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NSIIC Requests Proposals by September 15
The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Board of Directors is accepting grant proposals designed to improve the competitiveness of the U.S. sheep and goat industries.
“These grant funds will strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and goat products in the Unites States through infrastructure development, business development, production, resource development, and market and environmental research,” said David Shipman, Acting Administrator of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.
The Center was established as part of the 2008 Farm Bill. Currently the Center has approximately $1 million available in grants funds. Proposals will be accepted through September 15, 2011.
Financial assistance provided by the Center must accomplish one or more of the following objectives:
1. Strengthen and improve long-term sustainability of the goat and/or lamb and wool industry's infrastructure by increasing the numbers in production.
2. Provide integration of performance/production data from sources that can help enhance the National Sheep Improvement Program.
3. Provide leadership training and education to producers and packers within the sheep and goat industries.
4. Enhance sheep and/or goat production by improving infrastructure of the U.S. sheep and goat industry through assistance to all segments of the industry to address sustainable production and marketing of sheep and goat milk, meat, fiber and related services such as grazing for fire management and pasture improvements.
5. Promote lamb and meat goat marketing through an organized method that can measure tangible results.
6. Enhance the sheep and goat industry by coordinating information exchange and seeking mutual understanding and marketing within the international industry community.
The nine-member Board is comprised of seven voting and two non-voting members. Voting members include four domestic producers of sheep or goats; two members with expertise in finance and management; and one member with expertise in lamb, wool, goat or goat product marketing. Non-voting members include the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and the Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, USDA.
For more information go to the web site: www.NSIIC.org
Questions may be directed to Steve Lee, Executive Director, (202) 350-9065 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Crop Insurance Sales Closing Date Approaches
The USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds Oregon sheep growers of the September 30, 2011, sales closing date for most 2012 forage crops, including grazing lands covered under RMA's Pasture Rangeland Forage (PRF) Program.
The PRF program is a group risk policy designed to improve livestock producers' abilities to manage drought risks for livestock grazing and forage land. The program uses either a Rainfall Index (in many states) or a Vegetation Index (VI) in Oregon, Idaho, and several other states. Both indices are designed to serve as proxies for pasture, rangeland, and hay production within a specific geographic grid. The VI utilizes Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data from the Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science data center. The NDVI is a measure of vegetation greenness and correlates to vegetation conditions and productive capacity. When the final vegetation greenness index for a grid falls below the insured’s trigger grid index, an indemnity is paid. As with other group risk products, production is measured solely by the index, which means that producers are not required to produce detailed pasture and forage harvest records in order to qualify.
After initially being available in select Oregon counties, the PRF Program is now offered to producers in all Oregon counties. For more information about RMA's PRF Program, contact a local crop insurance agent or visit www.rma.usda.gov/policies/pasturerangeforage .
Growers should also know that 2012 crop year coverage is now available for the Forage (Alfalfa) Seed Pilot Program in Malheur County; growers in other Oregon counties may be able to insure alfalfa seed through a 'written agreement' established through a local insurance agent. Again, the sales closing date for the Forage (Alfalfa) Seed Pilot Program is September 30, 2011.
Growers should also remember that Federal crop insurance program participation is now linked with Farm Service Agency (FSA) disaster programs. For complete information about FSA programs, growers should contact their county's FSA office.
Clif Parker of Custom Ag Solutions (CAS) presented information about RMA's Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) and Pasture Rangeland Forage Program at the Oregon Sheep Growers Association's Annual Meeting last December. CAS works with RMA to inform agricultural producers about risk management strategies and Federal crop insurance programs. Producers can contact CAS at 877-227-8094 to obtain more information.
Announcement from OSU Department of Animal Sciences
To Oregon beef cattle producers and sheep producers,
We are contemplating changes for the OSU departments of Animal Sciences and Rangeland Ecology and Management and we want you to know where things stand.
First, some context. During the past few years almost a third of the funding has been reduced for the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station and the OSU Extension Service. As a consequence, there have been significant reductions in the department’s budget; we now have almost one-third fewer research and Extension faculty.
In light of these new budget realities and facing new scientific challenges, we have undertaken a strategic visioning and planning effort. With the help of faculty, students, staff, and stakeholders, we are prepared to create a new, merged department. Among other things, this will mean a smaller departmental “footprint.” We will make these changes:
-- We will create a center of excellence for ecological land and animal management in the mountain West. To accomplish this goal for beef cattle we will maintain four positions in research, teaching, and statewide Extension in Eastern Oregon, along with two range ecology positions in La Grande. There is a sizeable contingent of range scientists in the USDA-ARS unit at Burns. Our strategic intent is to have one Extension-and-teaching position in Corvallis to address forage and grazing by livestock. We will continue to teach the beef production systems courses offered in our curriculum.
-- In Corvallis we expect to rebuild faculty numbers and maintain the research-and-teaching dairy, along with Extension programs, with emphasis on sustainable, forage-based dairy production.
