The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


Debunking Glenn Beck on ethanol debate

April 30, 2011 --

Guest writer Jesse Johnson,
Social Media Director, South Dakota Corn Growers Association

National Corn Growers Association

In case you didn’t know it, Glenn Beck hates ethanol and has always been very vocal about it including a recent rant using some fear mongering about our national corn supply where he brings up the food vs. fuel argument.

Glenn must be desperate for killing some air time because the food vs. fuel debate has been put to bed more times than a teething two year-old. Beck, like every other anti-ethanol rube fails to mention the contribution of dried distillers grain (DDG’s), corn ethanol’s by product which can be fed to cattle, hogs, poultry and aquaculture. One-third of the corn used for ethanol comes back as DDG’s as the production process only removes the starch.

DDG’s impact includes replacing more than one million bushels of corn for feed in the U.S. and its overall production is equivalent to the number four corn producing nation in the world. Distillers grain exports are in high demand in Asia, the Middle East, Canada and Mexico.

Numerous experts have come out over the past few weeks with the same message, “Don’t blame ethanol and farmers for rising food prices.” The reason behind rising food costs has much more to do with rising oil prices, weather and unrest in the Middle East.

Beck says only one billion bushels will be going to food…wait, he does know that humans don’t consume yellow number two corn, right? Well that’ tough to say when a so-called expert totally excludes distillers grain from a food vs. fuel argument.

Glen states that farmers can’t produce more corn. While much depends on the weather, with increased seed and farming technologies corn yields are still trending upwards allowing farmers to consistently meet the world’s demands for food, feed, fuel and fiber.

Beck with finishes with the line, “It’s like we are being set up for a lose-lose.”

I’m sorry Mr. Beck but reducing our countries dependence on foreign oil, creating jobs, bettering the environment and producing a high-protein livestock feed sounds like nothing but winning to me

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Wyden promotes help for timber payments, biomass, salmon

April 29, 2011 --

Natural Resource News Note:

This week Ron Wyden visited Coos Bay City Hall for his yearly town hall meeting. The Coos Bay World reported that Ron Wyden was optimistic about several natural resource issues including county timber payments, biomass and salmon help. Here is what the Coos Bay World reported:

“The best hope for reauthorizing federal payments to timber counties is to attach them to this year’s farm bill, Sen. Ron Wyden said Saturday…Wyden said he’d work with other Western senators to include the money in legislation that reauthorizes agriculture programs, including farm crop insurance, price supports, and the food stamp program.”

and also:

“He lauded biomass as an Oregon industry that would improve forest health by thinning trees and would get loggers into the woods and longshoremen onto the docks.'(Oregon is) the Saudi Arabia of biomass,” he said. And he promised to keep pressure on Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to release last season’s federal disaster aid for salmon fishermen in time for them to gear up for this year’s salmon season, but he had no progress report.”

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Senate passes biomass bill

April 28, 2011 --

Bill sets stage for more Oregon forest jobs, helping rural areas
–SB 862 directs Department of Forestry to pursue next steps for expanding biomass

By Senate Majority Office,

SALEM – The Oregon Senate approved legislation this morning that will set the stage for job growth and economic development in Oregon’s forests. Senate bill 862 addresses the development of woody biomass opportunities in Oregon by providing direction to the Oregon Department of Forestry and requiring them to conduct an inventory of potential resources across the state.

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Capitol event honors Natural Resource Day

April 27, 2011 --

Natural Resources Day at the Capitol a Valuable Tool
By Oregon Wheat Grower’s League

Oregon farm and ranch families celebrated “Growing Oregon” during Natural Resource Day, at a rally on the Capitol steps Tuesday, April 19th. The event also included interactive exhibits hosted by Oregon agricultural commodities and organizations; a beef steak lunch; and industry seminars held in the Capitol meeting rooms. The event closed with a wine and cheese reception in the park.

Jerry Marguth, South Willamette Festival/AgFest Valley president and Tom Duyck, North Willamette Valley President and OWC Chair represented the League and Commission for the day. Jerry accompanied OWGL Advocate Jana Jarvis to visit with the Ways & Means Education subcommittee to discuss OSU Statewides funding, and with House leadership on HB3058, the coop bill. Tom Duyck traveled back to the Portland area later in the day to testify on behalf of OSU statewide funding.

