Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Monday April 9 Ag News


For the week ending April 8, 2018, there were 2.6 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 2 percent very short, 17 short, 77 adequate, and 4 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 25 short, 70 adequate, and 2 surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Winter wheat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 7 poor, 34 fair, 46 good, and 12 excellent. Oats planted was 18 percent, behind 36 last year, and well behind 38 for the five-year average. Emerged was 2 percent, near 5 last year and 4 average.


Another cold, wet week prevented fieldwork across most of Iowa with just 0.8 day suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 8, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Isolated reports of grain transport and fertilizer application were received.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 7 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 12 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus. South central and southeast Iowa moisture conditions continue to be dry with over one-third of topsoil considered short to very short and over one-half of subsoil short to very short.

Four percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, 8 days behind both last year and the 5-year average.

Livestock conditions continue to be mixed. Cold temperatures and snows have hampered early spring pasture growth and continue to present challenges for calving throughout much of the State.

USDA: Winter Wheat Condition Worsens

U.S. winter wheat condition worsened last week, according to USDA's latest weekly Crop Progress report issued Monday.  For the week ended April 8, 2018, winter wheat was rated only 30% in good-to-excellent condition, down 2 percentage points from 32% the previous week and well below 53% at the same time last year. It is the crop's lowest good-to-excellent rating in over 20 years. Thirty-five percent of winter wheat was rated poor to very poor, up 5 percentage points from 30% the previous week and well above 13% last year.

USDA also reported national corn planting progress for this first time this season. As of Sunday, 2% of corn was planted, down 1 percentage point from last year but equal to the five-year average.

Sorghum was 17% planted, compared to 18% last year and a 15% five-year average. Oats were 27% planted as of April 8, compared to 32% last year and a 34% average. Emergence was at 25%, compared to 26% last year and a 27% average.

Cotton planting was 7% complete, compared to 6% last year and a 5% average. Rice was 21% planted, compared to 29% last year and a 22% average. Eleven percent of rice was emerged.

Agriculture Teacher & FFA Advisor of the Year Awarded to Two Nebraska Teachers

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation selected two recipients for the Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor of the Year award. Casey Carriker from Raymond Central High School and Ashton Bohling from Auburn High School were honored at the Nebraska FFA Convention on Thursday, April 5, in Lincoln. The winning advisors received a plaque and a $1,000 donation to their FFA chapters.

The teachers were nominated by their own students and chosen based upon their school and community involvement, leadership development in their classroom, and their ability to keep their students involved in agriculture.

“Both teachers are exceptional educators, leaders, and role models for their students,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. “Not only do these teachers go above and beyond for their students, they support the future of agriculture through encouragement of FFA leaders.”

Casey Carriker is an FFA Advisor at Raymond Central High School in Raymond, NE. Mr. Carriker uses reliable materials and hands-on activities to engage students in learning.  Carriker emphasizes to the students the importance of having passion and a connection to their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects to have success.

"This award is a great honor because my students had to nominate me and that shows that I am having an impact on them. Having Agriculture Education and FFA is essential for any school because it produces well rounded students that will excel after high school,” Carriker said.

Ashton Bohling is an FFA Advisor at Auburn High School in Auburn, NE. Ms. Bohling is always looking for ways to network with the community and maintain strong connections for the success of the chapter. She enlists members of her community to visit her classes and bring current, real-world examples of Nebraska agriculture. This enriches the learning experience for her students and creates strong ties to their community.

“I am honored to receive this award for doing a job that I love to do anyway,” Bohling said. “It is encouraging to know that agriculture education is supported by so many other great organizations. It is especially neat to be co-advisor of the year with Casey Carriker as we
were classmates and friends throughout college.”

“We had a number of exceptional nominations this year. All of the advisors and agriculture education teachers nominated are a showcase of agriculture leaders in their communities,” Shafer said. “The students these teachers impact are the future of our great state, and we are proud to recognize their excellent service.”