-- Create a small-ruminant (sheep and goats) Extension and teaching position. This position would also emphasize forage grazing systems.
The need for animals to support our teaching mission, the likely future direction of research increasingly funded by competitive grants, and the reality of future faculty staffing levels--all these have caused us to take a strategic look at the future of our Corvallis-based beef cattle herd and sheep flock. There continues to be a need for the herds and flocks to support teaching. Animals are an important component of who we are and how we teach. With a significantly smaller research footprint, however, we are exploring options for reducing the Corvallis beef herd and sheep flock. The new multi-animal teaching facility now under construction will provide opportunity for research and teaching with cattle, sheep, and other animal species, including metabolism research. Concomitantly, however, land management and stewardship becomes an issue.
Therefore, as part of our planning process, we are exploring prospects for offering for lease the OSU-owned Soap Creek and Berry Creek ranches north of Corvallis. If, indeed, we exercise a leasing arrangement, we will advertise for proposals. Proposals will be evaluated for evidence of sustainable land management as well as for ways to ensure students are involved for the learning opportunities that these ranches can provide.
The choices we are exploring are challenging, but the budget realities--especially around the numbers and kinds of faculty that we will have in the future--dictate that we make changes. We know you care about the department, its students, and the programs we carry out. Your questions, concerns, and suggestions are important to us. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 541-737-1891.
Jim Males, Head
Department of Animal Sciences
College of Agricultural Sciences
New Animal Disease Traceability Framework Announced
On February 5, 2010, USDA announced a new, flexible framework for animal disease traceability in the United States. After concluding the listening tour on the National Animal Identification System in 15 cities across the country, receiving thousands of comments from the public and input from States, Tribal Nations, industry groups, and representatives for small and organic farmers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated it was apparent a new strategy for animal disease traceability was needed.
The framework provides the basic tenets of an improved animal disease traceability capability in the United States. USDA's efforts will:
• Only apply to animals moved in interstate commerce;
• Be administered by the States and Tribal Nations to provide more flexibility;
• Encourage the use of lower-cost technology; and
• Be implemented transparently through federal regulations and the full rulemaking process.
A Q&A Factsheet about the Animal disease Traceability Framework is available at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/traceability/
USDA Implements Livestock Disaster Assistance Programs
Producers may now apply for benefits under the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program. Both programs are permanent disaster programs authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill.
The Livestock Forage Disaster Program provides payments to eligible livestock producers who suffered livestock grazing losses due to qualifying drought or fire. For drought, the losses must have occurred on land that is native or improved pastureland with permanent vegetative cover or a crop planted specifically for grazing for covered livestock due to a qualifying drought during the normal grazing period for the specific type of grazing land in the county. For fire, LFP provides payments to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses on rangeland managed by a federal agency, if the eligible livestock producer is prohibited by the federal agency from grazing the normal permitted livestock on the managed rangeland due to a qualifying fire.
Eligible livestock under LFP include beef cattle, alpacas, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, poultry, reindeer, sheep and swine. For losses due to drought, qualifying drought ratings are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor located at www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html.
Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish program provides emergency assistance to eligible producers with losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, including losses due to blizzards and wildfires. ELAP assistance is for losses not covered under other Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance programs established by the 2008 Farm Bill, specifically LFP, the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program. ELAP is being implemented to fill in the gap and provide assistance under other conditions determined to be appropriate.
For both programs, producers must have suffered losses that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011. There is a total $100,000 limitation per crop year that applies to payments received under ELAP, LFP, LIP or SURE. For the 2008 crop year, the $100,000 limitation is per "person" as defined and determined under payment limitation rules in effect for 2008. For crop years 2009 through 2011, the $100,000 limitation applies to payments received, both directly and indirectly, by a person or legal entity. Furthermore, individuals or entities are ineligible for payment under ELAP or LFP for 2008 if their average Adjusted Gross Income for 2005, 2006 and 2007 exceeds $2.5 million. For 2009 through 2011, an average adjusted gross non-farm income limitation of $500,000 applies and is determined using the three taxable years that precede the most immediately preceding complete taxable year (for 2009, the applicable years are 2005, 2006 and 2007).
For more information, please visit your county Farm Service Agency FSA office or www.fsa.usda.gov.
USDA News, Sept. 14, 2009
Revised and Updated Vet Guide Re-issued as a CD
The National Institute for Animal Agriculture has revised and updated A Guide to the National Scrapie Eradication Program for Veterinarians and offers the popular guide as a compact disc (CD).
“The revised version contains the latest information on various new aspects of the National Scrapie Eradication Program, so that veterinarians can provide up-to-date, accurate information to their clients,” said Dr. Diane Sutton, DVM and NSEP national coordinator.
It also contains considerably more information than the original print version, such as procedures for collecting and submitting samples for testing, including collection of the brainstem utilizing the scoop technique, rectal and eyelid biopsies, and genotyping.
