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Oregon rejects Wyden forest plan

November 26, 2014 --

AFRCBy American Forest Resource Council

 

Legislation is Unanimously Opposed by Oregon’s Forest Products Industry, Opposed by the O&C Counties, and Lacks Support from Reps. DeFazio, Schrader, and Walden and Governor Kitzhaber

Groups representing Western Oregon’s timber industry have sent a letter to the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee outlining their opposition to the latest version of Senator Wyden’s flawed O&C legislation (S. 1784), which was approved by the Committee yesterday. The letter outlines how the latest version of the Wyden O&C proposal fails to restore sustainable harvest levels and corresponding timber revenues to county governments, or provide a solution to the environmental litigation that has crippled Western Oregon’s rural, forested communities. In fact, Wyden’s legislation would tip the scales further in the opposite direction, making the situation worse.

“S. 1784 does not provide increased certainty against the lawsuits, conflicting regulations, and the never-ending procedural maze of federal environmental laws that are the root cause of the BLM’s inability to manage 2 million acres of O&C lands. Instead, the legislation permanently bars timber management on a large majority of these lands, subjects the remaining acreage to additional administrative burdens for the BLM without corresponding funding, and provides additional avenues for litigation. It is no wonder the environmental activists that have made it their singular mission to block timber harvest on these lands now support this latest version of S. 1784.”

Read the full article and discuss it »

EPA launches voluntary pesticide program

November 24, 2014 --

By Daily Digger
Oregon Association of Nurseries

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new voluntary Drift Reduction Technology (DRT) program. The agency hopes to encourage the use of verified, safer pesticide spray products to reduce exposure and pesticide movement while saving farmers money in pesticide loss.

Annually, up to 10 percent of agricultural pesticide spray is estimated to drift or move from the intended target crop — that’s equal to about 70 million pounds of pesticides, valued at around $640 million, lost to drift. In addition, state agencies use substantial resources each year investigating drift complaints.

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Historic best time for Agriculture?

November 21, 2014 --
Dr. Lowell Catlett
By Cindy
National Corn Growers Association

Corn prices may be lower but eternal optimist Dr. Lowell Catlett says it’s still the best of times right now for agriculture.

“Historically, there’s never been a better time to be in agriculture,” said Catlett this week at the Bayer CropScience 2014 Corn and Soybean Future Forum being held in Germany. “The world has never known so much wealth, we’ve gone up 20 fold in the last 20 years.”

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Theft trend: Farm equipment batteries

November 19, 2014 --


California Farm Bureau

By Christine Souza

Photo/Christine Souza:  Farmer Kenny Watkins of Linden, right, watches as Louis Victoria, a Rural Crimes Division detective with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, marks the battery of a new piece of farm equipment with the farm’s individual owner-applied number. An owner-applied number helps law enforcement officials return stolen property to its rightful owner.

With a statewide metal theft law and county ordinances making it more difficult for crooks to collect cash for stolen metals, rural crime detectives have noticed that fast cash for recycling batteries has become more attractive to thieves.

“Thefts of batteries from agricultural vehicles and tractors are rampant throughout the state,” said Sgt. Ryan Hushaw of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department Ag Task Force, after attending a recent meeting of the California Rural Crime Prevention Task Force.

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Doppler weather radar tweaked to hunt pests

November 17, 2014 --

dplrwrmspstsBy US Dept. of Agriculture

Corn earworms, also known as cotton bollworms, migrate at night, making them notoriously hard to track. Farmers worried about controlling infestations have to make educated guesses about the pest’s movements, based on reports from other areas and past experience. Guessing wrong can be expensive: The pest costs cotton producers an estimated $200 million a year.

U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists in College Station, Texas, have shown that signals routinely collected by the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Doppler radar network could serve as an early-warning system to track corn earworms and other nighttime traveling pests.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) meteorologists John Westbrook and Ritchie Eyster at the Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center in College Station focused on the capabilities of what is known as Next Generation Weather Radar, or NEXRAD.

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Agriculture’s big “Moneyball” moment

November 14, 2014 --

farm-bureua-usa
By American Farm Bureau Federation

Baseball and modern agriculture share some common ground, in fact, as agriculture’s fast-paced technological advancements are getting the industry in the game of leveraging data. Take, for example, the movie “Moneyball,” the story of the Oakland Athletics (A’s) baseball team and general manager Billy Beane.

The central premise of “Moneyball” is that the collected wisdom of baseball insiders over the past century is subjective. Statistics such as stolen bases, runs batted in and batting average, which are typically used to gauge players, are relics of a 20th-century view of the game. Instead, on-base percentages and slugging percentages are better indicators of offensive success, according to rigorous statistical analysis.

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Skamania Co. declares forest mangement Emergency

November 12, 2014 --

healthy-forests-healthy-communitiesHealthy Forest, Healthy Communities

Nearly 80 percent of Skamania County, Washington is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, along with three wilderness areas and the Mt. St. Helens National Monument. Environmental lawsuits and regulations meant to protect the forests have instead led to widespread decay. Forest health has declined due to the lack of active management, and local forests have become much more vulnerable to catastrophic wildfires. The Skamania County Commission recently took the extraordinary step of declaring an emergency and formally demanding that the state and federal government take immediate action to eliminate hazardous conditions in and around the communities and watersheds. Here is the text from their resolution:

RESOLUTION NO. 2014-69

DECLARING AN EMERGENCY IN SKAMANIA COUNTY, WASHINGTON DUE TO UNHEALTHY NATIONAL FOREST CONDITIONS, YEARLY THREAT OF CATASTROPHIC FIRES, AND, MINIMAL COUNTY GOVERNMENT, SCHOOLS AND EMERGENCY SERVICES.

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Correcting media on forest herbicide

November 10, 2014 --

AFRCBy American Forest Resource Council

Investigative reporter for The Oregonian Rob Davis released a 2-part series on forestry herbicide use.

Unfortunately, instead of relying on facts to drive the reporting, Mr. Davis seems to have started his investigation with the end result already in mind. The report relies on speculation and conjecture instead of accurate information to inform the conclusions. In fact, OFS had to reach out to him as there was no indication that he intended to seek out the forest operator perspective at all.

Knowing this piece was coming, we have been working with the Oregon Forest Industries Council who put together the piece below about forestry herbicide use. We urge you to use this information when talking about the issue.

We are disappointed to see this direct attack on our forestry partners, and will continue to push back against the misinformation.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Lame Duck Congress should pass tax extenders

November 7, 2014 --

By National Farmers Union

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said that tax breaks important to family farmers and ranchers need to be extended before the end of the year, and that NFU is looking forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle to solve issues important to family farmers and ranchers.

“NFU will strongly pursue the extension of expiring tax provisions for small business expensing, and renewable energy during the upcoming lame-duck session of congress,” said Johnson. “Family farmers and ranchers rely on these provisions that are critical to managing their business.”

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DEQ’s Carbon Fuel plan (tax increase?)

November 5, 2014 --

oregonianssoundfuelpolicyOregonians for Sound Fuel Policy

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is adopting rules to implement the costly new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). This “hidden gas tax” will hurt working families and small businesses, and we need your help.

The DEQ’s Environmental Quality Commission will hold a public hearing on proposed rules on November 6.

The commission needs to hear from Oregonians who will be affected by this new government regulation. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, the LCFS could raise the cost of fuel in Oregon by 33 cents to $1.06 per gallon. This will unfairly penalize lower-income Oregonians who pay a larger share of their income on transportation, and will punish small businesses that are sensitive to high fuel costs. According to estimates, this hidden gas tax could cost Oregon’s economy as many as 29,000 jobs.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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