The relentless California drought

The drought continues in California, all of the counties in the Golden State now qualify for natural disaster assistance with 95 percent of the state in at least severe drought and 58 percent in Exceptional Drought.  Steve Maddox milks cows and raises grapes and almonds in the Central Valley, he says they hope this is… Read more »

Recognizing sustainability

California dairy producer Steve Maddox is no stranger to World Dairy Expo; for years he attended as a member of the National Dairy Board and DMI board.  This year he is here to promote the United States Sustainability Council’s annual awards for sustainability.  “We haven’t always gone out and told people what we do and… Read more »

$52 million to grow organic and local food economies

The United States Department of Agriculture announced grants of $52 million to support local and regional food systems like farmers’ markets and food hubs and to spur research on organic farming on Monday. $27 million is being awarded through the Ag Marketing Service (AMS) through the Local Food Marketing Promotion Program (LFPP) and the Farmers Market… Read more »

Just the weather Wisconsin needed

Some much-needed warmth for Wisconsin crops last week.  The weekly Crop Progress Report from the National Ag Statistics Service Wisconsin Field Office says temperatures were up to 5 degrees above normal and precipitation was minimal. As of Sunday, 36 percent of the state’s corn crop is mature up 17 points from a week ago.  That… Read more »

A closer look at irrigating manure

The use of irrigation equipment for spreading manure is gaining popularity.  Center pivots and travelling guns can go in a field that is too wet for tankers, there is no need to run heavy tankers repeatedly over rural roads and it usually is more cost-efficient. However, there are objections to the practice, the biggest being… Read more »

EPA will not appeal West Virginia ruling

The Environmental Protection Agency will not appeal an October 2013 ruling in favor of West Virginia farmer Lois Alt. The U.S. Court rejected the agency’s claim that the Clean Water Act regulates storm water runoff from livestock and poultry farms. The American Farm Bureau says the ruling carries implications for poultry and livestock farms nationwide…. Read more »

ADM settles Clean Water Act violation with EPA

Archer Daniels Midland Company has agreed to settle allegations that it violated the Clean Water Act at five of its storage facilities in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri.  The EPA says the facilities, which store large amounts of oil, failed to develop required Facility Response Plans that address worst-case discharges of oil. The ADM facilities are… Read more »

California drought intensifies

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows more than half of California; 58 percent is now in the D4 “Exceptional Drought” category.  That is a 22 percent increase from last week as the northern part of the state slipped into the worst category.  The Exceptional Drought area now stretches from Los Angeles through the Central Valley up… Read more »

NCBA official warns of water rule’s ‘significant impact’

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is encouraging its members and all cattlemen to submit comments on the EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule. NCBA environmental counsel Ashley McDonald says, in the case of cattlemen, the impact of the rule will be significant. “If you increase regulation by the federal government to include things like… Read more »

NCBA hammers away at EPA’s water rule

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is encouraging its members and all cattlemen to submit comments on the EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule. NCBA environmental counsel Ashley McDonald says, in the case of cattlemen, the impact of the rule will be significant. “If you increase regulation by the federal government to include things like… Read more »