Agribusiness
Premiums Awarded in Iowa State Fair Horse Show PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Lori Chappell   
Friday, 17 August 2012 13:53

DES MOINES, IA (08/15/2012)(readMedia)-- Premiums and ribbons were awarded in the Open Western Horse Show judged Saturday at the 2012 Iowa State Fair.

Complete results follow:

Western Horsemanship-Riders 18 and Under

1) Clara Johnson, Indianola

2) Rebecca Ness, Muscatine

3) Lisa Weatherwax, Ankeny

4) Brittany Abernathy, Indianola

5) Cheyanne Hunt, Wapello

6) Rachel VanRoekel, Pella

7) Mike Vesey, Indianola

8) Amy Turner, Knoxville

9) Nicole Banner, Ottumwa

Western Pleasure-Men 19 and Over

1) Cindy Johnson, Indianola

2) Cleo Craven, Norwalk

3) Janelle Schaefer, Norwalk

4) James Thorp, Marion

Registered Quarter Horse Western Pleasure

1) Cindy Johnson, Indianola

2) Brittany Abernathy, Indianola

3) Black Show Horses, Saint Charles

4) Sue Reichert, Marengo

5) Lisa Weatherwax, Ankeny

6) Mike Vesey, Indianola

7) Debbie Pierce, Carlisle

8) Moorman Performance Horses, Carlisle

9) Wilson Buckskin Horses, Muscatine

Western Pleasure-Riders Ages 14 to 18

1) Brittany Abernathy, Indianola

2) Mike Vesey, Indianola

3) Lisa Weatherwax, Ankeny

4) Jake Peers, Urbandale

5) Laura Pfab, Granger

6) Gary Puls, Jewell

7) None Awarded

8) Cheyanne Hunt, Wapello

9) Jessica Taylor, Granger

Walk-Trot Pleasure-Riders 19 and Over

1) Cindy Johnson, Indianola

2) Moorman Performance Horses, Carlisle

3) Robin Epp, Urbandale

4) Black Show Horses, Saint Charles

5) Sue Reichert, Marengo

6) Lisha Marsh, Grinnell

7) Debbie Pierce, Carlisle

8) Donae Hedlund, Knoxville

9) Laura McClure, Vinton

Tandem Bareback-Riders 18 and Under

1) Clara Johnson, Indianola

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines, and are open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. each day of the Fair. Exhibit hours may vary. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

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Dairy Farms Compete in State Fair Brown Swiss Show PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Lori Chappell   
Friday, 17 August 2012 13:46

DES MOINES, IA (08/15/2012)(readMedia)-- Top dairies competed for honors in the Brown Swiss Dairy Cattle show judged Saturday at the 2012 Iowa State Fair.

Kruses Swiss Farm of Earlville showed the Grand Champion Female. The Reserve Champion Female belonged to Onword Swiss of Oelwein. The dairy also earned second place in both the Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor contests.

Lee-Anns Swiss of DeWitt collected top honors in the Premier Exhibitor and Premier Breeder contests.

The Premier Breeder Award is given to the competitor who earns the most points for animals bred and exhibited by the entrant or others during the day's show. The Premier Exhibitor Award is given to the exhibitor who accumulates the most points based upon the day's placings.

Complete results below (name, hometown and animal identification):

Junior Heifer Calf: March 1 to May 31, 2012

1) Schulte Bros, Watkins, Schulte Bros Big Faith-ET, 3/4/2012, Pending

2) Uluru Swiss Acres, Clermont, Kb Tressel Tea Et, 3/20/2012, 68140071

3) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Lee-Anns Apache Leigh, 3/6/2012, 68141698

