Agriculture updates | NevadaAppeal.com

Agriculture updates

Staff Reports

CATTLEMEN’S UPDATE

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension; the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources; the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Risk Management Agency; and other local sponsors will host the 2015 Cattlemen’s Update next week at locations across Nevada with daily educational programs.

The Fallon session is slated for Monday beginning at 6 p.m. at the Fallon Convention Center, not the multipurpose building at the fairgrounds. Dinner will be provided.

The Cattlemen’s Update provides cattle producers with current information about important management practices and issues that may affect the efficiency, productivity, profitability and sustainability of their businesses. Each day during the week, the program is held at a different location in the state, where experts discuss pertinent topics with participants.

The cost is $20 per ranch per location attended with lunch or dinner served. Registration is at the door, and includes the meal and the “Red Book” tracking guide for cattlemen for each participant.

For more information, contact Staci Emm at 775-945-3444 or emms@unce.unr.edu.

RADON ACTION MONTH

January is National Radon Action Month, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program is offering educational presentations at various locations across the state.

Free test kits for homes will also be available at the presentations, which is scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Churchill County multi-purpose building on Sheckler Road.

For those who cannot attend a presentation, free radon test kits will also be available through Feb. 28 at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices and partner offices statewide. In Nevada, one in four homes already tested have shown radon concentrations at or above the EPA action level. According to experts, living in a home with radon concentrations at the action level poses as much risk of developing lung cancer as smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day.

Cooperative Extension, the EPA and the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health urge all Nevadans to get their homes tested for radon. For more information, visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website at http://www.RadonNV.com, call the Radon Hotline at 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610).

CROP DISASTER PROGRAM

Greater protection is now available from the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program for crops that traditionally have been ineligible for federal crop insurance, announces Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The new options, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provide greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect specialty crops such as vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, and energy crops.

If the application deadline for an eligible crop has already passed, producers will have until Jan. 14 to choose expanded coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. To learn more, visit the Farm Service Agency (FSA) website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/nap or contact your local FSA office at offices.usda.gov.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers the program, also wants to hear from producers and other interested stakeholders who may have suggestions or recommendations on the program. Written comments will be accepted until Feb. 13, 2015 and can be submitted through http://www.regulations.gov.

“These new protections will help ensure that farm families growing crops for food, fiber or livestock consumption will be better able to withstand losses due to natural disasters,” said Vilsack. “For years, commodity crop farmers have had the ability to purchase insurance to keep their crops protected, and it only makes sense that fruit and vegetable, and other specialty crop growers, should be able to purchase similar levels of protection. Ensuring these farmers can adequately protect themselves from factors beyond their control is also critical for consumers who enjoy these products and for communities whose economies depend on them.”

Previously, the program offered coverage at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production. Producers can now choose higher levels of coverage, up to 65 percent of their expected production at 100 percent of the average market price.