduling, payment limitations… Read more »

Study: Cover crops can sequester carbon

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A 12-year study shows that cover crops can sequester soil organic carbon. Of the many benefits of cover crops, that is one that is not well known,“Very few have ever talked about the potential for carbon sequestration in soil as a result of cover crops,” says Ken Olson, University of Illinois Soil Scientist. He tells Brownfield… Read more »

Wisconsin farm bill meetings on now

The Farm Service Agency and the University of Wisconsin Extension are conducting meetings all across the state to help farmers understand the new farm programs. Susan Hunter with FSA says many of the Extension agents around the state have gone through training on the new Agricultural Risk Program (ARC) and Production Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. … Read more »

Local Foods, Local Places communities

26 communities across the country have been selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, and a federal initiative providing technical support to integrate local food systems into community economic action plans. The 26 Local Foods, Local Places communities were chosen from among 316 applicants. The initiative is jointly funded at $800,000. Under this effort,… Read more »

More South Dakota wildlife acres

More than 16-thousand additional acres in South Dakota are now available for wildlife habitat improvement incentives from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). Applications are being accepted for the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program, part of the Conservation Reserve Program, CRP. The wildlife species targeted in South Dakota is pheasants. Landowners can enroll… Read more »