Injectable Trace Mineral did not Influence Reproductive Performance in Beef Heifers

Steve Niemeyer – NE Extension Educator
Many producers provide a free-choice trace mineral to grazing cattle throughout the year. Trace minerals have been shown to have an essential role in reproduction. When a free-choice trace mineral supplement is provided, some individual animals will consume more than the recommended amount, while others may consume none at all. In addition to variation in intake, the absorption of trace minerals can be negatively impacted by the consumption of other nutrients during the digestive process. Providing an injectable trace mineral (ITM) with a free-choice trace mineral prior to the breeding season may be beneficial to ensure that the trace mineral status of cattle being bred is adequate.

A study was conducted to analyze the impact of providing an injectable trace mineral supplement in addition to a free-choice trace mineral supplement on the reproductive performance of replacement heifers. Prior to the study, a liver biopsy was conducted on 22 heifers in the study to assess trace mineral status. Liver concentrations of copper, manganese, selenium and zinc were adequate in the heifers tested.

There were 799 heifers in this study that were split into two groups. One group of 399 heifers received an injection of a trace-mineral at the time of insertion of progesterone releasing controlled internal drug-releasing device (CIDR) which was 33 days prior to a timed artificial insemination (AI). The second group consisted of 400 heifers that were administered the same estrus synchronization protocol, but did not receive an injection of trace-minerals at the time of CIDR insertion. After timed AI on day 33, both groups of heifers were exposed to bulls for 60 days.

At pregnancy diagnosis, there was no statistical difference in the percentage of heifers breeding in the first 21 days of the breeding season as well as the first 33 days of the breeding season. Overall pregnancy rates were similar with 95% of the control and 93% of the heifers receiving an injectable trace mineral being identified as pregnant. In this study, the use of an injectable trace mineral at CIDR insertion prior to breeding did not influence reproductive performance of heifers with adequate trace mineral status. For more information on this study, see the 2018 Nebraska Beef Cattle report at https://beef.unl.edu.

Webinars Target How You Can Prevent Grain Engulfment 

In five seconds a worker can become engulfed in flowing grain, unable to get out; within 60 seconds, the worker can be completely submerged.

Preventing tragic deaths from grain suffocation is the purpose of Stand Up for Engulfment Prevention Week, April 9-13.

Three safety webinars on the topic are scheduled for 12-1 p.m. CDT on April 10, 11 and 13. Sponsors are AgriSafe, the Grain Handling Safety Coalition and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety.

While free, registration is required to access the webinars, which will be archived through 2018.  Archived (on demand) webinars may be accessed by logging into agrisafe.org and clicking under the Quick Links heading to the Grain Safety tab. Live webinar registration is found under the Upcoming Events heading or via the links below.

Tuesday, April 10: “Confined Space – Grain Bin Entry.”

For workers and managers of grain elevators, farm operations, grain hauling, and agricultural businesses. The major focus is on safety in confined work spaces, it covers entry, respiratory protection, and prevention of grain dust explosions. Topics include:
-    hazards that lead to dust explosions and how to prevent them,
-    hazards of working in confined grain spaces,
-    process of lock-out procedures, and
-    respiratory protection.
To register, go to https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/5456220189776783874.

Wednesday, April 11: “Understanding Agricultural Respiratory Hazards with Emphasis on Respirator Selection as a Prevention Strategy.” 

Information about common agricultural respiratory exposures and diseases, particularly for grain handling. It's directed to agricultural producers and employers of agricultural workers, and addresses how to:
-    recognize grain handling respiratory hazards,
-    understand and implement “Lungs for Life” resources for appropriate respirator options, especially in grain handling, and
-    implement respiratory disease prevention options
To register, go to https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/3467496125222953986

Friday, April 13: “Reducing Grain Bin Entry Risks.”

This session guides participants through the bin entry process. Presenters are Jeff Decker and Robert Aherin, members of the Grain Handling Safety Coalition (GHSC). Decker provides safety training and is experienced in all aspects of hazard identification analysis and accident investigations. Aherin, an extension specialist at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, is a GHSC cofounder and agricultural safety and health expert. This webinar will cover:
-    hazard assessment, methods to reduce hazards or the need for entry and safe entry procedures and
-    lifeline use, how and when lifelines are effective in protecting entrants, and proper set-up and use of lifelines.
To register, go to https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/3829295923900901122.

The mission of AgriSafe is to support a growing network of trained agricultural health and safety professionals that assure access to preventative services for farm families and the agricultural community. For more, see agrisafe.org.