4) Dandee Swiss, DeWitt, Lee-Anns Galaxy Callaway, 3/1/2012, 68141690

5) Ficks Swiss, Boyden, Fick Lolly London, 3/26/2012, 68141288

6) Zachary Briggs, Albia, High Point P Clover, 3/7/2012, 68139996

Intermediate Heifer Calf: Dec. 1, 2011 to Feb. 29, 2012

1) Kruses Swiss Farm, Earlville, Kruses Joey Sugar, 12/20/2011, 68137482

2) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Lee-Anns Cadillac Wishful, 1/2/2012, 68138359

3) Schulte Bros, Watkins, Schulte Bros Park Ranger-ET, 12/6/2011, Pending

4) Doug Fairbanks, Anamosa, Wapsi-Ana Total Topper, 12/2/2011, 68136701

5) Jo-lane Dairy, Monona, Jo-lane Wonderment Juju, 12/21/2011, 69812262

6) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Lee-Anns Cadillac Graffiti, 1/4/2012, 68138360

7) Breezy Ridge Dairy, Epworth, Breezy Ridge Dragon Razz, 12/10/2011, 68141917

8) Four-M Swiss, Crawfordsville, Four-M J-Joey, 1/6/2012, 68139691

9) Four-M Swiss, Crawfordsville, Four-M Mo-Jo Jitter, 12/14/2011, 68139690

10) Breezy Ridge Dairy, Epworth, Breezy Ridge Dyn Bubbles, 12/11/2011, 68141904

11) Ficks Swiss, Boyden, Fick Cassidy Cindy, 12/21/2011, 6841286

12) Hilltop Acres Farm, Calmar, Hilltop Acres SP Dollar-ET, 1/10/2012, 68139332

13) Shortys Swiss, Sibley, Shortys Cotton Candy B, 1/5/2012, Johann Pete Rose-ET

14) Dandee Swiss, DeWitt, Royal-Lind Rythm Mix Up, 12/1/2011, 68141747

15) Goodman Dairy Farm, Rose Hill, Dande Supreme Pearl, 1/21/2012, 68142219

16) Darryl Banowetz, Charlotte, Browns Guccis Gotcha, 12/4/2011, 68137799

17) DeVore Dairy, Wilton, DeVores Wallst Rory, 12/1/2011, 68139759

18) Uluru Swiss Acres, Clermont, Usa Galaxy Tinkerbell, 12/1/2011, 68139959

Senior Heifer Calf: Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, 2011

1) Onword Swiss, Oelwein, Onword Dargon Villy, 10/22/2011, 68139175

2) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Cutting Edge Tot Apple-ET, 9/5/2011, 68137267

3) Doug Fairbanks, Anamosa, Wapsi-Ana Total Bam Bam, 9/19/2011, 68136697

4) Onword Swiss, Oelwein, Onword Verdict Vela, 11/2/2011, 68139179

5) Hilltop Acres Farm, Calmar, Hilltop Acres GX Tulip-ET, 9/7/2011, 68135210

6) Cedar Way Farm, Waverly, Cedar Way W Mint Mischief, 11/3/2011, 68138802

7) Natalie, Mitchell and Wesley Hanson, La Porte City, Viking Valley Alloy Misti, 9/2/2011, 68136338

8) Four-M Swiss, Crawfordsville, Four-M Wonderment Jacie-ET, 10/20/2011, 68136120

9) Breezy Ridge Dairy, Epworth, Breezy Ridge Custard, 9/6/2011, 68141915

10) Ficks Swiss, Boyden, Fick Daytona Drama, 9/21/2011, 68136430

11) Jo-lane Dairy, Monona, Jo-lane Wonder Mayflower-ET, 9/30/2011, 69812240

12) Uluru Swiss Acres, Clermont, Scenic Ridge Zeus Maylynn, 9/19/2011, 68139960

12) Darryl Banowetz, Charlotte, Wapsi-Ana Total Fallon, 12/30/2011, 68136695

14) Natalie, Mitchell and Wesley Hanson, La Porte City, Amber Rae Poseidons Sally, 9/25/2011, 68134448

