Drone Demonstrations by BTI at 3i SHOW

DODGE CITY - Western Kansas Manufacturers Association, sponsor of the annual 3i SHOW, and BTI Ag Solutions invite the public to come check out Drone demonstrations July 10-12! Drone demos will be held every hour on the hour in the BTI Ag Solutions exhibit located in spaces O-547, 549 and 551.

The BTI Ag Solutions group has researched and put together a Drone solution for area producers that are simple to use. The BTI Drone can be used to scout fields efficiently, look for livestock, check fertilizer tank levels, look for problem areas, and so much more! BTI Ag Solutions provides a complete list of Precision Ag services to area customers to help maximize their bottom line. Services being displayed will include field mapping with an EM Sled, planting and fertilizing prescriptions, zone and grid sampling, as well as water management solutions using our John Deere water probes and variable rate irrigation.

For more information about the BTI Ag Solutions exhibit or services, contact the Ag Solutions Call Center at 855-BTI 4AMS or 855-284-4267. For information about the 60th Annual 3i SHOW or to reserve exhibit space visit www.3ishow.com, or contact the WKMA office directly toll-free at 877-405-2883 or locally at 620-277-8082. To receive continued updates and information about the 3i SHOW and events, like the 3i SHOW Facebook Page.

EPA Extends Comment Period for Proposed New Safety Measures to Protect Farm Workers from Pesticide Exposure

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is extending the comment period for the proposed revisions to the agricultural Worker Protection Standard for an additional 60 days, until Aug. 18, 2014, in response to requests from growers, industry, farm worker advocates and states for additional time to provide input.

The proposed changes provide significant improvements to worker training regarding the safe use of pesticides, including how to prevent and effectively treat pesticide exposure. Increased training from every five years to every year and signage would help farm workers protect themselves and their families from pesticide exposure.

Workers and others near treated fields would be better protected from pesticide overspray and fumes. In addition, the EPA has proposed that children under 16 be legally barred from handling all pesticides. These revisions protect workers while ensuring agricultural productivity and preserving the traditions of and exemptions for family members working on family farms.

USDA Designates 13 Counties in Kansas as Primary Natural Disaster Areas with Assistance to Producers in Oklahoma

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 13 counties in Kansas as primary natural disaster areas due to the recent drought. The counties are Chase, Elk, McPherson, Osage, Chautauqua, Greenwood, Marion, Pratt, Coffey, Lyon, Montgomery, Rice and Stafford.

Farmers and ranchers in the following contiguous counties in Kansas also qualify for natural disaster assistance are Allen, Dickinson, Kingman, Reno, Anderson, Douglas, Kiowa, Saline, Barber, Edwards, Labette, Shawnee, Barton, Ellsworth, Morris, Wabaunsee, Butler, Franklin, Neosho, Wilson, Cowley, Harvey, Pawnee and Woodson. All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on May 14, 2014, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov

USDA Announces Changes to Fruit, Vegetable and Wild Rice Planting Rules

MANHATTAN - USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced fruit, vegetable and wild rice provisions that affect producers who intend to participate in certain programs authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014.

Producers who intend to participate in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs are subject to an acre-for-acre payment reduction when fruits and nuts, vegetables or wild rice are planted on the payment acres of a farm. Payment reductions do not apply to mung beans, dry peas, lentils or chickpeas. Planting fruits, vegetables or wild rice on acres that are not considered payment acres will not result in a payment reduction. Farms that are eligible to participate in ARC/PLC but are not enrolled for a particular year may plant unlimited fruits, vegetables and wild rice for that year but will not receive ARC/PLC payments for that year. Eligibility for succeeding years is not affected.

For additional information on fruit, vegetable and wild rice rules, visit www.fsa.usda.gov or contact your local USDA Service Center.

Lesser-Prairie Chicken Listing Will Not Impact Ability to Enter and Exit CRP Program

MANHATTAN - Adrian J. Polansky, State Executive Director of the USDA Kansas Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced that farmers, ranchers and landowners implementing FSA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) practices intended to protect and increase lesser prairie-chicken populations will continue to be able to enroll new land and exit the program on expired acres just the same as before the species was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The final rule for listing the lesser prairie-chicken as a threatened species and the special rule limiting regulatory impacts on landowners and businesses because of this listing were effective May 12, 2014. Visit www.fws.gov/southwest/es/LPC.html to learn more about the threatened lesser prairie-chicken.

CRP participants and prospective participants should contact their local FSA office and seek advice from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in developing conservation compliance plans. Visit your local FSA office or go to www.fsa.usda.gov for more information.