Posted on August 8, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
New policies to help hard-hit agricultural areas
Heartland drought persists across the U.S.
By Summit Voice
The federal government has stepped up aid for drought-stricken parts of the country to help farmers and ranchers recover from the worst dry spell since the Dust Bowl of the1 930s.
The relief includes availability of about $16 million for financial and technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to immediately help crop and livestock producers, as well as making 1,000 credit unions eligible for a low-income designation, which permits unlimited lending to small-business owners including farmers.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture transfer of $14 million in unobligated program funds into the Emergency Conservation Program will assist in moving water to livestock in need, providing emergency forage for livestock, and rehabilitating lands severely impacted by the drought. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, Environment | Tagged: agricultures, climate, Colorado, drought, Dust Bowl, Emergency Conservation Program, United States Department of Agriculture | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 2, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
With extreme drought spreading across Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper is seeking to get ahead of the curve for federal disaster relief.
Gov. Hickenlooper seeks federal drought aid
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Several Colorado counties already meet federal criteria for drought relief, and more could be eligible soon, as farmers start to harvest wheat weeks ahead of schedule and some ranchers consider selling their cattle in the face of continued dry conditions.
In some parts of the state, ranchers won’t be able to grow enough hay to feed their cattle through the winter. Other areas were hit by an April frost after record warm temps in March spurred fruit trees to bloom.
As a result, Gov. John Hickenlooper last week requested drought assistance from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, seasons, Snow and weather | Tagged: agriculture, Colorado, drought, federal disaster aid Colorado, John Hickenlooper, Tom Vilsack, United States Department of Agriculture | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 16, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Voluntary wetlands and wildlife conservation programs are on the Republican chopping block.
‘Penny-wise and dollar-foolish’ policy, conservation groups say
By Summit Voice
The U.S. House of Representatives this week cut almost $1 billion from U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs for Fiscal Year 2012, spurring criticism from environmental groups.
“We realize that Congress faces tough budget choices, but making draconian cuts to voluntary conservation programs that help farmers and ranchers provide all Americans with cleaner air and water, more productive soils and habitat for wildlife is penny-wise and dollar-foolish,” said Sara Hopper, agricultural policy director for Environmental Defense Fund and a former staff member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “The Senate needs to restore reasonable funding levels for conservation programs for the benefit of our environment and taxpayers.” (more…)
Filed under: agriculture, endangered species, Environment, federal government, water, wetlands, wildlife | Tagged: Environment, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, federal budget, Grasslands Reserve Program, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Republicans, Summit County News, United States, United States Department of Agriculture, USDA conservation program budget cuts, Wetlands Reserve Program, wildlife, Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program | Leave a Comment »