15) Dandee Swiss, Dewitt, Dandee Agenda Flicka, 9/1/2011, 68137578

16) DeVore Dairy, Wilton, DeVores Blend Tanniversary, 9/1/2011, 68139758

17) Shortys Swiss, Sibley, Shorts Drivers Lana, 10/12/2011, 68138865

Summer Yearling Heifer: June 1 to Aug. 31, 2011

1) Twin-Elms-Vu, Readlyn, Siegerts Stanford Breena, 6/23/2011, 68133262

2) Cedar Way Farm, Waverly, Cedar Way Austin Marvel, 8/3/2011, 68138803

3) Overmann Farm, Earlville, Overmann Victor G Claire, 9/26/2011, 68135006

4) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Pit-Crew Wonder Penelope-ET, 6/2/2011, 68135749

5) Schulte Bros, Watkins, Schulte Bros Park Avenue, 7/5/2011, 68140826

6) Dandee Swiss, DeWitt, Kruses LJ Four M Sandra, 6/4/2011, 68133122

7) Goodman Dairy Farm, Rose Hill, Sun-Made HP Enver Pippa-ET, 6/1/2011, 68132693

8) Canoe Ridge Dairy, Decorah, Hilltop Acres Col Katrina, 6/15/2011, 68135599

9) Ficks Swiss, Boyden, FickCuddles Comfy, 7/5/2011, 68136425

10) Shortys Swiss, Sibley, Shortys Candance Candid, 6/4/2011, 68138424

11) Shortys Swiss, Sibley, Shortys Zeus Paula, 7/18/2011, 68138816

12) DeVore Dairy, Wilton, DeVores Bestman Richetta, 7/10/2011, 68139760

Junior Yearling Heifer: March 1 to May 31, 2011

1) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Cutting Edge PS Faith-ET, 3/3/2011, 68152606

2) Arthurcreek Holsteins, Sumner, Arthur Creek Wonder Nelly, 5/15/2011, 68140064

3) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Lee-Anns Wonder Mint Vivid-ET, 3/10/2011, 68131301

4) Kruses Swiss Farm, Earlville, Kruses Victor Cathy-ET, 4/8/2011, 68131148

5) Hilltop Acres Farm, Calmar, Hilltop Acres Corina-ET, 3/5/2011, 68130361

6) Blue Skies Swiss and Holsteins, Hillsboro, Four-M James Jewell, 4/20/2011, 68131129

7) Four-M Swiss, Crawfordsville, Four-M Solution Jenna-ET, 3/1/2011, 68129788

8) Dandee Swiss, DeWitt, Cutting Edge T Fancy-ET, 4/28/2011, 68137264

9) Uluru Swiss Acres, Clermont, Top Acres M W Sunny, 3/2/2011, 68130958

10) DeVore Dairy, Wilton, DeVores Conquest Nanana, 3/11/2011, 68132594

Winter Yearling Heifer: Dec.1, 2010 to Feb. 28, 2011

1) Hilltop Acres Farm, Calmar, Hilltop Acres Butterscotch, 1/27/2011, 68130357

2) Dandee Swiss, DeWitt, Bck Zip Cara -ET, 12/16/2010, 68139545

3) Ashley Baumler, Fort Atkinson, Onword Austin Vintage, 12/1/2010, 68129181

4) Shortys Swiss, Sibley, Shortys Power Jem, 2/15/2011, 68137571

5) Uluru Swiss Acres, Clermont, Usa Jetway Silverbells, 12/12/2010, 68126592

6) Shortys Swiss, Sibley, Shortys Zeus Roxan, 2/14/2011, 68137572

7) DeVore Dairy, Wilton, DeVores Dean Grinch, 12/20/2010, 68132596

8) DeVore Dairy, Wilton, DeVores P Rose Reath, 12/22/2010, 68132595

Senior Yearling Heifer (Not in Milk): Sept.1 to Nov. 30, 2010

1) James Roth, Milford, Neb., Uhing Vigor Deka, 10/9/2010, 68127513 Tat#699

2) Edgebrook Jerseys, Montour, Edgebrook Zues Ivory, 9/12/2010, 681132419

3) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, CIE Lee-Anns Total Treat, 10/10/2010, 68127750

