Thursday, June 27, 2019

Wednesday June 26 Ag News

Soybean Gall Midge: Management Window Changing for Nebraska Growers
Justin McMechan - NE Extension Crop Protection and Cropping Systems Specialist

East Central and Southeastern Nebraska Growers
On June 25, larvae suspected to be soybean gall midge were found in soybean plants at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Ithaca. Dissection of the plant showed orange larvae feeding within these damaged areas.

Photos were also submitted by grower Trevor Houghton showing orange larvae feeding within soybean plants near Nehawka in east central Nebraska. The discovery of these larvae already feeding within the plants closes the window on the likelihood that foliar insecticides will control soybean gall midge in this area. We suggest that growers with fields south of the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center not apply an insecticide, as it is unlikely to have any effect on soybean gall midge. Low levels of emergence are still occurring at some trap locations, but numbers have declined significantly in the past few days.

Northeast Nebraska Growers

No soybean midge larvae were found in soybean plants in northeast Nebraska fields near Randolph and Belden. Insect phenological events here (e.g., corn rootworm egg hatch and adult emergence) are typically one week to 10 days behind the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center (Ithaca), so it is likely that soybean gall midge adults, and possibly larvae just emerging from eggs, are vulnerable to foliar insecticides.

This is a very new pest, and we have no research-based management recommendations; however, because the midge is most frequently an issue along field edges, we have farmer cooperator studies that employ insecticide treatment around the edges of soybean fields. For example, fields receive one pass, 120-foot deep into the soybean field, with an insecticide with residual activity. The objective of such studies is to protect the field from soybean gall midge by preventing the first generation of midges from establishing along the edge of the field. Soybean fields that are adjacent to or very near fields that had high infestations of soybean gall midge in 2018 may benefit from such a foliar insecticide treatment, if application occurs within the next few days. Once most eggs hatch and larvae enter the plant, insecticide treatment will be unlikely to have an effect.

For more information on soybean gall midge in Nebraska, please see

Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department Seeks Public Comment on Zoning Revisions for Commercial Feedlots

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department invites the public to provide comments on potential zoning revisions for commercial feedlots on Thursday June 27th at Scott Middle School, 2200 Pine Lake Road. The meeting of the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Working Group will be held in the school commons room. Parking and entry to the room is on the north side of the building.

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. with a brief presentation, and then comments will be heard until 7:00 p.m.

Currently, Commercial Feedlots are allowed in the AG District in Lancaster County by special permit. The Lancaster County Board of Commissioners established the CAFO working group of 10 members of varied interest to work with County staff to review state and other community regulations in order to advise on potential changes to the existing zoning. The working group has met six times from March through May 2019. The group has drafted proposed zoning revisions for review and comment.

The draft proposal and additional information from the Working Group meetings can be found on the Planning Department website at

Please contact Tom Cajka, planner with the Lincoln/Lancaster County Department at or 402-441- 5662 for further information.

Pillen Family Farms Purchases Nebraska Farms From The Maschhoffs

Pillen Family Farms has agreed to purchase 16,000 sows along with the associated nursery and finishing farms in eastern Nebraska from The Maschhoffs. Also as part of the purchase, Pillen Family Farms acquired a truck wash in Columbus, Neb., and a number of contract finishing farms.

Pillen Family Farms’ multi-generational owners Jim, Sarah and Brock Pillen are investing in the future with this purchase. “We are extremely excited to add these farms to our core footprint in eastern Nebraska,” says Dr. Jim Pillen, CEO of Pillen Family Farms. “We’re also thrilled to have this dedicated team join our family. It’s a win-win situation for us.”

The Maschhoffs acquired this network of sow farms in 2011 when the company purchased them from Nebraska Pork Partners (NPP). Dr. Bradley Wolter, president of The Maschhoffs, says the sale to Pillen Family Farms makes sense for both of the family-owned companies.

“The team in northeastern Nebraska is excellent,” says Dr. Wolter. “The Pillen family is perfectly suited to ensure these farms are successful in the long-term. It’s a great example of two farm families working together to create long-term success for the Nebraska pork industry.”

