Ag Notebook: Lawmaker from Colo. succeeding in push for hemp farming
August 5, 2013
Amendment in farm bill would allow industrial hemp research
An amendment to legalize hemp production for research purposes was included in the farm bill that passed the House last week by a vote of 216-208.
Introduced by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and passed by a vote of 225 to 200 on a previous unsuccessful version of the Farm Bill, the hemp amendment survived and is part of the House version this time around.
"Although I strongly opposed the Republican farm bill, I was pleased to see that the bipartisan amendment that I offered with Representatives Blumenauer and Massie was included in the final bill that passed the House of Representatives today," said Rep. Polis. "This commonsense amendment will allow colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes in states where industrial hemp cultivation is already legal."
So far in the 2013 legislative season, industrial hemp legislation has been introduced in 20 states.
To date, 31 states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and 19 — including Colorado — have passed pro-hemp legislation.
Despite state authorization to grow hemp, farmers in those states still risk raids by federal agents if they plant the crop, due to federal policy.
Corn farmers return to insecticides to battle rootworm
After foregoing insecticides for a decade, some corn growers are returning to chemicals to control their No. 1 pest, the corn rootworm.
Darwin Bettin, in Sac County, Iowa, has used Bt corn since Monsanto introduced it — and never had to apply insecticide. But one morning after a storm, he found a big surprise.
Now, he's planting a different variety of Bt corn and adding insecticide to be safe.
He's not alone. A survey of Illinois farmers showed as many as half are supplementing Bt corn with insecticide, and one-fourth are returning to chemicals as a precaution, whether they've seen the bugs or not.
USDA EXTENDS ACREAGE REPORTING DEADLINE TO AUG. 2
Farmers and landowners have an additional 18 calendar days to submit their annual report of acreage to their local FSA county office with the deadline extended from Monday, July 15, 2013, to Friday, Aug. 2, 2013. Only the FSA reporting deadline has been extended. The acreage reporting requirement for crop insurance has not changed and remains July 15.
While FSA is able to extend its deadline, RMA's acreage reporting date remains July 15, 2013, for most spring planted crops in the country. Farmers are reminded to contact their insurance agent if they have any questions about coverage, prevented planting, or for reporting and processing a claim.
Producers should contact their local FSA office to make an appointment to complete acreage reporting for FSA. For questions on this or any FSA program, producers should contact their local FSA office or seek information online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.