Ricketts Welcomes Israel’s Minister of Agriculture to Nebraska

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts hosted Israeli Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel at the State Capitol in Lincoln.  Minister Ariel’s visit is part of a five-state tour of Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Indiana.

“Israel is one of Nebraska’s greatest friends, and a growing market for our quality products,” said Governor Ricketts.  “This partnership is expanding opportunities for both the people of Nebraska and Israel.  Thank you to Minister Ariel for visiting Nebraska to discuss how we can grow our relationship even further.”

Governor Ricketts and Minister Ariel discussed the recent reintroduction of U.S. beef to Israel during their meeting.  They also discussed opportunities for increased collaboration in the agro-tech industry.

“Many of my colleagues have understood the map of the USA to be centered around major cities like Washington, New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, etc.,” said Minister Ariel.  “I have understood that the challenges of climate and water and food protection and production are bringing back in centrality the importance of America’s heartland as well as Israel’s opportunity for new and stronger cooperation with America’s leading agriculture states.”

In 2016, Nebraska exported the first significant shipment of beef from the United States to Israel since 2003.  The opening of the export market spurred a plant expansion by WR Reserve and the creation of 100 new jobs.

Nebraska exported $1.4 million of beef to Israel in 2017.  In 2016, Nebraska exported $18.1 million worth of goods to Israel, including $8.2 million of corn, $4.5 million of distillers grains, and $2.5 million of soybeans.

In 2017, Nebraska exported a grand total of over $31 million worth of goods to Israel, up from $27.5 million in 2014.

Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Assistant Director Mat Habrock traveled with Lt. Governor Mike Foley to Israel in 2016 to celebrate the reopening of the U.S. beef market and welcome beef from Hastings, Nebraska into Israel.

“It was an honor to meet with Israeli Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel today to discuss our shared vision of a strong agriculture sector,” said NDA Assistant Director Mat Habrock.  “Israel and Nebraska are both interested in being leaders in agriculture production through the development and implementation of technology, particularly in water use.  Additionally, Israel is a great trading partner for Nebraska’s agricultural products.”

“We appreciate our state’s robust, mutually-beneficial trade relationships with Israel, both in terms of agriculture and other industries,” said Nebraska Department of Economic Development Director Dave Rippe.  “We look forward to working to deepen these connections, and we eagerly anticipate attending this year’s Agritech Israel exhibition in Tel Aviv to discuss new horizons for collaboration. It was a privilege to meet with Minister Ariel this afternoon to discuss strengthening our bonds for the future.”


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist

               Most plantings of alfalfa begin with a conventionally tilled and prepared seedbed.  No-till might be just as good, though.

               How about planting alfalfa no-till?  With less crop residue remaining from last year in some fields and the always present need to conserve soil moisture, no-till might be a good way to establish alfalfa this spring.

               There are some obvious advantages to seeding no-till, like fuel and time savings due to fewer trips across the field.  In addition, you reduce soil erosion by retaining crop residues rather than tilling them under.  No-till also conserves soil moisture, which may be the best reason of all this spring.  Also, due to lack of tillage the seedbed is good and firm for rapid seedling emergence.  Finally, no-till will limit the number of new weed seeds near the soil surface.

               Disadvantages to no-till include relying solely on clipping or post-emerge herbicides for weed control.  Fortunately, we have good post-emerge herbicides available to control most weed problems.  Another problem is ridges from prior row crops that can interfere with uniform seeding as well as make fields rough for future haying operations.  And finally, some drills do not work well for no-till seeding so equipment might limit your options.

               If you can do it, though, no-till alfalfa is worth trying.  It works really well in bean stubble and almost as well in small grain stubble.  No-till is a bit more difficult in corn and milo stubble, especially if there is much row ridging.  Be sure to kill any early weeds with Roundup or Gramoxone before planting.  And last but not least, use a drill that places seed about one-half inch deep and then covers seed with soil using a good press wheel.

               Try no-till alfalfa.  It could be very effective this year.

Have You Read Your Pesticide Labels Lately? 

Clyde Ogg - Pesticide Safety Extension Educator

As you ready your field equipment for the coming crop season, are you including a respirator as part of your personal protective equipment? If you haven’t thought about it, now is the time to read and understand the labels of pesticides intended for use in 2018.