Prepare for Heat Stress Possibilities

After a cold winter and long cool spring, summer is here. Temperatures will be in the mid 90s this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and with all the precipitation we have had, the humidity will be elevated as well. Feedlot cattle may not be acclimated to summer temperatures yet and the fast warm up this weekend may cause some heat stress issues.

Evaluate your cattle in the morning and again in the afternoon to make sure they are coping with the heat. Make sure cattle have access to plenty of fresh water and provide shade or sprinklers if possible. Pay close attention, as the rapid change in temperature may catch some at-risk cattle (cattle at end of feeding period or cattle with previous respiratory disease) dealing with excessive heat stress.

This early heat event is a good opportunity to make sure that your mitigation strategies will be functional for the rest of the summer. The Iowa Beef Center website has information and details on proper heat abatement strategies such as shade and sprinklers.

Financial Impairment on the Farm Webinar Offered July 30

I-29 Moo University and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a Financial Impairment on the Farm webinar from 12-1 p.m. on July 30. The webinar is free and open to all those involved in production agriculture, specifically, producers and agribusiness personnel.

The program will focus on issues producers face during times of financial impairment with emphasis placed on mediation, reorganization options and Chapter 12 Bankruptcy.

Donald Swanson, an attorney with Koley Jessen in Omaha, and Kristine Tidgren, director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation and an adjunct assistant professor at Iowa State University, will facilitate the discussion.

“Don Swanson has devoted his career to helping clients with financial impairment, bankruptcy issues and mediation, and Kristine Tidgren works with these issues every day,” said Fred M. Hall, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The program will be informational and answer questions for many local ag producers and businesses alike.”

There is no fee to participate in the webinar; however, online pre-registration is required.  After registering, information on accessing the webinar will be provided.

The webinar will also be archived for viewing at a later date. For more information on this and other programs, contact Fred M. Hall at 712-737-4230 or 

Animal Agriculture Alliance urges producers to have vigilance in hiring process

Are the employees working on your farm there to help care for your animals? Do their goals align with your business? Unfortunately, it’s a common strategy for some animal rights activist organizations to have individuals go “undercover” on farms to record videos that can be taken out of context, stage scenes of animal mistreatment or encourage abuse to record it without doing anything to stop it. While the first step to take is always ensuring that your animal care practices are beyond reproach, the Animal Agriculture Alliance also advises farmers and ranchers to be very vigilant in their hiring processes to ensure that everyone hired is there for the right reason – to provide care to livestock – and does not have any ulterior motives that would distract from that.

The Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to bridging the communication gap between farm and fork for more than thirty years, monitors animal rights activists and offers these tips regarding hiring:
-    It is vital to thoroughly screen applicants, verify information and check all references.
-    Be cautious of individuals who try to use a college ID, have out of state license plates or are looking for short-term work.
-    During the interview, look for answers that seem overly rehearsed or include incorrect use of farm terminology.
-    Search for all applicants online to see if they have public social media profiles or websites/blogs. Look for any questionable content or connections to activist organizations.
-    Require all employees to sign your animal care policy. Provide training and updates on proper animal handling training.
-    Require employees to report any mishandling to management immediately.
-    Watch out for red flags, such as coming to work unusually early or staying late and going into areas of the farm not required for their job.

Always trust your gut – if something doesn’t seem right, explore it further. Be vigilant and never cut corners on your hiring process, even if you need to hire someone quickly. Doing your homework on every job applicant may be time-consuming, but it can ultimately save your business’ reputation. As always, it is important to work with local legal counsel to ensure compliance with federal and state laws for your hiring process.

You can find farm security resources and background information on animal rights activist organizations at or reach out to the Alliance at or 703-562-5160. Members of the Animal Ag Alliance have access to more detailed resources on hiring and farm security.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 6/21/2019

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending June 21, ethanol production averaged 1.072 million barrels per day (b/d), a decrease of 9,000 b/d, or 0.8%. This is equivalent to 45.02 million gallons daily. However, the four-week average ethanol production rate ticked up 0.3% to 1.073 million b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 16.45 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks tightened by 0.2% to 21.6 million barrels, a 56-week low. Inventories were 0.5% lower than the same week last year and 1.2% below the level two years ago. Stocks declined in the Midwest (PADD 2) and Rocky Mountain (PADD 4) regions but increased in other PADDs.

