The following are some interesting agricultural stories from the past week.
Washington Lawmaker Introduces Ag-Gag Bill – State Representative Joe Schmick introduced a bill earlier this month modeled after Idaho’s ag-gag law that was enacted in 2014 becoming the seventh state to adopt an ag-gag law. Schmick believes this bill will help protect farmers in Washington and the production process by criminalizing interference. The full article can be found at http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20150112/washington-lawmaker-introduces-ag-gag-bill
Panels Set Hearing On WOTUS – House and Senate committee have set a joint hearing on February 4th regarding the proposed definition of “waters of the US” within the Clean Water Act. The definition has the potential to increase the amount of farmers affected if adopted. The complete report can be found at http://www.agri-pulse.com/Panels-set-hearing-on-WOTUS-01212015.asp
USDA Offers $20 Million In Funding For Carbon Credit Market Proposals - USDA is offering up to $20 million in grant funding through the Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program for carbon credit project proposals. USDA said that approximately half of the $20 million will be available in 2015 for projects awarded to environmental markets and conservation finance initiatives aimed at farmers and ranchers specifically. Information and further details can be found at http://www.agri-pulse.com/USDA-offers-20-million-in-funding-for-carbon-credit-mark
Study Finds Country of Origin Labeling Caused No Harm - A new study from Auburn University and National Farmers Union shows that Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) found no pricing difference in imported cattle from Canada before and after COOL’s passage. The study is based on Mandatory Price Reporting data provided to USDA from packers. The complete report can be found at http://www.nfu.org/images/COOLReport1132015Final.pdf
2015 Custom Work Charges in Maryland Released - Shannon Dill of University of Maryland Extension released the updated Custom Work Charges in Maryland 2015 (FS-683) this week. The revisions are based on a survey conducted in the fall of 2014 with participants rates charged for various field operations. This updated publication can be helpful for producers looking to negotiate custom work for the upcoming crop year. The report can be found at https://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_docs/programs/grainmarketing/2015%20MD%20Custom%20Work%20Charges.pdf.
WOTUS All the Fuss About? - Shannon Ferrell, at Oklahoma State University, and Tiffany Lashmet at Texas A&M University recently wrote an article for Farm Press Magazine providing an overview of the recent controversy in redefining “waters of the United States” by EPA the Corps of Engineers. Check out the article at http://agrilife.org/texasaglaw/2015/01/26/wotus-all-the-fuss-about/