Certain pesticides, such as formulations of Engenia® and Lorsban™, require a NIOSH-approved respirator to mix, load, handle, and apply.

In addition, when the Worker Protection Standard applies and the label requires respiratory protection, a medical exam, fit test, and training are required before the respirator is used. Even if not required, these are good practices to follow. They ensure that you are physically able to wear a respirator, that the respirator fits correctly to keep you safe, and that you know how to use it. The product label will tell you what is needed. Remember, the label is the law, and as such, using pesticides is a big responsibility for you, your family, and your neighbors.

Resources are available to help you better understand the legal and safety requirements. This University of Minnesota Crop News article is one: Respirator Requirements for Engenia® and Lorsban™.

In addition see two detailed Nebraska Extension publications:
-    Respirators for Handling Pesticides and
-    Fit Testing a Respirator for Pesticide Applications.

BASF launches new spray tool to help ensure on-target applications

BASF launched its latest stewardship resource to assist growers with on-target applications this season – the  Engenia®  Herbicide Spray Tool.  The mobile-friendly website gives applicators key weather information at the touch of a button without downloading an application. The tool uses a phone’s location services, or a desktop’s IP address to provide localized information for determining the right time to apply Engenia herbicide.

“Weather plays a big role in spray application decision-making,” said Logan Grier, BASF Technical Marketing Manager, Product Stewardship. “We created a resource for growers that has all of the Engenia herbicide weather-related label requirements in one place and supplements the many other tools applicators can use when planning their Engenia herbicide application this growing season.”

The free tool, available at EngeniaStewardship.com, covers all U.S. geographies and incorporates key Engenia herbicide weather-related label restrictions and considerations for the next 36 hours, so applicators can plan ahead. In addition to hourly temperature and cloud cover information, the spray tool also includes:
-    Inversion potential, which compares the temperature at ground-level and two meters above the ground to provide the likelihood for an inversion.
-    Precipitation probability for the next 24 hours, which helps growers follow the 24-hour rain-free interval.
-    Time of sunrise and sunset, including a reminder that no nighttime spraying is permitted.
-    Wind speed and direction

Paired with in-field observation at the time of application, along with BASF resources like spray checklists, online training and more, applicators can stay ahead of weed management issues in their fields.

“Stewardship is a top priority at BASF, and we know it is important to growers,” said Grier.  “We reached out to them, listened to their concerns and developed resources they can use when planning for an Engenia herbicide application.”

The Engenia Herbicide Spray Tool was developed with the proprietary forecasting technology from ZedX, Inc. which was acquired by BASF in April 2017. Since 1987, ZedX has been at the forefront of integrating weather and agronomic data to provide business intelligence that supports on-farm decision-making.

To access additional Engenia herbicide stewardship resources, visit EngeniaStewardship.com.

CWT Assists with 2.1 million Pounds of Cheese and Butter Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 10 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producer Cooperative Association, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold), Tillamook County Creamery Association and United Dairymen of Arizona. These cooperatives have contracts to sell 1.250 million pounds (567 metric tons) of Cheddar and Gouda cheese and 842,166 pounds (382 metric tons) of butter to customers in Asia, Central America, the Middle East, and North Africa. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from April through July 2018.

CWT-assisted member cooperative 2018 export sales total 30.413 million pounds of American-type cheeses, and 6.455 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat) to 22 countries on five continents. These sales are the equivalent of 425.950 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program in the long term helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them. This, in turn, positively affects all U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

NAFTA Agreement Possible by May

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Trade negotiators from the U.S., Canada and Mexico are looking to agree on a revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement in early May, Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Monday.

"There's a very high probability of reaching an agreement in principle, an 80% chance," Mr. Guajardo said in an interview on the Televisa network.

U.S. negotiators have accelerated negotiations and want to reach a deal in principle that they can present to the U.S. Congress under the existing trade promotion authority.

Mr. Guajardo, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland met in Washington last week seeking to step up negotiations and clear roadblocks on the most controversial issues, such as rules of origin for cars and light trucks manufactured in North America.

Mr. Guajardo said there were no conditions to reach an agreement in principle at that meeting, but that trade teams agreed to be in "permanent talks" instead of having a formal eighth round of negotiations. "The teams are in Washington," he said.

