April 18, 2024

Brad Marolf

Business & Finance Wonders

Business News | Business | agupdate.com

Conservation funding available

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering a second round of funding for USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service programs. Farmers and forest landowners may apply for Environmental Quality Incentives Program or Regional Conservation Partnership Program contracts by May 20.

Although the agency accepts applications year-round, farmers and forest landowners are urged to apply now for the second round of fiscal year 2022 funding.

The programs are available for farm and woodland conservation work. They provide payments for more than 120 basic conservation practices. The Wisconsin Natural Resources Conservation Service in 2021 invested $33 million in conservation practices through the programs.

Applications will be evaluated, prioritized and ranked for funding in 2022. Farmers may contact their local USDA Service Center for information on eligibility and planning. Farmers who are interested in practices that may require permits – such as manure storage or streambank restoration – are urged to begin planning and seeking permits as soon as possible. Applicants with shovel-ready projects will receive a higher ranking in select fund pools.

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Applications are accepted at all USDA Service Centers. Applications received after May 20 will automatically be deferred to the next funding cycle. Visit farmers.gov and search for “local service center” and wi.nrcs.usda.gov for more information.

Beef Board nominees sought

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking nominees for the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, also known as the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. The deadline for nominations is June 9. Nominees are needed to succeed members in several states, including Wisconsin.

The Beef Board is responsible for certification of Qualified State Beef Councils. The board oversees collection of checkoff dollars on all cattle sold in the United States and on imported cattle, beef and beef products. It’s also responsible for approving the annual budget for its national checkoff-funded programs.

The board is composed of 101 members representing 34 states, four units of geographically grouped states, and one importer unit.

Beef producers within the United States who own cattle or any importers that import cattle or beef may be nominated. Producers and importers must be nominated by a certified producer organization and submit a completed application. The Secretary of Agriculture will select individuals from nominations submitted.

A list of certified producer organizations, the nomination form and information about the Cattlemen’s Beef Board are available. Visit Cattlemen’s Beef Board ams.usda.gov and search for “Cattlemen’s Beef Board” and beefboard.org or contact [email protected] or 202-713-6918 for more information.

Lamb Board nominees sought

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking nominees for the American Lamb Board to succeed four members with terms expiring in February 2023. The 13-member Lamb Board was established to maintain and expand the market for sheep and sheep products.

Nominations are needed to succeed members that include one producer with 100 or fewer lambs, one producer with more than 500 lambs, one feeder at-large, and one first handler. The deadline for nominations is June 9.

Any U.S. producer, feeder or first handler who owns or purchases lambs may be considered for nomination. To satisfy the requirements of the Lamb Promotion and Research Order, the producers with 100 or fewer lambs or the producers with more than 500 lambs can be from either of the Lamb Board’s two regions. That’s either the designated area east of the Mississippi River or the area designed west of the Mississippi River.

At-large feeder nominees must be from Region 1 – the designated area east of the Mississippi River. Producers, feeders or first handler must be nominated by certified nominating organizations and submit a completed application. The Secretary of Agriculture will select individuals from the nominations submitted.

A list of certified nominating organizations, the nomination form and information about the board are available. Visit ams.usda.gov and search for “American Lamb Board” or contact [email protected] or 202-713-6918 for more information.

Wildlife program  proposals sought

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting new and modified proposals from conservation partners for the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement initiative. It’s part of the Conservation Reserve Program focused on managing wildlife habitat. The USDA’s Farm Service Agency has expanded available practices in the initiative.

The agency is working to strengthen the wildlife benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program through the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement initiative. It urges government entities, nonprofits and other groups to take advantage of the initiative to help manage wildlife habitat.

Through the initiative producers and landowners restore habitat in alignment with state wildlife-conservation goals. Landowners establish wetlands, grasses and trees. The practices are designed to enhance wildlife populations by creating habitat and food sources. They also protect soil and water health by working as a barrier to sediment and nutrient runoff.

Natural Resource Conservation Service employees provide Conservation Reserve Program participants conservation-planning assistance. That will involve managing for early successional habitat-cover establishment and wildlife-habitat planting. According to the USDA, those eligible practices will enable partners to better target a wide variety of wildlife species, such as the Northern bobwhite, lesser prairie-chicken and the New England cottontail.

As part of the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement signup, the Farm Service Agency will authorize cost-share assistance for producers who would like to re-enroll acres in the Conservation Reserve Program but need assistance updating their vegetative cover to align with the conservation service’s practice standards for early successional habitat or wildlife planting.

New and modified proposals must be submitted to Farm Service Agency state offices by June 13. In Wisconsin contact [email protected] or 608-662-4422, ext 129. Visit fsa.usda.gov/crp for more information.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is still accepting orders for remaining tree seedlings. Wisconsin state nurseries have 1- and 2-year-old Red Oak, 1-year-old jack pine, 1-year-old black walnut, 2-year-old Red Pine, and 2-year-old Black Spruce available for purchase.

All seedlings are grown at the Wilson State Nursery in Boscobel, Wisconsin. The minimum order includes a packet of 300 seedlings in 100-count increments of selected species, 500 shrubs or 1,000 tree seedlings.

The seedlings must be planted in Wisconsin and are to be used in reforestation efforts, creating wildlife habitat, controlling erosion, or constructing natural windbreaks. Call 715-424-3700 for more information.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is suspending all poultry shows, exhibitions and swap meets statewide through May 31. The action has been taken to prevent the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

The agency already had suspended poultry exhibitions in Jefferson County after a commercial farm was confirmed with the virus. Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and North Carolina are just a few of the states that have implemented similar restrictions.

