Ag Chat with Scott Schultz - September 9

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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- A federal court has sent federal Renewable Fuel Standard volumes back to the Environmental Protection Agency for further consideration. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia's Friday ruling agreed with environmental groups' contention that EPA officials didn't properly consider Endangered Species Act provisions when establishing the standards. The appeals court dismissed several challenges by the National Biodiesel Board, which had said the EPA should have accounted for small-refinery waivers when calculating the fuel standard volumes. Ethanol interests have said those waivers have been hurting the ethanol industry and the farmers that sell corn to ethanol processors.

The Wisconsin Farmers Union has hired its first watershed coordinator. Bill Hogseth, a former state Department of Natural Resources biologist, will fill the new position, according to Wisconsin Farmers Union executive director Julie Bomar. She said in a news release that Hogseth will work with farmer-led councils in Dunn, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties on projects in the Mississippi River watershed. He also will work with agencies on water-quality programs. During recent years, Hogseth has worked with Lower Chippewa River prairie and oak savanna restoration and with state deer population and chronic wasting disease issues.

The enrollment period has opened for farmers to sign up for the federal Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs for the 2019 crop year. Producers have until March 15 to enroll in the programs through local federal Farm Service Agency offices. The programs were reauthorized in the 2018 Farm Bill. The Agriculture Risk Coverage program is designed to provide income support payments on historical base-acres when actual crop revenues decline below a guaranteed level. The Price Loss Coverage program is designed to provide support payments based on historical base-acres when the price for a covered commodity falls below its effective reference price.

Today is the application deadline for farmers interested in hosting the 2022 Farm Technology Days show in Clark County. Any farmers interested in applying should contact the Clark County University of Wisconsin-Extension office in Neillsville.