The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


Report: Kitzhaber & Environment misdeeds

September 30, 2015 --

whitsett-doug-senatorState Senator Doug Whitsett,

Our previous article warned of the expectation for crony capitalism in President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan.” We noted his scheme was planned behind closed doors and beyond public scrutiny. We explained it was implemented through executive administrative fiat, and was designed with the specific purpose of causing higher energy costs for working Americans.

Those concerns were confirmed with the recent release of a 57-page report entitled “Private Interests and Public Office: Coordination between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-‘Founded and Funded’ Network of Advocacy Groups to Advance the ‘Climate’ Agenda.” The report was compiled by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, and was the product of public records requests made in multiple states, including Oregon. It should be required reading for caring Oregonians.

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Sage grouse not listed. New problems.

September 28, 2015 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the greater sage grouse is not warranted for listing under the Endangered Species Act, a victory for western rangelands and livestock producers. Unfortunately, in conjunction with this decision, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service announced that their restrictive land use plans will be implemented. The Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association have adamantly opposed these restrictive plans, which impede on conservation efforts and range management practices already in place.

“The Administration came to the logical decision not to list the sage grouse, but went ahead and forced through their land use plans, which are just as concerning as a listing,” said Brenda Richards, PLC president. “Instead of recognizing the stewardship that land users have voluntarily put in place, they are pushing forward their agenda which ignores multiple use on our lands.”

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Senate OKs Grain Act & Biotech pressed during China-Obama visit

September 25, 2015 --

Wheat-Growers-National-AssociationBy National Association of Wheat Growers

Senate Approves Grain Standards Act Legislation
On Monday, the Senate passed H.R. 2051, the Agriculture Reauthorizations Act of 2015, by unanimous consent. The legislation includes three titles, including a reauthorization of the Grain Standards Act through 2020. This action follows Senate Agriculture Committee approval of the legislation last week. NAWG supported the bill, and sent a letter to the Committee with the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Barley Growers Association, and National Corn Growers Association outlining provisions of the bill that would expand transparency of the operations of the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) and help to avoid any future disruptions in grain inspection operations. Following Senate action, the bill heads to the House of Representatives, where Committee and floor action will occur.

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Schrader: Hemp pilot project

September 23, 2015 --

Congressman Kurt Schrader Kurt-schrader

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Representatives Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici asked the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Oregon State University (OSU) to implement an industrial hemp pilot project in time for next year’s growing season, in a recent letter sent.

Currently, American farmers are banned from growing hemp in the United States under federal law. But last year’s Farm Bill allowed states and universities to grow and research industrial hemp to determine whether commercial production of hemp would benefit U.S. farmers and businesses.

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Oregon top 10 in organic farming

September 21, 2015 --

 Oregon among US leaders in organic agriculture Oregon among US leaders in organic agriculture
By Oregon Agriculture Dept.

Oregon’s reputation as one of the nation’s leaders in organic agriculture is backed up by new statistics that show continued growth in organic farm production and sales. Coincidentally, September is National Organic Harvest Month and the new figures cap off Organically Grown in Oregon Week as proclaimed by Governor Kate Brown.

“Organic agriculture is right at home in Oregon,” says Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba. “The same great growing conditions and wonderful diversity of products that serve all of Oregon agriculture benefit our organic producers as well.”

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House panel passes 50% bonus depreciation bill

September 18, 2015 --

farm-bureua-usaBy American Farm Bureau Federation

The House Ways and Means Committee passed legislation (H.R. 2510) that would make 50 percent bonus depreciation permanent and expand it to include fruit- and nut-bearing plants that have a pre-productive period of two years or more.

Because farming requires large investments in machinery, equipment and other depreciable capital, farmers and ranchers place great value on tax code provisions that allow them to write off capital expenditures in the year that purchases are made, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said in a Sept. 16 letter to committee members urging them to approve the bill.

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Oregon turns its back on rancher’s on WOTUS

September 16, 2015 --

logo-oca-cattlemenBy Oregon Cattlemen’s Association

On the 28 of August, Oregon, along with New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia, joined together in a motion to intervene in the Sixth Circuit on behalf of EPA. Oregon’s involvement in the motion creates cause for Oregon cattlemen to wonder if the state cares about the well-being of Oregon’s number one agricultural commodity, cattle and calves.

Past OCA president and current Oregon rancher Sharon Livingston is frustrated with Oregon’s boisterous support of WOTUS. “Oregon ranchers need to use water,” she said. “We don’t need EPA and the federal government regulating our water because we have 38 management areas and each area has an agriculture quality management plan.” Livingston said the plans are under evaluation every two years to ensure they are up-to-date and that they have been effective for managing water.

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OSU beer breakthrough?

September 14, 2015 --

OSU barley breeder Patrick Hayes at Hyslop FarmBy Oregon State University Extension

A versatile new barley variety just released by Oregon State University could lend subtle malt flavors to Northwest craft brews and also give consumers more choice in fiber-rich barley foods.

A second new OSU variety looks like a good choice for high-quality forage production in areas where water is increasingly scarce, said Patrick Hayes, head of OSU’s barley breeding program.

The first new variety, Buck, is a high-yielding winter barley that performs well in a variety of Pacific Northwest conditions, said Hayes, a professor in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Buck (so named because the kernel is “naked,” lacking an adhering seed hull) stems from a 2003 cross between a hulled feed barley developed at OSU (Strider) and a naked barley from Virginia (Doyce).

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Farmers blamed for butterfly decline

September 11, 2015 --

farm-bureua-usaBy American Farm Bureau Federation

By Robert Giblin

Monarch butterflies are known for their beauty and considered a national treasure. Although Monarch populations have been declining, farmers can help to play an important role in writing the plan not only to preserve them, but to increase their population.

The Monarch butterfly is the only known butterfly species to make a two-way migration, much as birds do. Each spring, they journey from wintering grounds in Mexico to the northern U.S. and Canada. Unlike birds, the journey north requires multiple generations. Along the way, Monarchs stop to lay eggs on milkweed plants. Their offspring resume where the parents left off. The last generation may survive several weeks or months for its return to Mexico.

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Sen. Whitsett: Wildfires burn 8 million acres

September 9, 2015 --

whitsett-doug-senatorState Senator Doug Whitsett,

The scope of the mismanagement of our more than 300 million acres of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) federal lands was once again made evident by the smoke-filled August skies. Our timber and rangeland resources have been incinerated by multiple, enormous wildfires raging out of control in most of the western states.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, over eight million acres had burned as of the beginning of September.

Annual greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires dwarfs our nation’s emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels. Their massive destruction and wholesale pollution has become an annual and ever-enlarging consequence of failed federal resource management.

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