Poultry owners and those working with poultry are encouraged to continue practicing strict biosecurity to protect flocks. When possible, poultry owners are asked to keep their flocks indoors to prevent contact with wild birds. Signs of avian influenza in infected birds are listed.

• sudden death without clinical signs

• lack of energy or appetite

• decrease in egg production and/or soft, misshapen eggs

• purple discoloration of wattles, comb and legs

To report increased mortality or signs of illness among domestic birds contact 608-224-4872 (business hours) or 800-943-0003 (after hours and weekend) or [email protected] for more information.

Training addresses farm stress

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s Farm Center is offering a free virtual course to help agricultural-service providers understand the unique stresses and challenges of farming. The course is a part of the Farmer Wellness Program that creates and connects Wisconsin farmers to mental-health resources.

Agricultural lenders, milk haulers, nutritionists, veterinarians, farm-equipment technicians and others who provide services to farmers are encouraged to take the training. Each module features a 15- to 20-minute video presentation followed by interactive questions. The course is self-paced and addresses the topics listed.

  • Culture of Farming by Dan Smith, president and CEO, Cooperative Network
  • Recognizing Farmer Stress by Renee Sutkay, associate director, Journey Mental Health
  • Financial Unpredictability in Farming by Paul Dietmann, senior lending officer, Compeer Financial
  • Navigating Difficult Conversations with Farmers by Elaine Froese, farm-transition specialist
  • Resources and Self-care for Agriculture Service Providers by Chris Frakes, program director, Farm Well Wisconsin

Visit farmcenter.wi.gov or contact [email protected] or 800-942-2474 for more information.

Career partnership formed

AgCareers.com and AgLaunch have formed a partnership to amplify career connections in the agricultural-technology sector. AgLaunch is a nonprofit focused on accelerating innovation in agriculture through early farmer engagement. AgCareers.com has more than 20 years’ of experience in agriculture-talent solutions.

AgCareers.com will support agriculture-technology startup companies in creating a framework to fulfill their talent and human-resources needs. It will provide the solutions listed.

• products to create awareness and deliver qualified agriculture candidates to fulfil hiring needs

• compensation data to ensure competitiveness in the agriculture industry

• branding opportunities through the AgCareers.com platform and social media

• assess, create and deliver human-resources tools and resources

Commission studies anti-competition

The European Commission is inviting primary producers, processors, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and input providers to share their experiences with agreements aimed at achieving sustainability objectives in agri-food supply chains. European Union law generally bans agreements between companies that restrict competition. But the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union recently adopted a derogation allowing such restrictions in agreements in the agriculture sector if they’re indispensable to achieve sustainability standards greater than European Union or national mandatory standards.

The commission consults stakeholders to understand the types of sustainability agreements they’ve developed thus far or would like to develop. The commission seeks to understand potential restrictions of competition that could have resulted or may result from such agreements as well as the possible impact of such cooperation on supply, prices and innovation. 

Supercluster invests in autonomous

Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster recently invested in operational planning software for autonomous agriculture. The Standard Data Platform for Autonomous Agriculture project is focused on bringing digital technologies and automation to farms.

The project will be led by Verge Ag in collaboration with Terramera, i-Open Group, Simon Fraser University and QuantoTech. The project will create a digital twin of a users’ farm to support operational planning and decision-making.

The platform is expected to leverage new data sources to help farmers characterize their fields, crops, soil and environmental factors. It will combine that information with historical farm data to optimize planning, manage costs and maximize net returns. Visit digitalsupercluster.ca for more information.

Climate-smart ag considered

The first Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate – AIM for Climate – ministerial meeting recently was held in Dubai. More than 30 government officials gathered formally for the first time since the mission was launched in November 2022 at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

At that time AIM for Climate partners announced $4 billion in increased investment from public- and private-sector partners for climate-smart agriculture and food-systems innovation. At the recent meeting partners set a goal of doubling the investment to $8 billion by November 2022 at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The mission welcomed seven new government partners – Chile, Costa Rica, Egypt, the European Commission, Guyana, Mozambique, Turkey. There are now 40 government partners.

Non-government partners, including businesses and philanthropies, are building on the foundation through “Innovation Sprints.” Those are investments in specific, expedited activities that address AIM for Climate objectives. With the newest addition of the IBM Sustainability Accelerator, nine innovation sprints are underway.

In Dubai AIM for Climate announced four areas for 2022 Innovation Sprints to be launched at COP27 – smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries, methane reduction, emerging technologies, and agroecological research.

AIM for Climate also announced another path for partner involvement – “AIM for Climate Ideations.” Ideations will focus on insight sharing, collaboration, institutional-capacity building, and demonstration and deployment of agricultural innovations that support AIM for Climate objectives. Visit aimforclimate.org for more information.

The global veterinary artificial-insemination market is expected to reach more than $7 billion by 2030, according to a new report by Grand View Research Inc. The market is expected to increase at an annual rate of 6.5 percent from 2022 to 2030.

The growth is attributed to increasing consumption of animal protein, growing demand for livestock productivity, and adoption of sexed semen. Highlights from the report are featured.

• By animal type, the cattle segment held the largest share of the market in 2021 due to increasing consumption of beef, milk and other dairy products.

• The swine segment is projected to grow due to increasing adoption of artificial-insemination techniques and increasing pork consumption in key markets.

• The sexed semen segment is expected to show the fastest growth during the forecast period.

• North America dominated the market in 2021 while the Asia Pacific is anticipated to grow the fastest in future years.

Visit grandviewresearch.com and search for “veterinary artificial insemination market” for more information.