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Study Confirms Trade Agreements Lift U.S. Farm Exports

June 30, 2010 --

Study Confirms Trade Agreements Lift U.S. Farm Exports, More Progress is Needed
U.S. Wheat Associates
Press Release

ARLINGTON, Virginia — The results of a comprehensive new study show that bilateral and multilateral trade agreements directly increase U.S. agricultural exports, farm gate prices, and job growth, yet the United States risks falling behind its more aggressive export competitors.

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Lumber takes 30% plunge

June 29, 2010 --

Timber Industry Report
By Rick Sohn,
Umpqua Coquille LLC

What goes up, comes down, much to everyone’s disappointment, but to no one’s surprise.  Our lumber price is in a free fall, and mills have cut back temporarily shut down. See five-year-span price analysis of lumber, logs, housing starts, permits, unsold home inventory, and mortgage rates below.


Interpreting the trends.

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Oregon Caves & Devil’s Staircase Bills Advance

June 28, 2010 --

Oregon Caves and Devil’s Staircase Protection Bills Pass Energy Committee
By U.S. Senator Ron Wyden

Bills Sponsored by Wyden and Merkley Will Protect Thousands of Acres of Wilderness and Expand Monument’s Boundaries

Washington, D.C. – Marking another milestone in the fight to protect Oregon’s natural resources for future generations, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced that a pair of bills designed to provide protections for two of Oregon’s greatest natural resources have been approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, paving the way for consideration by the entire U.S. Senate.

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Western Pulp’s Products Validated as Sustainable

June 27, 2010 --

The company proves credibility and integrity through SCS certification
By Western Pulp Products

CORVALLIS, Ore., 1 June 2010 – Western Pulp Products (WPP) headquartered in Corvallis, Oregon has chosen to recertify their products through the Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) for the third year in a row. WPP’s products have been verified for minimum recycled content, unlike other companies whose assertions of sustainability are causing a rash of earth-friendly claims that are raising red flags and spurring a rise in lawsuits.

SCS is a global leader in independent certification and verification of environmental, sustainability, stewardship, food quality, food safety and food purity claims. WPP chose SCS to verify its content because the company has internationally recognized standards and certification programs in pursuit of the highest level of environmental performance and social accountability.

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DEQ Greenhouse Gas Group seeks input on trucks

June 26, 2010 --

Truck Efficiency and Reduced Idling Study Group to host third meeting June 29
By Department of Environmental Quality

What:  The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality commissioned the Truck Efficiency and Reduced Idling Study Group to advise on efforts to research and develop recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The study group seeks to identify methods to enhance truck efficiency with improved aerodynamics and other measures. In addition the group is also exploring potential restrictions on unnecessary idling by commercial vehicles.

This is the third meeting of the study group.  The public is invited to view the proceedings.

When:             1 p.m., Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Where:           Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Headquarters

Conference Room EQC-A, 10th Floor

811 SW 6th Ave.

Portland

Background:  The 2009 Oregon Legislature adopted House Bill 2186, which directed DEQ to study potential requirements regarding the maintenance or retrofitting of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in order to reduce aerodynamic drag and otherwise reduce greenhouse gas emissions. DEQ also plans to study potential restrictions on engine use by parked commercial vehicles, including but not limited to medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

Study group members are working with DEQ staff to report findings and recommendations for legislation to the interim legislative committees on environment and natural resources by Oct. 1, 2010.

For More

Information:  Contact Kevin Downing at (503) 229-6549 or [email protected] Visit on the web at: www.deq.state.or.us/aq/committees/TruckEfficiencyStudyGrp.htm

DEQ is a leader in protecting, restoring and maintaining Oregon’s environment.

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Washington Gov. signs food reporting order

June 25, 2010 --

Good Food Coalition Applauds Governor’s Executive Order as Good Step Forward
Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network

SEATTLE, WA – A coalition of farmers, children’s health advocates, environmentalists, and anti-hunger advocates applauded the Executive Order issued today by Governor Gregoire at the Food Systems Strategies Summit. Executive Order 10-02 brings together agencies and community partners to coordinate their work and increase collaboration to strengthen our state’s food system. “Each year, we lose 70,000 acres of farmland here in Washington. The average age of our farmer is 57. Our food system is struggling and we can – and need –  to do better,” said Ellen Gray, executive director of The Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network. “I applaud the Governor for taking this important first step and look forward to the recommendations this group will bring forward.”

