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 Agriculture News

KHRT AGRICULTURE NEWS - 05/27/14

     TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is teaming with businesses, nonprofits and others on a program to fund locally designed soil and water conservation projects nationwide.
 
     Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to announce the program Tuesday near Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay in Michigan, where farm runoff causes algae blooms that degrade water quality. The area is among many that are expected to generate funding proposals.
 
     USDA officials provided details of the program to The Associated Press ahead of the announcement.  They said the purpose is to involve private companies, sporting groups, local governments and others more directly in conservation initiatives tailored to meet local needs.
 
     USDA will spend $1.2 billion over five years and seek the same amount from partners.

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Beekeepers in the nation's top honey-producing state are getting help through a product tied to a plant typically associated with beer.
 
     The federal government is allowing North Dakota beekeepers to use Hopguard pesticide to control a mite thought to be connected to colony collapse disorder. It's the fourth year for the exemption, which is necessary because Hopguard isn't yet registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.
 
     North Dakota's top pesticide official says there's no concern about safety because Hopguard is made from a natural product - an extract of the hop plant.  Minot beekeeper Will Nissen says Hopguard is important to the industry because it is the only pesticide that's legal to use during actual honey production.
 
     Other honey states including South Dakota also have received EPA exemptions.

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The state director in North Dakota for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development agency has been tabbed to lead a nationwide initiative.  Jasper Schneider will lead USDA's Community and Economic Development initiative. Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O'Brien appointed Schneider.
 
     The goal of the initiative is to extend Rural Development's reach, focusing on underserved areas, tribal regions and counties with high poverty rates.

 

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

 

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