Stallman says answers still needed on WOTUS

American Farm Bureau president Bob Stallman says farmers and ranchers still need “clear and straight answers” from Administration officials about the Waters of the U.S. proposed rule.  In a letter to Senator Jim Inhofe and Congressman Bill Shuster, who are holding a joint hearing today in their respective committees – Stallman said he appreciates their… Read more »

NCBA pleased EPA pulls part of WOTUS

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Cattlemen in San Antonio say the EPA’s announcement to rescind part of the Waters of the U.S. rule is a great way to kick-off their annual convention. Brownfield’s Dave Russell reports… AUDIO:  Dave Russell reports from the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention (:40 mp3): The EPA’s interpretive rule defined what it said were 56 “normal farming practices”… Read more »

Ag Retailers Association commits to safety

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and the Fertilizer Institute have signed on to a new agreement between the EPA and OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to prevent incidents like the deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas in 2013. The two-year agreement also involves first-responder groups. Gary Farrell, Board Chairman of the… Read more »

FY 2016 budget for EPA includes Clean Power Plan

President Obama released his nearly $4 trillion federal budget for Fiscal Year 2016. $8.6 billion of that is discretionary funding for the Environmental Protection Agency.  EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg says the request is about $450 million above this year’s enacted amount and represents the Administration’s “commitment to protecting public health and the environment.”… Read more »

EPA pulls interpretive rule

The Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn an interpretive rule regarding the Clean Water Act. Issued in March of 2014, the Rule stated that farmers are only exempt from needing Clean Water Act permits for more than 50 routine farming practices if they comply with detailed NRCS technical conservation standards. Historically, these standards have been voluntary,… Read more »

Wisconsin Corn-Soy Expo is growing

The popularity of the Wisconsin Corn-Soy Expo continues to grow. A joint effort of the Wisconsin Corn Growers, Wisconsin Soybean Association and Wisconsin Pork Association has drawn record-attendance this year around 1,700.  Bob Karls is Executive Director of the Wisconsin Soybean Association and the Wisconsin Soybean Board, he says the appeal of the trade show,… Read more »

House Ag subcommittees named

The House Agriculture Committee has announced the subcommittee appointments for the 114th Congress:   General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Jurisdiction: Policies, statutes, and markets relating to commodities including barley, cotton, cottonseed, corn, grain sorghum, honey, mohair, oats, other oilseeds, peanuts, pulse crops, rice, soybeans, sugar, wheat, and wool; the Commodity Credit Corporation; risk management policies… Read more »

Groups want EPA to control air around CAFOs

A coalition of environmental, animal rights and other groups has filed two lawsuits demanding the Environmental Protection Agency do something about controlling air pollution from large farms. The group says there are more than 20,000 large farms housing billions of animals in the U.S. which “release noxious air pollutants, including ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic… Read more »

Wisconsin DNR to assess frac sand mines

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will seek public input on industrial sand mining. The effort will be part of a broader agency strategic analysis to update a 2012 report on sand mining in the state.  DNR staff will collect input in February and March as to what topics should be addressed in the report. … Read more »

Dry winter not a reason to worry

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  It has been a relatively dry winter around much of the Midwest. However, Iowa State University Climatologist Elwynn Taylor tells Brownfield that, overall, subsoil moisture is actually quite good, “The soil moisture outlook right now we consider excellent, even though the winter’s been dry. That moisture will still be there at planting time and… Read more »