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Sage Grouse plan ignores science

October 31, 2016 --

sagegrouseBy National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

One year after the announcement by the Department of Interior that a listing under the Endangered Species Act was not warranted for the greater sage grouse and the implementation of restrictive resource management plans for the species, the Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association submitted a report to the agencies citing concerns with the methodology used.

Ethan Lane, PLC executive director and NCBA executive director of federal lands, notes that recent studies have shown little or no correlation between sage grouse nest success and the requirements set out by the agencies.

“The threats to sage grouse habitat remain wildfire and land development, both of which are mitigated by proper livestock grazing,” said Lane. “One of the most restrictive and burdensome requirements set out by the agencies through the sage grouse Resource Management Plans is the arbitrary stubble height requirement. To say that grass height alone can predict whether or not a sage grouse nest will be successful is not accurate and based on flawed methodology.”

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Agricultural Policy in the 2016 Election

October 28, 2016 --

farm-bureua-usaAgricultural Policy in the 2016 Election
By Shiloh Perry
American Farm Bureau Federation

In the midst of debates and with Election Day quickly approaching, the importance of agricultural policy is even more pressing. In fact, everyone has a stake in American agriculture and protecting our farmers and ranchers’ ability to produce. Agricultural policy issues hit home for all Americans, both on and off the farm.

Agricultural policy matters in the current election for many reasons. Agricultural policy influences key issues and impacts the overall prosperity of the United States.

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Ag Action Call over Columbia Basin plan

October 26, 2016 --

Oregon-Farm-Bureau

By Oregon Farm Bureau,

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bonneville Power Administration have announced their intent to revisit the Columbia River System operations, including 14 different federal projects in the Columbia Basin. When completed, the plan will contain a range of alternatives to the management of the Columbia River System that could greatly impact the viability of the System. As part of the planning process, the agencies are soliciting public comment from stakeholders so that they can identify the important economic and social values of the Columbia River System.

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Ag Dept. announces $1.7M specialty crop grants

October 24, 2016 --

dept-of-ag-logoThe Oregon Department of Agriculture

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and US Department of Agriculture have announced this year’s recipients of Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds. In Oregon, nearly $1.7 million will fund 15 projects to help boost the competitiveness of the state’s fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery crops, and other specialty crops.

“These funds go a long way in helping Oregon agriculture,” says ODA Acting Director Lisa Hanson. “We are a specialty crop state and every dollar that goes towards the great projects we have lined up for this year helps our specialty crop producers gain some advantages in the marketplace. Oregon’s track record of successful and meaningful projects under this federal program is something to be proud of.”

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Doubling the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument?

October 19, 2016 --

dsc_1312-copy
By Oregon Cattlemen’s Association

Oregon’s Democratic U.S. Senators have proposed an expansion to the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument that is overwhelmingly opposed by Oregon’s ranchers that make their full-time living off their ranches.

Designated June 9th, 2000 by President Bill Clinton, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument was described as a “home to a spectacular variety of rare and beautiful species of plants and animals” in Proclamation 7318. Through the additional expansion of this monument, not only will southern Oregon cattle ranchers be affected, but so will bird-watching enthusiasts and avid hikers, as the gates will be closed to the rest of the world. The loss of cattle grazing down the native grasses, as a result of no public land grazing permits issued, will result in increased wildfire fodder in an already dry, hot, and wildfire prone area. An unpredictable and well-fueled wildfire in this area could quickly lead to private, non-monument lands.

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64% of farms will have new owners

October 17, 2016 --

African CVO TourBy Oregon Department of Ag.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for older farmers to hand over their operations or keep them in the family. It’s as challenging as ever for younger would-be farm operators to gain access to the land. The graying of Oregon’s farmers and ranchers is an issue receiving a closer look this fall following a new report examining the future of the state’s farmland, who will own it, and what will be done with it. The report will be followed up later this month by a farm succession workshop and other events designed to help promote a transition to the next generation.

“I can’t think of any other industry sector that is so focused on the graying element than agriculture,” says Jim Johnson, land use specialist with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “No other industry has an average age of principal business owner higher than agriculture.”

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Understanding FAA Drone Regulations

October 14, 2016 --

farm-bureua-usaAmerican Farm Bureau Federation,

The American Farm Bureau Federation says drone users need to be aware of the specific regulations under the new Federal Aviation Administration rule. Micheal Clements has more.

Clements: Drone users must abide by specific FAA regulations under a rule announced in August. That’s why the American Farm Bureau Federation and the FAA teamed up to host a webinar to educate farmers on the rule last week. AFBF’s RJ Karney says the webinar is part of the FAA’s outreach to drone users.

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Report: How agencies grow their power

October 12, 2016 --

California-Farm-BureauCalifornia Farm Bureau,

Emphasizing the need for congressional action, farm groups renewed their call for reform of Clean Water Act enforcement, following release of a report documenting how federal agencies overreach their authority to regulate farmland.

The report, issued last week by the majority staff of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, describes numerous incidents in which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency have tried to expand their authority to regulate what crops farmers grow and how they grow them, based on the agencies’ interpretation of the act.

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Oregon nurseries closer to billion in sales

October 10, 2016 --

oan-nurseryOregon nurseries approach $900 million in annual sales

By Curt Kipp — Posted August 23, 2016

Oregon nurseries and greenhouses sold $894 million worth of plant material in 2015, according to a new estimate by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

This was good enough to make nursery and greenhouse products Oregon’s number two agricultural commodity, behind cattle and calves at $914 million. It represented an 11 percent increase in sales from $830 million in 2014, but is still short of Oregon’s peak of $988 million in nursery and greenhouse sales in 2007.

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AG fights backdoor estate tax

October 7, 2016 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association along with more than 3,800 organizations and family-owned enterprises sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew adamantly opposing and asking for withdrawal of the newly proposed estate tax regulations by the Department of Treasury. The proposed regulations under section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code would permanently change estate planning for families that own a controlling interest in a privately-held entity.

“The proposed guidance is one of the most sweeping changes to estate tax policies in the last 25 years and would be detrimental to active enterprises and family-owned businesses that employ millions of workers throughout the nation,” the letter reads. “In particular, these rules would impose significant new tax costs on family-owned businesses, diverting capital from business investment, costing jobs and threatening the ability of families to pass businesses on to the next generation of owners.”

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