The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


OSU introduces fertizlier-efficiency calculator

June 30, 2014 --

Organic farm. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum)

By Oregon State University Extension  Office

Organic farmers use cover crops and organic fertilizers, compost and other amendments to add nutrients to their soil. But are they getting the best bang for their buck?

A new online tool from the Oregon State University Extension Service does the math so that small-scale organic farmers can figure that out more precisely. Nick Andrews, an instructor with the OSU Extension Service’s small farms program, helped develop the free, spreadsheet-based tool, which you can find at Organic Fertilizer and Cover Crop Calculator.

“The calculator lets you estimate how much nitrogen and other nutrients your cover crops and fertilizers will provide for your next cash crop,” Andrews said. “That could help you cut back on fertilizer use and benefit from your soil building practices.”

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Cattleman fight EPA Anti-Conservation Rule

June 27, 2014 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association


Pennsylvania Cattleman Urges EPA to Withdraw Anti-Conservation Rule

Andy Fabin, cattle producer and farmer from Indiana, Penn., testified before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, Commerce and Forestry, regarding the impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ “interpretive rule” on the Normal Farming and Ranching exemptions under Sec. 404 of the Clean Water Act.

“As a farmer, my willingness to implement voluntary conservation practices has been greatly diminished, despite my desire to improve and protect the waters on my farm,” said Fabin, who raises cattle and farms 3,500 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and rye. “If the interpretive rule remains in place, farmers and ranchers across the country will slow their adoption of conservation practices.”

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Wolf attack in Eastern Oregon

June 25, 2014 --

Mark Lanes cow 1

By Oregon Cattlemen’s Association

ODFW officials confirm the wolf attack in Umatilla County (photos below)

UMATILLA COUNTY, Ore. — Like many others, Mark Lane is simply trying to grow his business.

Lane’s business is cattle ranching in Eastern Oregon. Compared to other ranchers, he may not have the most cattle. In fact, the 42-year-old has 47 pairs of cattle (one cow and its calf).

“I’m slowly trying to build my herd,” he said.

However, Lane’s business took a hit last week when one of his cows was the victim of a wolf attack, a depredation confirmed by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife biologist Mark Kirsch.

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What did Supreme Court do to EPA?

June 24, 2014 --

This week’s Supreme Court rued on a large EPA rule case.  The Court set limits but also gave allowance.  See news video below.

From USA Today: The court’s conservative wing ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority by changing the emissions threshold for greenhouse gases in the Clean Air Act to regulate more stationary sources. That action can only be taken by Congress, Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion said.The 5-4 ruling, which partially reverses a 2012 federal appeals court decision, represents a moral but somewhat hollow victory for industry and state government opponents of the federal regulations. They have complained that the rules could cost billions of dollars to implement and threaten thousands of jobs.But the court said the EPA can regulate greenhouse gas emissions from industries already required to get permits for other air pollutants. Those generally are the largest power plants, refineries and other industrial facilities responsible for most such emissions.

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Spring sparks wood product recovery

June 23, 2014 --

By Rick Sohn, p.H.D
Umpqua Coquille LLC

Spring has finally sparked some recovery in wood products. Not a big spark, and none too soon. Mortgage rates are trending down, homebuilding is trending up, and new uses of wood are in the works. Statistics from recent years for recent lumber manufacturing, home construction, and housing markets are compared.


Interpretation and Looking Ahead.
The spring spark in lumber prices has finally happened, with an 11% increase since last month. Better late than never. The harsh winter, we are now finding out, caused the US economy to actually contract in the first quarter. But recovery should continue this quarter. This year’s spike in lumber price is lackluster, compared to 2013’s $445/MBF.

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Movement begins to repeal Death Tax

June 20, 2014 --

By American Farm Bureau federation

With 218 co-sponsors – more than half of the House of Representatives – on board, legislation to repeal estate taxes is ripe for floor action, the American Farm Bureau Federation said today.

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OFS tackles GMO myth

June 18, 2014 --

Oregonians for Food and Shelte

Myth: GM farmers “drown” crops in “dangerous” glyphosate. FACT: Farmers use eye droppers – Genetic Literacy Project

I have to laugh sometimes; it’s all I can do when I run across this sort of misinformation. There are people out there who truly believe that we farmers douse, drown, drench or saturate our crops in chemicals, glyphosate to be more specific. Anti-GMO campaigners, organic activists and irresponsible news reports use those phrases all the time (see here, here, here, here). In graphic form it often looks something like this meme from GMOFreeUSA pictured here.


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Will Supreme Court redeem California Raisins?

June 16, 2014 --

By James Bovardcourt
Author of “Attention Deficit Democracy”

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture taking 47% of a farmer’s harvest does not violate the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause as long as the government aims to drive up crop prices. The May 9 decision was the latest absurdity in a decade-long legal battle pitting California raisin growers Marvin and Lena Horne against the USDA’s outmoded raisin regulatory regime.

Under current law, the 1930s-era federally authorized Raisin Administrative Committee can commandeer up to half of a farmer’s harvest as a “reserve”—to purportedly stabilize markets and prevent gluts. The Hornes were fined almost $700,000 for refusing to surrender control of 47% of their 2002 harvest to the government committee and 30% of the harvest the following year. After judges declared that the Hornes could not sue in federal court for unjust takings—i.e., government confiscation without just compensation—the case landed in the Supreme Court.

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House passess tax extenders — helps Ag

June 13, 2014 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The U.S. House voted 274 to 144 to pass a handful of tax extenders, including the expiring section 179 expensing provisions for small business. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Victoria, Texas cattleman, Bob McCan says this is a victory for rural America.

“The passage of these tax extenders is a good move for cattlemen and women,” said McCan. “America’s ranching families are primarily family-owned small businesses who need a stable tax code that encourages rural economic growth. That is what this package is, and we urge the Senate in turn to pass their tax extender legislation to provide greater certainty in the tax code.”

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Map: Scale of Oregon’s drought

June 11, 2014 --

Natural Resource New Note:
Source: U.S. Drought Monitor



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