The veterinarian guide is also available in a PDF format for downloading onto a CD or to a print version. See: http://www.eradicatescrapie.org
Oregon Forage & Grassland Council - Fall Forage Day
The brand new Oregon Forage and Grasslands Council will hold the first Fall Forage Day on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009 at the Rock’n D Angus Ranch in Junction City. The program begins in early afternoon and is expected to conclude about 8:00 p.m. An evening BBQ will be included.
Program is open to all interested persons. Agenda is outlined below. Vendors interested in having an exhibit should contact Aaron Kuenzi at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541–928-1651. For information, contact Shelby Filley 541–672-4461
- Overview of the organization and goals
- Session with Don Horneck about fertilizer costs and how that ties with management decisions
- Industry Update - Industry members will be given equal time to share their latest and best forage-related products with the group
- Pasture Walk and discussion of the forage management of the host operation
- Food and Exhibits – a time to visit with farming and forage industry representatives, OSU faculty with research information to share, as well as other livestock producers
- Producer Panel – A group discussion open to all attendees to ask questions of the panelists about forage use on their operations
- Session on high animal production with high quality forages coordinated by Troy Downing
LRP-Lamb Sales Resume; Program expands into Washington State
Following a period of suspension, sales of the LRP-Lamb insurance resume on Sept. 14, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency (RMA). Sales under the 2009 and 2010 Livestock Risk Protection (LRP-Lamb) Specific Coverage Endorsements were suspended previously due to the unavailability of pricing information. Sales of the LRP-Lamb under the new Specific Coverage Endorsement begin Sept. 14, 2009.
The American Sheep Industry Association's Sheep Venture Company (SVC) and the Livestock Marketing Information Center have been working with RMA and the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for nearly a year on several enhancements to LRP-Lamb.
A number of revisions were incorporated into the LRP-Lamb program, including:
- A new pricing procedure that uses a lamb carcass price converted to a calculated live price using Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) data;
- The addition of a 20-week endorsement;
- Expansion to the state of Washington; and
- A reduction in the maximum size of the Specific Coverage Endorsement from 7,000 head to 2,000 head.
A new LRP Lamb Specific Coverage Endorsement, 2010-1-LRP Lamb, reflecting the above changes is now available. Producers interested in purchasing an LRP Lamb Specific Coverage Endorsement will need to contact a crop insurance agent and complete an application that will be submitted through the approved insurance provider to FCIC. Federal crop insurance program policies are sold and delivered solely through private crop and livestock insurance companies. A list of livestock crop insurance agents is available at: http://www3.rma.usda.gov/tools/agents/
Producers are encouraged to investigate the 2010 reinsurance year LRP-Lamb materials on the RMA Livestock web site: http://www.rma.usda.gov/livestock/
Look for Coverage Prices, Rates and Actual Ending Values.
New Local Lamb Marketing Kit
The best “lambassadors” for the sheep industry are those who know it best —the producers! The American Lamb Board’s new Local Lamb Marketing kit is designed to help producers generate media coverage for lamb and the sheep industry on the local level. It includes tools to help you promote lamb at county and state fairs, food and wine festivals, tasting events and more. Downloadable copies of the Tool Kit are available at http://www.lambcheckoff.com
Cuts to Oregon Wildlife Services Result in Job Losses
The negative effects of the 75% and 33% cuts made to Oregon Wildlife Services by the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture and Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife respectively are starting to take place. According to Dave Williams, State WS Director, the WS program is losing two field positions immediately, while two positions have been put on a reduced work schedule (32 hour paid work week), and another 18 positions are in jeopardy of reduced work schedules, furloughs or abolishment.
Only four counties of the 26 counties previously participating in the cooperative program have been able to increase their funding levels to make up for the hole in the cooperative funding sufficient to maintain each of the county based trapper positions. Coos, Deschutes, Klamath and Sherman counties were able to meet the state budget requests, with additional county funds to cover the state losses, which the Oregon Legislature imposed on WS for the 2009-2011 biennium. This is good news for six of the WS field positions; unfortunately, the majority of Oregon counties are suffering their own budget problems because of the economic downturn and cannot increase contributions to the cooperatively funded WS program to make up for the $8,100 of combined ODA and ODFW funding lost for each of WS cooperatively funded positions.
The Columbia county trapper position and one Malheur county trapper positions are the first field positions to be eliminated as a result of state funding cuts. The State office is down two positions from the previous six and will be keeping one of the three District Supervisor positions open for a minimum of six months.
One cost-saving decision that Wildlife Services implemented was to forgo participation in the Oregon State Fair. This is regrettable because WS has invested over 15 years in public education and outreach efforts at the fair. Said Williams, “Every dollar saved will go toward trying to hold onto our valuable professional field employees who help protect Oregon's agriculture, public health and safety, natural resources, and public and private property from wildlife damage and threats.”