4) Hilltop Acres Farm, Calmar, Hilltop Acres W Gaiety, 9/1/2010, 68125206

5) Ally Bierschenk, Van Horne, Biercrest Wonder Britanny, 9/5/2010

6) Four-M Swiss, Crawfordsville, Four-M Mandel Juice-ET, 10/2/2010, 68128823

7) Uluru Swiss Acres, Clermont, Wapsi-ana Total Future, 9/14/2010, 68126446

8) DeVore Dairy, Wilton, Spring Acres Welcome Price, 9/26/2010, 68126911

9) Natalie, Mitchell and Wesley Hanson, La Porte City, Dandee Agenda Tipsy, 9/5/2010, 68124544

Junior Best Three Females

1) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt

2) Hilltop Acres Farm, Calmar

3) Schulte Bros, Watkins

4) Four-M Swiss, Crawfordsville

5) Onword Swiss, Oelwein

6) Breezy Ridge Dairy, Epworth

7) Ficks Swiss, Boyden

8) Shortys Swiss, Sibley

9) DeVore Dairy, Wilton

Junior 2-Year-Old Cow: March 1-Aug. 31, 2010

1) Hilltop Acres Farm, Calmar, Hilltop Acres Gln Dignity -ET, 5/19/2010, 68125189

2) Ficks Swiss, Boyden, Fick Paris Perfume, 3/9/2010, 68120229

3) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Lee-Anns Tucker Mason, 6/29/2010, 68121724

4) Dandee Swiss, DeWitt, Daveco Premium Solo-ET, 4/30/2010, 68128246

5) Ryan Bousquet, South Sioux City, Neb., Telleen Charles Cecilia, 3/16/2010, 68124557

6) DeVore Dairy, Wilton, DeVores P Rose Natasha, 3/15/2010, 68122066

Senior 2-Year-Old Cow: Sept. 1, 2009 to Feb. 28, 2010

1) Kruses Swiss Farm, Earlville, Kruses Four-M Firefly, 12/21/2009, 68117645

2) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Quicksilver Wonder Bently-ET, 12/12/2009, 68118996

3) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Lee-Anns Legacy Callie-ET, 9/19/2009, 68117513

4) Jo-lane Dairy, Monona, Olsons Maghams Vigor Maybe-ET, 9/4/2009, 68114049

5) Ryan Bousquet, South Sioux City, Neb., Lee-Anns Parker Crystal, 12/1/2009, 68117511

6) Jo-lane Dairy, Monona, Long Acres Victor Bliss, 10/15/2009, 68133442

7) Canoe Ridge Dairy, Decorah, Hilltop Acres Danielle, 9/5/2009, 68117196

8) Ficks Swiss, Boyden, Fick Carmel Clover, 2/21/2010, 68120226

Junior 3-Year-Old Cow: March 1 to Aug. 31, 2009

1) Kruses Swiss Farm, Earlville, Kruses Victor Kiss-ET, 4/20/2009, 68111769

2) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Fjel-Mar Legacy Foxxy-ET, 3/1/2009, 68113239

3) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Lee-Anns Griffin Talent, 6/1/2009, 68117497

4) Goodman Dairy Farm, Rose Hill, Oak Forest Mint Jan, 6/3/2009, 68113310

5) Hilltop Acres Farm, Calmar, Hilltop Acres Jeepers-ET, 3/14/2009, 68112896

Senior 3-Year-Old Cow: Sept. 1, 2008 to Feb. 28, 2009

1) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Lee-Anns Braiden Glitter, 12/3/2008, 68108056

2) Breezy Ridge Dairy, Epworth, Breezy Ridge Vic Candycane-ET, 12/15/2008, 68112614

