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AGRICULTURE NEWS BRIEFS

Staff Report

SAFETY-NET PROGRAM DEADLINES

Producers are being notified of upcoming important deadlines for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC).

The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres is today and the final day for farm owners and producers to choose coverage is March 31.

“These programs provide financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace, so now is the time to have those final conversations, to ask any remaining questions, and to visit the Farm Service Agency to make these decisions,” said Clint Koble of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Clint Koble.

“For the first time in many years, farmers have the opportunity to update yields or reallocate base, but if no changes were made by Feb. 27, the farm’s current yield and base will be used,” said Koble. “If no program election occurs by March 31, then there will be no 2014 payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage through the 2018 crop year.”

CLASSES FOR MATURE GARDENER

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is offering a series of tfree classes at 11 locations statewide for maturing gardeners. The “Gardening Smarter as We Mature” series teaches how to garden more easily as the body changes and ages.

The classes are taught by Health, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology Specialist Anne Lindsay and Social Horticulture Specialist Angela O’Callaghan. They will focus on the biomechanics of the body, covering gross and fine motor skills, core strengthening, cardiovascular health, strength and endurance. Participants will learn practical gardening applications, such as simplifying gardening life, prioritizing tasks, using lower-maintenance plants and gardening in raised beds.

Classes run from 10 a.m. to noon, April 8 and May 14. Topics include:

April 8: Using the maturing body properly, techniques and tools

May 14: Simplifying gardening life

Classes will be held at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Lifelong Learning Center in Las Vegas, 8050 Paradise Road, Suite A, 702-222-3130, and will be available via interactive video:

Churchill County Cooperative Extension, 111 Scheckler Road, Fallon, 775-423-5121.

GARDENING IN NEVADA

Cooperative Extension has teamed up with Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space to offer “Gardening in Nevada:

The Bartley Ranch Series.” Classes are free and run 6– 8 p.m. every Tuesday in March at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road in Reno.

The classes are taught by Cooperative Extension horticulturists and experts, and Cooperative Extension’s certified Master Gardener volunteers. The next three classes are:

March 17: GMOs: Facts and Fallacies — Cooperative Extension Horticulture Specialist Heidi Kratsch teaches about genetic modification and the current GMO (genetically modified organism) crops on the market.

March 24: Successful Vegetable Gardening Part 1 — Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Randy Robison teaches soil preparation, composting and how crop success starts by feeding the soil.

For more information on “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series,” or for general horticultural inquiries, contact University of Nevada Cooperative Extension at 775-784-4848 or mastergardeners@unce.unr.edu, or visit http://www.unce.unr.edu. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

TREE SALE

The Lahontan Conservation District is having its annual tree sale.

The plants are bare root and will range in size depending on the species selected. The trees purchased must be used for screen/windbreak, soil erosion control, riparian restoration or wildlife habitat improvement.

Prices range from $3.50-$4.50. Orders will be taken until March 16 and will be ready to pick up on April 4 at the Plant Materials Center.

To participate, contact Jackie Bogdanowicz at jackie.bogdanowicz@nv.nacdnet.net, 423-5124 x 101 or visit the Ag Service Center at 111 Sheckler Road.

AG PRODUCER PRESENTATIONS

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will offer three free presentations, the last Tuesday of each month, March–May, on topics important to agricultural producers and small-acreage owners in Northern Nevada.

March 31: Agricultural Options for Small-acreage Landowners in Times of Drought, presented by Jay Davison, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension alternative crops and forage specialis

April 28: Fruit Trees, presented by Wendy Hanson, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program coordinator

May 26: Soil Health and Benefits of Compost, presented by Chris Savastio, Natural Resources Conservation Service soil scientist; and Craig Witt, Full Circle Compost owner

All presentations will be held 6–8 p.m., at CVIC Hall, 1604 Esmeralda Ave. in Minden. The presentations are free, and no registration is required. However, persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the event they plan to attend. For more information, contact Lewis at lewisst@unce.unr.edu or 775-782-9960.

CONSERVATION PROGRAM

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make available $100 million this year through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and although applications are accepted all year, farmers, ranchers and forest landowners should submit applications to ensure they are considered for this year’s funding (applications received after that date will be considered for future funding). This year’s investment may result in the enrollment of up to 7.7 million acres in the program by private landowners.

“CSP is a way of incentivizing farmers, ranchers, and private forest managers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship,” said Bruce Petersen of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “By focusing on multiple resource concerns, landowners are able to achieve a sustainable landscape and maintain or increase the productivity of their operations.”

Through CSP, participants take additional conservation steps to improve the resource conditions on their land, including soil, air and habitat quality, water quality and quantity, and energy conservation.

Petersen said CSP producers are conservation leaders, showing how science-based conservation and technological advancements can improve the environment and farming operations at the same time.

For more on technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted&lt;http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/newsroom/releases/?cid=stelprdb1193811&gt; or a local USDA service center<http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/newsroom/releases/?cid=nrcsdev11_000242&gt;.