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 Agriculture News

KHRT AGRICULTURE NEWS - 05/14/14

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell is slated to visit North Dakota to talk with ranchers about management of Little Missouri Grasslands in the western part of the state.  Sen. John Hoeven says Tidwell is hosting a meeting on Friday, May 30th at the Strom Center in Dickinson.
 
     Hoeven says Tidwell will meet with North Dakota grazing associations and individual ranchers to discuss management practices for grazing and ranching on the federal grasslands.  Hoeven says Tidwell has visited North Dakota several times in the past and to "better understand the challenges facing ranchers in the grasslands."

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    BISMARCK, ND (NDDA) - Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says a new labeling option for pesticides will make labels easier to read and follow, helping farmers and other users comply with rules and restrictions.

    "The Environmental Protection Agency now allows pesticide manufacturers to publish labels on their websites, as well as on the product containers," Goehring said. "Users of these web-distributed labels will be able to choose to follow either a printed label on the container or a label downloaded from a website referenced on the container label."

    EPA recently informed pesticide manufacturers of the web-distributed labeling option in a pesticide registration notice.  Once the system is operational, a user can visit the website referenced on the container, input some data from the container labeling, and download a legally valid version of the labeling.

    "This enables the user to custom tailor a label for an intended application," he said. "The custom label would include all relevant labeling, such as first aid and precautionary statements, but only the use instructions requested by the applicator. A user can also download the full label."

    Goehring said that pesticide labels can be already found on the internet from various sources, including manufacturers, but web-distributed labels are only valid if downloaded from the website referenced on the pesticide container.

    "The downloaded labels can be state-specific, crop-specific or both," Goehring said. "Users can also update their labels from year to year."

    Goehring said users of online labels will be able to store them on their desktop, laptop or tablet computers, as well as on smartphones.

    "State rules require the user to have a copy of the label in their possession during application," he said. "This will be easier than ever when the label can be stored on a smartphone."

    Goehring said he believes most manufacturers will eventually offer web-distributed labeling.

    "I also hope many pesticide dealers will offer their customers the service of downloading these labels," he said.

    The commissioner said the North Dakota Department of Agriculture played an important role in developing the web-based label concept.

    "The department's pesticide and fertilizer director, Jim Gray, first suggested this idea to EPA   back in 2003, and we have been pressing for it since as members of EPA work groups and through committees of state pesticide officials," Goehring said. "It shows the importance of having state people on board with national advisory committees and task forces that determine public policy."

    Goehring said more information about web-based pesticide labeling is available at www.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/labels/distribution/ or from NDDA's pesticide and fertilizer division.

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    BISMARCK, ND (NDDA) - The application deadline for the 2014 Specialty Crop Grants is about a week and a half away.  "North Dakota has been granted more than $3 million to promote the production, processing and use of specialty crops," said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. "Individuals, organizations and institutions are invited to submit proposals, either on their own or in partnerships."

    The funding from USDA's Agriculture Marketing Service can only be used for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops or benefit a specialty crop industry as a whole.

    Specialty crops are defined as "fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture." Specialty crops now grown commercially in North Dakota include dry beans, dry peas, lentils, potatoes, grapes, honey and various vegetables.

    An information manual with application instructions, scoring criteria and an application template can be found on the North Dakota Department of Agriculture website at www.nd.gov/ndda/program/specialty-crop-block-grant-program.

    Applications must be submitted in electronic form by 4 p.m., Friday, May 23. An external review committee will review and score the applications, which will then be forwarded to USDA for final approval. The grants will be awarded in late fall or early winter.

    Goehring said persons needing more information should contact Emily Edlund at (701) 328-2191 or edlundnd.gov.

 

   (Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

 

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