Cow 4 Years Old: Sept. 1, 2007 to Aug. 31, 2008

1) Onword Swiss, Oelwein, Onword Queen Elizabeth-ET, 2/20/2008, 68102921

2) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Lee-Anns Madison Victory, 9/15/2007, 961233

3) Hilltop Acres Farm, Calmar, Snow Valley Vigor Priceless, 9/2/2007, 68130539

4) Kruses Swiss Farm, Earlville, Kruses River Jamaica-ET, 1/10/2008, 961097

5) DeVore Dairy, Wilton, DeVores Victor Rena, 7/18/2008, 68111510

6) DeVore Dairy, Wilton, Hilltop Acres Noodle, 10/28/2007, 958960

Cow 5 Years Old: Sept. 1, 2006 to Aug. 31, 2007

1) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Lee-Anns BellStar Licorice, 6/2/2007, 961237

2) Onword Swiss, Oelwein, Onword Fastrack VI- ET, 10/17/2006, 954971

3) Hilltop Acres Farm, Calmar, Hilltop Acres EN Della- ET, 6/15/2007, 960659

4) Jo-lane Dairy, Monona, Onword Seattle Visual, 5/21/2007, 954981

5) Uluru Swiss Acres, Clermont, Scenic Ridge Agenda Mayme, 7/12/2007, 960034

Aged Cow: Before Sept. 1, 2006

1) Onword Swiss, Oelwein, Onword Diablo Adeline, 1/4/2006, 948551

2) Kruses Swiss Farm, Earlville, R Kruses Vision Jackie-ET, 3/17/2006, 948865

3) Ficks Swiss, Boyden, Fick Lilly Lizzie, 2/4/2006, 946556

4) Onword Swiss, Oelwein, Onword Victory Volley, 4/28/2006, 948883

5) Jo-lane Dairy, Monona, Onword Denver Vinegarette, 5/21/2005, 939656

6) Ficks Swiss, Boyden, Telleen Keg Jane, 7/27/2006, 952367

7) DeVore Dairy, Wilton, DeVores Hollywd Miliza, 9/30/2003, 931093

Best Three Head

1) Kruses Swiss Farm, Earlville

2) Onword Swiss, Oelwein

3) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt

4) Hilltop Acres Farm, Calmar

5) Ficks Swiss, Boyden

6) DeVore Dairy, Wilton

Best Four Head

1) Kruses Swiss Farm, Earlville

2) Onword Swiss, Oelwein

3) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt

4) Hilltop Acres Farm, Calmar

5) Ficks Swiss, Boyden

6) Jo-lane Dairy, Monona

7) DeVore Dairy, Wilton

8) Dandee Swiss, DeWitt

Junior Champion Female: Kruses Swiss Farm, Earlville, Kruses Joey Sugar, 12/21/2011, 6841286

Reserve Junior Champion Female: Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Cutting Edge PS Faith-ET, 3/5/2011, 68130361

Intermediate Champion Female: Kruses Swiss Farm, Earlville, Kruses Four-M Firefly, 12/21/2009, 68117645

Reserve Intermediate Champion Female: Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt, Lee-Anns Braiden Glitter, 12/3/2008, 6810856

Senior Champion Female: Onword Swiss, Oelwein, Onword Diablo Adeline, 1/4/2006, 948551

Reserve Senior Champion Female: Onword Swiss, Oelwein, Onword Queen Elizabeth, 2/20/2008, 68102921

Grand Champion Female: Kruses Swiss Farm, Earlville, Kruses Four-M Firefly, 12/21/2009, 68117645

Reserve Grand Champion Female: Onword Swiss, Oelwein, Onword Diablo Adeline, 1/4/2006, 948551

Premier Exhibitor

1) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt

2) Onword Swiss, Oelwein

Premier Breeder

1) Lee-Anns Swiss, DeWitt

2) Onword Swiss, Oelwein

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines, and are open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. each day of the Fair. Exhibit hours may vary. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

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Drought Relief PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:42

The drought of 2012 is the most serious to impact U.S. agriculture since 1988. As of August 15, 2012, Secretary Vilsack has designated 1,670 U.S. counties as natural disaster areas due to severe drought.