There were no imports reported for the second consecutive week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of April 2019.)

The volume of gasoline supplied fell 4.7% from the previous week’s record to 9.466 million b/d (397.6 million gallons per day, or 145.11 bg annualized). Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol rose 1.0% to 951,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.58 bg annualized, which was 0.4% above the year-ago level.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production increased to 11.32%.

Perdue Kicks off the 2019 Feds Feed Families Nationwide Food Drive

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today kicked off the 10th annual Feds Feed Families Campaign at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) headquarters in Washington D.C. The food drive is an annual event in which federal employees around the country collect food for distribution by food banks, food pantries, and shelters.

Secretary Perdue was joined off by the Managing Director, Tax, Public Policy, and Government Relations at Feeding America, Geoff Plague, and the Founder and Executive Director of Ample Harvest, Gary Oppenheimer. They teamed up to tout the importance of the campaign and how together all federal employees can make a difference to those less fortunate.

With this being the 10th anniversary of Feds Feed Families, USDA has decided to run the campaign differently. Instead of reporting out the pounds of food donated by agency or department, USDA will report out one metric across the federal government every Friday. Federal employees will no longer focus on competing with one another for the most pounds of food collected, and instead focus on our mission of coming together to help those in most need. We believe with this refocus we can truly make a difference.

As in prior years, donations made in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area go to food banks in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia through a partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank. Other donations go to food banks across the country – having a positive impact to help food banks address food insecurity.

This year, the food drive will run through August 9 with federal employees collecting nutritious foods, both canned and fresh when possible. A closing ceremony will be hosted on August 16.

Since 2009, federal employees have raised over 88 million pounds of food for Feds Feed Families. USDA hopes to bring that total up to 100 million this year. USDA encourages all federal agencies to participate in 2 can Tuesdays each Tuesday of the campaign.

For more information, please visit:

USDA Farm Bill Implementation Progress Update

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced an update on the implementation status of the 2018 Farm Bill. President Trump signed this Farm Bill into law on December 20, 2018, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) promptly began implementing key programs. In addition, USDA held several listening sessions with stakeholders and the public specific to each agency’s respective mission areas.

“America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers depend on the certainty and availability of USDA’s programs and assistance. That is why we are working diligently to implement the 2018 Farm Bill with efficiency and accuracy,” said Secretary Perdue. “We have listened to our stakeholders and consulted with our customers. As we continue to implement the Farm Bill, USDA is committed to focusing on responsiveness and putting our customers first.”
Implementation Progress:

TITLE I – Commodity Programs
    Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy):
    Dairy producers who elected to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program in 2018 were able to retroactively participate in the MPP-Dairy for 2018. This enrollment opportunity ended on May 10, with more than $7 million dollars paid out to assist producers through this retroactive coverage as of May 28, 2019.
    Farm Service Agency (FSA) began offering reimbursements to eligible producers for MPP-Dairy premiums paid between 2014-2017 on May 8, 2019. As of May 28, more than $1.7 million in cash refunds have been paid to dairy producers.

    Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC):
    Dairy producers now have access to a new web-based decision tool, developed in a partnership with the University of Wisconsin, to evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels available through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.
    Sign-up began on June 17th with margin payments made to qualifying producers beginning in early July.

    Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC): FSA will open ARC/PLC elections for the 2019 and 2020 crop years beginning in September 2019.

TITLE II – Conservation
    Conservation Reserve Program (CRP):
    FSA began accepting applications on June 3, 2019, for certain practices under the continuous CRP, offering a one-year extension to existing CRP participants who have expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less, and reopening enrollment for existing Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreements.
    FSA plans to offer a General CRP sign-up in December 2019.

    Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP): On April 26, 2019, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) released guidance to State committees to identify RCPP coordinators in each State.

    Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP): On May 10, 2019, NRCS posted guidance for state conservationists regarding the handling of participant requests to apply for new contracts, as well as extending unexpired contracts from 2014. Additional guidance was posted regarding changes needed for existing RCPP partnership agreements to enroll in new CSP contracts.

