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Farmers to fill out several winter surveys, EPA extends pesticide applicator certification deadline due to COVID-19

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 9:43 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -As we get ready to say good bye to 2021 we think back to what were some of the major stories in agriculture this year. The Covid-19 pandemic and the problems it caused in places like meat packing plants was certainly at the top of the list. Meat packers were also in the news for the consolidation in the industry and the shutting down of plants for a time this year because of Covid-19 meant a lot of animals couldn’t be processed and had to be disposed of in other ways. The back-ups at our ports for both exports and imports caused major disruptions in the supply chain as that situation is now being dealt with and is improving. The cropping season in our area was good but not far away in Minnesota, the Dakotas and the West, drought caused major problems. And as we get to the end of the year and are making plans for the next growing season, some of the highest fertilizers prices ever are causing farmers to re-think their 2022 crop rotations.

Another job farmers are doing this winter will be filling out government forms. The National Agricultural Statistics Service is mailing out the National Agricultural Classification Survey to over one million farmers this month. This survey helps to determine who will get the 2022 Census of Agriculture. They want to find out the type operation and other basic farm information. By law, farmers that get the survey must fill it out and return it by January 24th.

And another survey for farmers to fill out this winter will deal with their cattle inventory. The National Agricultural Statistics Service is contacting about 41 thousand farmers with cattle nationwide in January. They are collecting beef and dairy numbers, calf crop, death loss, and cattle on feed information. This information will help packers plan for the number of animals coming to them for processing. Beef supplies for potential export will also be surveyed.

For farmers, the winter season is also a time to update federal, state, territorial and tribal certification plans. Because of Covid-19, the EPA has extended the deadline for pesticide applicator certification plans to November 4th of next year rather than this coming of March 4th as originally planned. The additional time will be used to review changes in plans and give the EPA time to approve those plans and avoid any interruptions in pesticide applications for next year’s growing season.

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