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Gold rush has Ag Dept. monitoring local gold merchants

June 24, 2010 --

ODA inspectors monitor gold buyers and their scales
Oregon Department of Agriculture

The price of gold hovers at about $1,200 an ounce, the US dollar is weak, and the economic downturn is prompting many Americans to find ways of making some cash. As a result, more people- including a number of Oregonians- are looking to sell gold jewelry and collectibles at pawn shops and to mobile gold-purchasing companies that travel from state to state. The Oregon Department of Agriculture wants to make sure that gold transactions are fair to the consumer. “The price for scrap gold is determined by a couple of factors- the purity of the gold or its karat content, and the weight of the item,” says Jason Barber, administrator of ODA’s Measurement Standards Division. “That’s where we get involved. These companies that purchase gold from consumers are using scales to weigh the gold items. We need to make sure they are using legal-for-trade scales that have been licensed and examined by our field inspectors.”

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Activists Petition EPA for One Mile Aerial Pesticide Buffer

June 23, 2010 --

By Oregonians For Food and Shelter,
Public comments due to EPA by 6/28/2010 8:59 A.M.  PDT

The “Pitchfork Rebellion” and “Pesticide Poisoning Victims United,” activist groups from rural Lane County lead by Day Owen (A.K.A. Abba Nazariah) under the umbrella of the Oregon Toxics Alliance in Eugene, have successfully petitioned Administrator Lisa Jackson of the U.S. EPA to hold a public comment period on the spraying pesticides on forestlands by helicopter. [Public Notice was printed in the Federal Register Volume 75, Number 81 — Wednesday, April 28, 2010 — Pages 22401-22402]

Their 20-page** submission asks EPA to undertake three proposed actions:

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Tax extenders bill hung up in Senate

June 21, 2010 --

By American Farm Bureau Federation

Senators continue to haggle over amendments to the House passed American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R. 4213), which would extend a number of expired tax credits and provide disaster aid to farmers and ranchers. While much of the bill is expected to go unaltered, there is talk of, among other things, amendments to bump up COBRA health insurance assistance to unemployed workers and to prevent payment cuts to doctors under Medicare through 2013, rather than through 2011. Changes like that would significantly drive up the cost of the bill, and turn some key Senate supporters against it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), hoping to get the bill done quickly, is urging his colleagues to file their amendments soon. Before any amendments are voted on, however, the bill’s potential price tag means the 60 votes needed to even bring it to the floor for debate could be hard to come by.

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Azalea bark scale showing up in lower Willamette Valley

June 20, 2010 --

By  Judy Scott
Oregon State University Extension Office
photo by Robin Rosetta

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A destructive insect called azalea bark scale has been found this spring on azaleas, rhododendrons and Japanese andromeda in Corvallis and Eugene.

“We notice damage when the leaves of plants turn black from the scale honeydew it secretes and small white insects appear on the bark,” said Ross Penhallegon, horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. “Use a 10x power magnifying glass to identify the insects.”

Scale insects live on bark and stems and have a woolly or cottony appearance. They insert a straw-like mouthpart into plants and suck fluids. They get their name from a waxy coating they secrete that looks like reptilian or fish scales. The white covering is a protectant for the insect.

Other hosts are andromeda, hawthorn, poplar and willow, and most recently the insect has been found infesting blueberries in the Pacific Northwest.

The OSU Pacific Northwest Nursery Integrated Pest Management website notes that: “Overwintering females lay eggs under the scale in the spring. The eggs hatch in the late spring or early summer and the young crawlers disperse and soon settle, mostly in bark crevices and branch crotches, but also onto new growth and leaves.”

Several methods can be used to manage the pests, Penhallegon said.

“Spray horticultural oils during their dormancy, January to March,” he said. “During the crawler stage (late spring to early summer), you can use insecticidal soaps, organic pyretrins or acephate. Scout for dormant stages or crawlers and confirm their presence before spraying.”

For help with identification and management, check with your local OSU Extension office, or call Penhallegon at 541-682-7313.

By: Judy Scott
Source: Ross Penhallegon

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