While these severe conditions affect all farms in these counties, organic ruminant livestock operations--unless their pasture has access to irrigation--may not be able to meet the organic pasture requirements in the USDA organic regulations.

In addition to USDA's other drought relief efforts, AMS Administrator David Shipman is granting a temporary variance in affected counties to support Secretary Vilsack's efforts to provide relief to affected farmers during this challenging time.

Drought Relief: Organic Ruminant Farmers

Organic ruminant livestock--such as cattle, sheep, and goats--must consume at least 30 percent of their dry matter intake (on average) from certified organic pasture. The rest of their diet must also be certified organic, including hay, grain, and other agricultural products.

 

Due to the severe drought, USDA is granting a temporary variance from these requirements (Sections 205.237(c) and 205.240 of the USDA organic regulations) with the following restrictions:

  • This temporary variance applies only to organic ruminant livestock producers located in counties declared as primary natural disaster areas by Secretary Vilsack.
  • This temporary variance applies to non-irrigated pasture only.
  • Producers must supply at least 15 percent of their dry matter intake (on average) from certified organic pasture.
  • This temporary variance applies to the 2012 calendar year only.

List of Affected Counties

Letter Granting Temporary Variance

USDA Drought Relief Efforts

About Temporary Variances
Temporary variances from the production and handling requirements of the USDA organic regulations may be granted by the Agricultural Marketing Service Administrator for the following reasons:
  • Natural disasters declared by the Secretary
  • Damage caused by severe weather or other business interruption,
  • Practices used for the purpose of conducting research in organic production or handling.
Procedures for requesting temporary variances are described in NOP 2606: Processing Requests for Temporary Variances.  
About the National Organic Program (NOP)

The NOP facilitates trade and ensures integrity of organic agricultural products by consistently implementing organic standards and enforcing compliance with the regulations throughout the world. Learn more.

About the NOP Organic Insider

The NOP Organic Insider is intended to inform the organic community on a wide range of NOP functions, including organic standards, accreditation and international activities, compliance and enforcement, the National Organic Standards Board, training events, and the Cost Share program.

 

You are receiving this email because you elected to receive selected updates from the USDA National Organic Program. You may manage your profile to receive additional updates on other NOP functions or unsubscribe at any time by using the links below.

 
USDA Announces Low-Interest Emergency Loans Now Available to Producers in 172 Additional Counties due to Drought PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:33
Obama Administration Continues to Take Swift Action to Provide Assistance to Farmers, Ranchers and Businesses

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2012—As part of continuing steps by the Obama Administration to get assistance to producers impacted by the drought, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today designated 172 additional counties in 15 states as primary natural disaster areas due to drought and heat, making all qualified farm operators in the areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans. To date, USDA has designated 1,792 counties as disaster areas—1,670 due to drought.

Earlier this week, President Obama and Secretary Vilsack traveled to Iowa to announce USDA's intent to purchase up to $170 million of pork, lamb, chicken, and catfish for federal food nutrition assistance programs, including food banks, which will help relieve pressure on American livestock producers and bring the nation's meat supply in line with demand.

"USDA is committed to using existing authorities wherever possible to help the farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and communities being impacted by the drought," said Vilsack. "In the past month, we have streamlined the disaster designation process, reduced interest rates on emergency loans, and provided flexibility within our conservation programs to support struggling producers. In the weeks ahead, the President and I will continue to take swift action to help America's farmers and ranchers through this difficult time."