    Technical Changes to NRCS Conservation Programs: On May 6, 2019, NRCS published an interim final rule to make existing regulations consistent with the 2018 Farm Bill. These include:
    Waiving duplicative requirements under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program;
    Expanding the purposes of the Healthy Forests Reserve Program to allow protection of at-risk species and allowing permanent easements on Tribal lands;
    Authorizing that certification of technical service providers be through a qualified non-federal entity; and
    Requiring that $3 million of funds to implement the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program be used to encourage public access for hunting and other recreational activities on wetlands enrolled in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.

    Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG):
    On May 15, 2019, NRCS announced that it is investing $25 million per year over the next five years to help support On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, part of the CIG and available to farmers eligible to participate in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. NRCS will accept proposals through July 15, 2019 for the new On-Farm Trials.
    On May 30, 2019, NRCS announced the availability of $12.5 million to support CIG on agricultural lands. NRCS will accept proposals through July 30, 2019.

    Borlaug Fellowship Program 2019: On May 6, 2019, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) announced Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Borlaug Fellowship Program. 

    Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement: On May 20, 2019, Secretary Perdue signed the Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement Program report and it was sent to Congress. 

    Agricultural Trade Promotion and Facilitation: on May 28, 2019, FAS announced a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for FY 2020 Market Access Program, Foreign Market Development Program, Emerging Markets Program, and Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program funding. Submissions are due on June 28, 2019.

TITLE IV – Nutrition Programs
    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): On April 12, 2019, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the solicitation for the FY 2019 SNAP Process and Technology Improvement Grants required by Section 4010 of the Farm Bill. Responses were due by June 10, 2019. 

    The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): On April 15, 2019, FNS issued an information memorandum on TEFAP state plan changes and information on TEFAP food funding. 

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): On April 16, 2019, SNAP staff provided key technical assistance to National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for the 2019 Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program solicitation. The Request for Funding was updated on May 9, 2019 and applications were due June 10, 2019.  

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): On, April 18, 2019, FNS launched the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot. This pilot will be evaluated to help inform the regulations required by Section 4001 of the Farm Bill. 

    Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR): On May 9, 2019, FNS held a monthly FDPIR Farm Bill Implementation Call with Tribal Leaders.  

    Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): On May 5-8, 2019, FNS attended the American Commodity Distribution Association Conference in Niagara Falls and provided updates on the Farm Bill’s CSFP and TEFAP provisions. 

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): On May 17, 2019, FNS issued three associated documents to the States: (1) a set of Q&As to follow up on the informational memo; (2) an addendum to the E&T State Plan Handbook to provide instructions on reflecting the new self-enacting Farm Bill requirements in the State plan; and (3) information the new 100% funds reallocation process for 2020 that will be shared with the States. 

TITLE V – Credit
    Loan Limits: On May 17, 2019, FSA issued an amendment to increase the loan limits as authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill – specifically, to $600,000 for direct loans and $1,750,000 for guaranteed loans.

    Farm Ownership Loans: On May 8, 2019, FSA issued an amendment to clarify eligibility requirements for farm ownership loans, including increased loan limits, and waiver authority for the 3-year experience requirement in the case of a qualified beginning farmer or rancher.

TITLE VI – Rural Development
    Cushion of Credit: On June 7, 2019, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published the announcement of new Cushion of Credit Program Provisions affecting RUS borrower participation on the Federal Register. The current 5 percent rate will be paid to borrowers until September 30, 2020. Beginning on October 1, 2020, CoC deposits will earn 4 percent interest until September 30, 2021. Starting on October 1, 2021 and thereafter, account balances will earn the applicable, variable 1-year Treasury rate.

    BioPreferred Program C
    Completed the transfer of the BioPreferred / BioBased Markets program from Department Administration to Rural Business Cooperative Service to ensure the increased development, purchase, and use of biobased products.

    Interagency Task Force on Rural Water Quality: The Rural Utility Service will host the kick-off meeting on July 10, at the USDA Whitten Building.