The official confirmed that negotiators are discussing a proposal from the U.S. that calls for certain vehicle parts to be made in zones where wages average at least $15 an hour, which excludes Mexico, as part of the content calculation.

"The proposal would be aspirational, unreachable for Mexico in the short-term," because the country doesn't have such wage levels, he said. But the U.S. government first needs to reach an agreement with its own car manufacturers on such a plan.

"The devil is in the details," Mr. Guajardo added. With U.S. eagerness to reach a deal soon, "when there's urgency, there must be flexibility," he said.

The Nafta countries originally set January 2018 as the goal for concluding Nafta talks, then pushed the deadline to March 31.

USDA Announces a Near-Record Year for Farm Loans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced another year of high activity in its farm loan programs. Hard-working farm families across the country accessed nearly $6 billion in new credit, either directly or guaranteed through commercial lenders in 2017. At year end, FSA was assisting more than 120,000 family farmers with loans totaling just over $25 billion.

“FSA loan funds have been in high demand the last few years,” said Dr. Robert Johansson, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the Farm Production and Conservation mission area. “We provide opportunities to qualified small, beginning and underserved farmers who are unable to obtain commercial credit, to help them get started, gain access to land and grow their operations. Family farmers across America also come to us for credit when they face challenges to stay in business. We’re proud to support rural prosperity by providing credit to those who need it most.”

FSA provides a variety of loan assistance, including direct and guaranteed farm ownership loans, operating loans and even direct Microloans up to $50,000 and EZ Guarantees up to $100,000 with streamlined application processes.

More than 25,000 direct and guaranteed FSA loans went to beginning or underserved farmers and ranchers. Over 4,200 beginning farmers received direct farm ownership loans from FSA to make their first land purchase. And of the approximately 6,500 Microloans made in the last fiscal year, three-quarters (almost 4,900) went to beginning farmers, 1,000 went to women and 400 to veterans.

FSA’s direct farm loans are unique in that the agency provides technical assistance in addition to credit. Consistent with efforts to continually improve technical assistance, today FSA announced the publication of two booklets that will serve as important informational tools and resources for existing and prospective farm loan borrowers.

Your FSA Farm Loan Compass booklet was recently developed specifically for farmers and ranchers who have an existing farm loan with FSA. It provides detailed guidance outlining borrower responsibilities and the servicing options that FSA offers. It also addresses common questions borrowers may have as they navigate through loan program requirements and the financial concepts involved.

Originally published in 2012, Your Guide to FSA Farm Loans was designed for new loan customers. It provides information about the various types of farm loans available and guides new borrowers through the application process. The revised version addresses program changes and includes new loan offerings, like the popular Microloan program that was rolled out after the publication of the original Guide.

“Your FSA Farm Loan Compass” and “Your Guide to FSA Farm Loans” are available on the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/dafl. Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to download and share them with others in their community who may require assistance in understanding FSA’s loans and servicing processes. For additional information about FSA farm loans, please contact your loan officer or other FSA staff at your local office. To find your local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

Farm and Rural Groups Urge Congress to Address Farmer Suicides in Farm Bill

Farmers and ranchers commit suicide at a rate five times that of the general population. In an effort to address this crisis, National Farmers Union and a coalition of 36 prominent farm and rural advocacy groups are urging Congress to make mental health treatment more accessible to farmers through the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN).

The groups sent a letter to U.S. Senate and House of Representatives agriculture committees’ leadership today, urging Congress to reauthorize FRSAN and to provide the program with adequate funding in the next Farm Bill.

“Farming is a high-stress occupation,” noted the groups. “Financial risk, volatile markets, unpredictable weather, and heavy workloads can all place a significant strain on a farmer or rancher’s mental and emotional well-being. Due to the prolonged downturn in the farm economy, many farmers are facing even greater stress. We urge you to reauthorize FRSAN in the next farm bill and to provide funding necessary to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers as they endure increasing financial, mental, and emotional stress.”

The 2008 Farm Bill established FRSAN to provide grants to extension services and nonprofit organizations that offer stress assistance programs to individuals engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations. Eligible programs include farm helplines and websites, community outreach and education, support groups, and home delivery of assistance.

Yet, “despite the growing need, FRSAN has never received funding, leaving many producers without access to important behavioral health services,” said the groups.