Vilsack also announced today the availability of up to $5 million in grants to evaluate and demonstrate agricultural practices that help farmers and ranchers adapt to drought. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is taking applications for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to help producers build additional resiliency into their production systems. NRCS is offering the grants to partnering entities to evaluate innovative, field-based conservation technologies and approaches. These technologies and/or approaches should lead to improvements such as enhancing the water-holding capacity in soils and installing drought-tolerant grazing systems, which will help farms and ranches become more resilient to drought. Visit www.nrcs.usda.gov for more information.

Additionally, in response to a request from five National Organic Program (NOP) certifying agents, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced that USDA will grant a temporary variance from NOP's pasture practice standards for organic ruminant livestock producers (Sections 205.237(c) and 205.240 of the USDA organic regulations) in 16 states in 2012. The following restrictions apply: this temporary variance applies to non-irrigated pasture only; producers must supply at least 15 percent of their dry matter intake (on average) from certified organic pasture; this temporary variance applies to the 2012 calendar year only; and this temporary variance covers only counties that have been declared as primary natural disaster areas by the Secretary of Agriculture in 2012. Granting a temporary variance for 2012 from the pasture practice standards is necessary in order to allow organic ruminant livestock producers to continue to be compliant with the program regulations after the severe drought ends and pasture forage becomes available. Temporary variance requests that are outside the scope of this variance will be considered on a case by case basis.

Last week, President Obama convened his White House Rural Council to review Executive Branch response actions and to develop additional policy initiatives to assist drought-stricken Americans. Following the meeting, the White House announced a number of new measures the Administration is taking. The President stressed the need for the entire Administration to continue to look at further steps it can take to ease the pain of this historic drought.

Within the last month, USDA has opened the Conservation Reserve Program to emergency haying and grazing, lowered the borrower interest rate for emergency loans, and worked with crop insurance companies to provide flexibility to farmers. USDA has also announced:

  • Authorized $16 million in existing funds from its Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to target states experiencing exceptional and extreme drought.
  • Initiated transfer of $14 million in unobligated program funds into the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to help farmers and ranchers rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought.
  • Authorized haying and grazing of Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) easement areas in drought-affected areas where haying and grazing is consistent with conservation of wildlife habitat and wetlands.
  • Lowered the reduction in the annual rental payment to producers on CRP acres used for emergency haying or grazing from 25 percent to 10 percent in 2012.
  • Simplified the Secretarial disaster designation process and reduced the time it takes to designate counties affected by disasters by 40 percent.

The U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that 63 percent of the nation's hay acreage is in an area experiencing drought, while approximately 73 percent of the nation's cattle acreage is in an area experiencing drought. Approximately 87 percent of the U.S. corn is within an area experiencing drought, down from a peak of 89 percent on July 24, and 85 percent of the U.S. soybeans are in a drought area, down from a high of 88 percent on July 24. On Aug. 10, USDA reduced the estimate for the 2012 U.S. corn crop to 123.4 bushels per acre, down 23.8 bushels from 2011. However, record corn plantings in 2012 have put the crop in position to be eighth largest in history. In 1988, when U.S. farmers were impacted by another serious drought, total production was 4.9 billion bushels. Today, total production is forecast at 10.8 billion bushels.

Visit www.usda.gov/drought for the latest information regarding USDA's drought response and assistance.

The Obama Administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's leadership, has worked tirelessly to strengthen rural America, maintain a strong farm safety net, and create opportunities for America's farmers and ranchers. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its most productive periods in American history thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers. A strong farm safety net is important to sustain the success of American agriculture. USDA's crop insurance program currently insures 264 million acres, 1.14 million policies, and $110 billion worth of liability on about 500,000 farms. In response to tighter financial markets, USDA has expanded the availability of farm credit, helping struggling farmers refinance loans. In the past 3 years, USDA provided 103,000 loans to family farmers totaling $14.6 billion. Over 50 percent of the loans went to beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

Primary counties and corresponding states designated as disaster areas today for drought and other reasons:

