Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, the Vertebrate Pest Specialist at Montana Department of agriculture had published two new editions, Being Kind to Animal Pests, 2nd edition and The Wildlife Removal Handbook, 3rd edition. They are available at Amazon.com and/or Lulu.com.
In this month’s issue you will find articles such as:
How to Tell Pests to Stay Away Exclusion, or prevention–it’s a fundamental principle of IPM, but why does it matter and how does one do it?
On July 20th, 2017, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is authorizing the use of additional Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands for emergency grazing and haying in and around portions of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota affected by severe drought. USDA is adding the ability for farmers and ranchers in these areas to hay and graze CRP wetland and buffer practices.
“We are working to immediately address the dire straits facing drought-stricken farmers and ranchers,” said Perdue. “USDA is fully considering and authorizing any federal programs or related provisions we have available to meet the immediate needs of impacted producers.”
For CRP practices previously announced, including those authorized today, Secretary Perdue is allowing this emergency action during and after the primary nesting season, where local drought conditions warrant in parts of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota that have reached D2, or “severe”, drought level or greater according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. This includes counties with any part of their border located within 150 miles of authorized counties within the three states, and may extend into Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wyoming. All emergency grazing must end Sept. 30, 2017 and emergency haying must end Aug. 31, 2017.
The Secretary said that epic dry conditions, as high as D4 in some areas, coupled with an intense heatwave have left pastures in poor or very poor condition resulting in the need for ranchers to, at best, supplement grain and hay and at worst, sell their herds.
Landowners interested in emergency haying or grazing of CRP acres should contact the Farm Service Agency (FSA) office and meet with the local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff to obtain a modified conservation plan to include emergency haying/grazing. Individual conservation plans will take into consideration wildlife needs. CRP participants are reminded that a certain percentage of fields must be left unhayed or ungrazed.
Additional information about the counties approved for emergency haying and grazing and the eligible CRP practices in this area is available at www.fsa.usda.gov/emergency-hayandgraze.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 34 grants totaling $15.1 million for research on agricultural systems and production of biomaterials and fuels, socioeconomic implications and public policy challenges of bioenergy and bioproducts market development and expansion, understanding nutrient cycling in agricultural systems, and the management of agricultural ecosystems. The grants are funded through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
“Natural resources are essential to producing the food, fiber, and fuel that we use every day,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The NIFA research investments we expect will help us develop the next generation of renewable energy, bioproducts, and biomaterials, protect the ecosystems that support agriculture, and improve the agricultural systems and processes that help us feed our nation.”
The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative is America’s flagship competitive grants program for foundational and translational research, education, and extension projects in the food and agricultural sciences. These grants are awarded under the AFRI Foundational Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment (BNRE) program. Funded projects support agroecosystem production that preserves needed ecosystems services, such as drinking water, pollination, and climate regulation.
All fiscal year 2016 grants being announced can be found here.
More information on these grants is available at the NIFA website.
Among the grant recipients, a Pennsylvania State University project will seek to increase farmer adoption rates for riparian buffers, which are vegetation strips that protect streams from farm runoff. A Colorado State University project will combine ecological and economic perspectives to produce an atlas of marginal lands in the United States that might support climate-friendly biofuel and bioenergy production.
Among past projects, the University of Vermont examined how working farms might benefit from alternative management systems that preserve soil fertility and reduce the overall environmental impact of agriculture. The study implemented approaches such as cover cropping and no-till fields on two farms and has collected economic data on the costs and returns of these practices at participating study farms. A collaborative effort between the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, North Carolina State University, and the University of Connecticut investigated the mechanisms that break down nitrogen from fertilizer and other sources into greenhouse gas. Their discoveries contradict current wisdom on these processes and could lead to new ways for farmers and others to reduce their emissions of harmful gases
New crop profiles for Chickpea, Lentil and Potato are available free to download from the Government of Canada Publications web site or through the Crop profile webpage.
There are thirty-two Crop Profiles covering 38 crops created and maintained by the Pesticide Risk Reduction Program that are accessible for download on the Government of Canada Publications web site.
Links to the most up-to-date versions of all available Crop Profiles are provided here, for your convenience.