The groups pointed to a 2016 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that revealed farmers had a much higher rate of suicide than any other occupation. And mental health issues are exacerbated by the fact that 60 percent of rural residents live in areas that suffer from mental health professional shortages.

Net farm income has dropped by more than 50 percent since 2013, and current projections indicate the rebound could be years away. In fact, the Economic Research Service recently forecast net farm income to drop another 6.7 percent in 2018, its lowest level since 2006. “As Congress works to pass a new farm bill, it’s critical that farmers and ranchers are given the resources they need, including a strong network of support,” the groups said.

National Farmers Union encourages farmers in personal financial stress to visit FarmCrisis.NFU.org to find out what resources are available to them. Visitors to the website also have the ability to advocate for FRSAN by selecting “Take Action.”

Perdue Commits to One Federal Decision Framework for Environmental Reviews and Permits for Infrastructure Projects

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with other Trump Administration cabinet secretaries and leaders of federal agencies, committing to following the President’s One Federal Decision framework for processing environmental reviews and permits for major infrastructure projects. Under the direction of President Donald J. Trump, One Federal Decision will drive infrastructure projects to meet environmental standards, but complete the review and permitting process in a reasonable amount of time.

“This MOU will eliminate the potential for conflicting decisions, so that project sponsors don’t get one answer from agency and another answer from another agency. In agriculture, we’ve gotten some of those mixed signals before, and they’re very frustrating,” Secretary Perdue said. “President Trump is making good on his promise to free our economy from needless regulations and bureaucratic delays, and One Federal Decision is another example.”

Many of the major projects the U.S. Department of Agriculture is involved in can be very complex and require input and decisions from many other federal agencies. Projects like the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines, which require extensive research and inter-agency coordination, are challenging under the old system. Those challenges force agencies to wait extended periods for multiple redundant reviews before making decisions which, in some cases, are unrelated to the information being gathered, causing costly project delays, confusion about who is responsible for making decisions, and conflicting outcomes from multiple agency decisions.

President Trump established the policy of One Federal Decision for the federal government’s processing of environmental reviews and permits for major infrastructure projects in Executive Order 13807. Under One Federal Decision, Executive Order 13807 requires that each major infrastructure project have a lead federal agency that is responsible for navigating the project through the process, all Federal agencies to sign one “Record of Decision” (for purposes of complying with the National Environmental Policy Act), and relevant Federal agencies to issue the necessary permits for the project within 90 days of the signing of the Record of Decision. Executive Order 13807 established a 2-year goal for the completion of the environmental review and permitting processes for the signature of the Record of Decision and issuance of the necessary permits.

In signing the MOU, Perdue joined Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, and Secretary of the Army Mark Esper. Additional signatories to the MOU including the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Acting Executive Director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council. These officials signed the MOU pursuant to a joint memorandum issued by Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Mary Neumayr, the Acting Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality.

Under the MOU, the agencies commit to working together to make the necessary environmental and permitting decisions for major infrastructure projects with a goal to complete the entire process within 2 years. In general, the MOU commits agencies to processing their reviews in accordance with the following 4 principles:
-    Establish a Lead Federal Agency for the Complete Process. Under the current process, project sponsors are responsible for navigating the decision-making processes of multiple Federal agencies. Under the MOU, Federal agencies agree to establish one Lead Federal Agency that will navigate the Federal environmental review and permitting process.
-    Commitment to Meeting the Lead Federal Agency’s Permitting Timetable. Under the current process, agencies are not generally required to follow a comprehensive permitting timetable. Under the MOU, Federal agencies agree to follow the permitting timetables established by the Lead Federal Agency with the goal of completing the process to 2 years.
-    Commitment to Conduct the Necessary Review Processes Concurrently. Under the current process, agencies may conduct their own environmental review and permitting processes sequentially resulting in unnecessary delay, redundant analysis, and revisiting of decisions. Under the MOU, Federal agencies agree to conducting their processes at the same time and relying on the analysis prepared by the Lead Federal Agency to the maximum extent possible.
-    Automatic Elevation of Interagency Disputes. Under the current process, interagency disputes sometimes linger for years in agency field offices before being elevated and resolved. Under the MOU, Federal agencies agree that interagency disputes will be automatically elevated and expeditiously resolved.

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