    Council on Rural Community Innovation and Economic Development: Rural Development is holding the next meeting with support from the Office of Science Technology Policy on July 10, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

    Implementation Outreach
    Presented at the P3 Water Summit and the Council on Infrastructure Financing Authorities (CIFA) in San Diego, California and at the Infrastructure Investment Summit in Washington, DC on the Interagency Task Force on Rural Water Quality that will examine drinking water and surface water contamination in rural communities.
    The Innovation Center hosted a Human Experience (HX) Lab on May 23rd focused on the Lender’s experience and interaction with Rural Development related to the Community Facilities and Water & Waste Disposal Guaranteed Loan Programs.

TITLE VII – Research and Related Matters
    Matters on Certain School Designations and Declarations: On May 16, 2019, a Federal Register notice on Matters related to school designations and declarations was published (Section 7102).  

    Carryover of Funds for Extension at 1890 Land-Grant Colleges: On May 24, 2019, guidance was sent to 1890 universities regarding this provision. (Sec. 7114) 

TITLE VIII – Forestry

    On April 12, 2019, Forest Service participants attended a National Consultation on P.L.115-325 (Indian Energy Act/Woody Biomass) hosted by Department of Interior/Bureau of Indian Affairs to capture Tribal input.

    Good Neighbor Authority: On May 15, 2019, the Forest Service presented a virtual 2018 Farm Bill Listening Session, for Tribes; Tribal Forest Management Demonstration Project (also known as “638’ contracts). There was also discussion on tribal woody biomass projects authorized by Public Law 115-325 (amending the Tribal Forest Protection Act). The recording may be viewed here

    Tribal Forest Management Demonstration Project: On May 23, 2019, in Phoenix, AZ, Forest Service made a formal presentation on implementation of Section 8703 to the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society. 

    Good Neighbor Authority: On May 31, 2019, Forest Service distributed non-financial templates to field offices for implementation of Good Neighbor Authority dealing with States. 

TITLE IX – Energy
    Definition update for Biorefinery Assistance Program: (9001 & 9003) On April 23, 2019, a Notice in the Federal register was published with a definition update.

    Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels: (Section 9005) The workplan was published in the Spring Regulatory agenda on May 22, 2019. 

    Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants: (Section 9007) The workplan was published in the Spring Regulatory agenda on May 22, 2019. 

TITLE X – Horticulture
    Report on Plant Biostimulants: On April 22, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and representatives from the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the Office of the Secretary (OSEC) and industry met to discuss the biostimulant report. The objective of the meeting was to outline the steps necessary to get the report completed, through clearance and to Congress by the December 21 deadline.

    Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP): On April 18, 2019, AMS announced the availability of funding for the FMLFPP. These programs are part of the Local Agriculture Market Program (Sec. 10102).

    Hemp: On February 27, 2019, AMS issued a Notice to Trade stating that USDA had begun the process of gathering information to initiate rulemaking to implement a program for the commercial production of hemp. AMS also stated that under the 2018 Farm Bill tribes and institutions of higher education could continue operating under authorities of the 2014 until 12 months after USDA establishes the plan and regulations required under the 2018 Farm Bill.

    Hemp: On April 18, 2019, AMS issued a Notice to Trade regarding importation of hemp seeds.

    Hemp: On May 28, 2019, AMS issued two Notices to Trade (NTTs) regarding hemp production. The first of these speaks to questions raised concerning provisions pertaining to the interstate transportation of hemp and who may obtain a license to produce hemp. The second NTT clarifies avenues for Tribal participation under authorities in the 2014 Farm Bill to grow industrial hemp for research purposes during the 2019 growing season.

    Plant Variety Protection Office: On April 24, 2019, AMS announced that the Plant Variety Protection Office will begin accepting applications for seed-propagated hemp for plant variety protection. 

    Organic Agricultural Product Imports Interagency Working Group: On May 14, 2019, AMS established the Organic Agricultural Product Imports Interagency Working Group with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The first meeting will take place in June 2019.

TITLE XI – Crop Insurance
    On April 23, the Federal Crop Insurance Board of Directors approved modifications to the annual forage policy to accommodate 2018 Farm Bill changes.

    Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA)
    On April 26, the 2020 SRA changes were distributed to Approved Insurance Providers. The SRA includes new requirements for training loss adjusters and agents, including the submission of Actual Production History to RMA.

TITLE XII – Miscellaneous
    The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program: On April 23, 2019, The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program RFA was issued (Section 4205). 

    Tribal Consultation: On May 1-2, 2019 USDA met with tribal leaders during the OneUSDA Farm Bill Tribal Consultation and discussed the 2018 Farm Bill implementation.  

    Pima Cotton Trust Fund: On April 15, 2019, FAS issued $27.3 million in payments under the Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund. 

    Wool Trust Fund: On April 15, 2019, FAS issued $14.9 million in payments under the Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund. 

    Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives: On April 16, 2019, AMS announced the availability of funding for the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives (Sec. 12513).

    Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program: On April 23, 2019, AMS announced the availability of funding for the Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program (Sec. 12102). 

    Feasibility Study on Livestock Dealer Statutory Trust: On April 26, 2019, AMS published in the Federal Register a notice soliciting input for the study on a Livestock Dealers Trust (Sec. 12103). 

    Veteran Farmer or Rancher (12306): On April 26, 2019, RMA Implemented the new definition for Veteran Farmer or Rancher that gives the same benefit for Veterans as beginning farmers or ranchers. These benefits include:
    Exemption from paying the administrative fee for catastrophic and additional coverage policies;
    Additional 10 percentage points of premium subsidy for additional coverage policies that have premium subsidy;
    Use of another person’s production history for the specific acreage transferred to you that you were previously involved in the decision making or physical activities to produce the crop; and
    An increase in the substitute Yield Adjustment, which allows you to replace a low yield due to an insured cause of loss, from 60 to 80 percent of the applicable transitional yield (T-Yield).

    Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program (FSCP): On June 20, 2019, USDA announced $75 million in funding for the eradication and control of feral swine through the FSCP in a joint effort between NRCS and APHIS. Applications are being accepted through August 19, 2019, for partners to carry out activities as part of these pilot projects in select areas of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.

New EPA Paraquat Requirements Impacting AgriBusiness; Agriculture Equipment Leader GoatThroat Pumps to Develop a Solution

In response to several fatalities and other serious injuries, the EPA issued new requirements for handling paraquat (paraquat dichloride) that will significantly impact agribusiness. While the new requirements are intended to help protect those handling the Restricted Use Pesticide, and others who may come into contact with it, it will have a ripple effect for farmers, manufacturers and the agriculture community.

EPA's New Requirements

Many of the accidental paraquat-related deaths and poisoning incidents were a result of people illegally transferring the pesticide to beverage containers, which was then ingested by victims, some children, when they mistakenly thought it was a drink. There have also been several severe injuries from paraquat touching handlers' skin or eyes.

Focused on additional education and implementing safer handling of the herbicide, the new EPA requirements include special training, special certification, and new and special closed system packaging containers, which also requires new special closed system equipment to be developed and in use by Sept 2020.

Certified applicators are now required to take an EPA approved on-line paraquat-specific training every three years, which emphasizes proper handling, transferring and storage of the chemical. The training also covers paraquat toxicity, new label requirements and restrictions, and consequences of misuse.  On-line certification is available now, and an effort is underway to make face-to-face training available for applicators who do not use computers.

GoatThroat Pumps Develop New Equipment

A global closed-system equipment leader, GoatThroat Pumps is on the front lines with farmers and product manufacturers as these new EPA requirements go into effect. In business for the last two decades, GoatThroat Pumps has established its reputation as an international leader for making quality closed-system equipment that avoid costly chemical spills and help keep employees safe.

GoatThroat Pumps is monitoring the development of the new paraquat packaging designs and plans to create its new closed-system equipment to match, making the transition for farmers and the agriculture community as seamless as possible.  Already the only system made for small containers that keep the package in its full upright during use, GoatThroat Pumps' new equipment will continue to keep paraquat handlers safe from leaks, spills and drips.

GoatThroat will make additional announcements about its new line of equipment, once the new paraquat packaging is finalized.

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