Illinois [drought]

Bureau

Cook

De Kalb

Du Page

Grundy

Henry

Kane

Kankakee

Kendall

Knox

Mercer

Putnam

Stark

Will

Iowa [drought]

Adair

Adams

Audubon

Buena Vista

Calhoun

Carroll

Cass

Cerro

Cherokee

Clay

Crawford

Dallas

Floyd

Franklin

Fremont

Gordo

Greene

Guthrie

Hancock

Harrison

Humboldt

Ida

Louisa

Mills

Monona

Montgomery

O'Brien

Osceola

Page

Pocahontas

Pottawattamie Sac

Shelby

Washington

Webster

Wright

 
Governor Quinn Signs Laws to Celebrate Agriculture Day at State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Erin Wilson   
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:18

Laws Support State’s Strong Agriculture Industry Currently Facing Drought

SPRINGFIELD – August 14, 2012.  Governor Pat Quinn today celebrated Illinois’ agriculture heritage by signing five new laws to support the state’s agriculture industry, which is currently facing record drought conditions. The governor signed the new laws on Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, where agriculture producers from throughout the state are gathered to showcase livestock and other products made and grown in Illinois.

“As Illinois faces the worst drought in recent history, it is important that we do everything possible to support our farmers and support our agriculture industry,” Governor Quinn said.

House Bill 5540, sponsored by Rep. Donald Moffitt (R-Gilson) and Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap), formally names the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s (Ag) administration building the John. R. Block building in honor of the Illinois native's distinguished service. It passed the General Assembly unanimously.

Block, a Galesburg-area native and West Point graduate, served as Illinois agriculture director from 1977 to 1981. He was appointed U.S. secretary of Agriculture in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan and played an instrumental role in the development of the 1985 Farm Bill, legislation credited with restoring economic stability to the American farming industry. Governor Quinn recently urged Congress to renew the Farm Bill, which would provide vital aid to farmers in drought-stricken areas.

The governor also signed House Bill 5539, sponsored by Rep. Lisa Dugan (D-Bradley) and Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign). The law creates the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC), a program dedicated to enhancing the use of fertilizers and protecting water quality from losing nutrients. The new law will support important fertilizer regulatory programs and is designed to revitalize nutrient research through Illinois' universities and apply this knowledge in the farm field.

Governor Quinn also signed House Bill 5115, sponsored by Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville) and Sen. Pamela Althoff (R-Crystal Lake). The law is designed to protect cattle pastures from damage caused by wildlife. The new law amends the Wildlife Code to include cattle pastures specifically as a type of property that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may investigate. In addition, it allows DNR to determine whether the wildlife causing the damage needs to be removed, and clarifies that DNR will issue a permit to address the species responsible for causing the damage.

In order to prevent the pollution of Illinois waterways, Governor Quinn signed House Bill 5642, sponsored by Rep. Michael Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) and Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign). The legislation establishes fees on livestock producers that will help the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency administer the federally-mandated National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. The law is supported by the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Pork Producers Association, the Illinois Beef Association and the Illinois Dairyman’s Association.

House Bill 4598, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Verschoore (D-Rock Island) and Sen. David Koehler (D-Pekin), was also signed today. The law is designed to increase traffic safety by requiring certain vehicles to display a slow-moving vehicle emblem before traveling on Illinois roadways. The new law requires all farm implements and tractors, non-highway vehicles, and special mobile equipment or animal-drawn vehicles to display the slow-moving vehicle emblem.

All of the laws signed today are effective immediately. Following the signings, Governor Quinn will preside over the annual Governor’s Sale of Champions taking place at the State Fair, during which champion livestock raised by youths interested in the agriculture industry will be auctioned. Proceeds will benefit agriculture education programs as well as the young producers.

For more information about the Illinois State Fair, please visit StateFair.Illinois.gov. To learn more about the state’s efforts to combat drought conditions, visit Drought.Illinois.gov.

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