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Schrader statement on Energy Tax Prevention Act

April 26, 2011 --

Schrader Statement on the Energy Tax Prevention Act, H.R. 910
Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader Press Release

“I supported a bill removing some authority given to the EPA by the Supreme Court to regulate CO2 emissions. I know there will be many wild and inaccurate attacks on me for supporting this legislation. For me, this question transcends political ideology, regardless of which party controls Congress or the White House.

As a farmer and steward of the Earth I believe we have a responsibility to protect our environment and ensure clean air for our children and grandchildren. Global warming is a real and serious threat and I was proud to support an amendment affirming the science behind climate change in this bill.

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WA organic farming in decline

April 25, 2011 --

Washington Organic Agriculture Sector Sees Declines in 2010
By Washington State University

WENATCHEE, Wash. — The number of certified organic producers, organic acreage and farmgate sales in Washington state all declined in 2010 according to data gathered by the Washington State University Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. CSANR Sustainable Agriculture Specialist David Granatstein and Research Associate Elizabeth Kirby co-authored the just-completed profile titled “Current Status of Organic Agriculture in Washington State.”

Granatstein and Kirby found that the number of certified producers in the state declined by 18 in 2010 to 735 with five farms transitioning to organic. Certified organic land area, including double-cropped acreage, dropped by six percent to just under 102,000 acres. The declines were seen in both eastern and western Washington.

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FDA pressed on Unapproved Animal Drugs

April 24, 2011 --

AFIA Submits Comments to FDA on Unapproved Animal Drugs
By Leslie Malone
American Feed Industry Association

Arlington, Va., April 20, 2011 – The American Feed Industry Association strongly encouraged FDA to continue regulating veterinary medical food as “foods” in recent comments submitted to FDA. AFIA members manufacture and market a range of animal feed products that are commonly referred to by both industry and FDA as “veterinary medical foods.” These products are formulated from recognized—either as a food additive or generally recognized as safe (GRAS)—animal feed ingredients to help manage from a dietary and nutritional approach, a specific disease or condition under a veterinarian’s supervision.

“These products have a long history of safe use and do not present any known animal health concerns,” according to AFIA vice president Richard Sellers. “For these reasons, AFIA believes that it is most appropriate for FDA to continue to regulate veterinary medical foods as “foods.” FDA has regulated human medical foods as “foods” and not as “drugs” since 1972 and should exercise its discretion in the same manner with regard to veterinary medical foods.”

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Wolverines tred into Wallowa county for first time

April 23, 2011 --

Wolverine tracks confirmed in Wallowa County for first time
By Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

ENTERPRISE, Ore.—For the first time in recorded history, biologists have confirmed that tracks found in the Wallowa Mountains of Northeast Oregon are those of a North American wolverine.

Researcher Dr. Audrey Magoun found the wolverine tracks in the snow on April 17 while hiking to a remote camera site set up to detect wolverines. She followed the tracks for about a mile until they left the river bottom headed into the high country.

“From the size of the track, it is probably a male,” said Magoun who has dedicated her career to studying wolverine since she received her Ph.D. in 1978.

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170 in Congress fight EPA water regulations

April 22, 2011 --

170 Members of Congress Attempt to Hold Agencies Accountable
By National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

WASHINGTON (April 18, 2011) – A bipartisan group of 170 members of Congress, led by Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) and Tim Holden (D-Pa.), issued a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (Corps) Jo-Ellen Darcy to express concern regarding an attempt by the agencies to expand their jurisdiction over U.S. waters. Specifically, EPA and the Corps sent a draft “guidance” document to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for regulatory review to identify waters subject to jurisdiction under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, more commonly known as the Clean Water Act (CWA). The members of Congress agree that the “guidance” goes beyond clarifying the scope of U.S. waters subject to Clean Water Act programs. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Deputy Environmental Counsel Ashley Lyon said EPA is continuing business as usual, but Congress is pushing back.

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Washington Milk Scare was never a real threat

April 21, 2011 --

Washington Milk is Safe to Drink
By Washington Farm Bureau

OLYMPIA — Results of ongoing federal monitoring confirm that Washington-produced milk poses no risks for public health. The Washington state departments of Agriculture (WSDA) and Health (DOH) continue to reassure consumers that milk produced and sold in Washington remains a healthy choice for families. In the wake of the Japan nuclear plant disaster, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is conducting radiological testing of milk produced in Washington. EPA results announced March 30 confirmed the presence of miniscule levels of radioactive iodine (Iodine-131).

On April 4, additional milk sampling results from Tacoma and Spokane were posted on the EPA website. In these two samples, also taken the week of March 21, testing did not detect any radioactive elements, even in trace amounts.

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