Ag Notebook: West Slope bikers and ranchers getting along |

Ag Notebook: West Slope bikers and ranchers getting along

Drought disaster declared for 38 Colorado counties

Gov. John Hickenlooper was notified last week by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that 14 counties qualify for federal disaster relief because of drought conditions.

The federal disaster relief includes Farm Service Agency emergency loans.

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance.

Mountain bikers, ranchers working to co-exist on The Crown

The Mid Valley Trails Committee teamed with the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association and the Bureau of Land Management last month to install two cattle guards that replace gates on grazing allotments on The Crown, the hump of land between the Roaring Fork River and Mount Sopris in the midvalley.

The Crown is ground zero in the collision of New West and Old West. It’s evolved into a hotspot for mountain bikers but there are also several, decades-old federal grazing allotments for area ranchers.

Ranchers say that as recreation use soars, it’s becoming harder for them to use historic grazing lands. Gates get left open and cattle wander onto other allotments or to private property.

Members of the Mid Valley Trails Committee wanted to show ranchers they are sympathetic to their concerns and can ease some of them, said Temple Glassier, consultant to the committee.

The committee purchased six cattle guards for $585 each for a total of $3,510, she said, and provided labor.

Deadly virus new to the U.S. showing up in young pigs

A swine virus deadly to young pigs, and never before seen in North America, had recently spiked to about 200 sites in 13 states.

The virus does not pose a health risk to humans or other animals and the meat from PEDV-infected pigs is safe for people to eat, according to federal officials and livestock economists.

But the virus, which is spreading rapidly across the United States, is proving harder to control than previously believed. In addition to Iowa, Oklahoma has 38 positive sites, Minnesota has 19 and Indiana has 10, according to the data.

PEDV is spread most commonly by pigs ingesting contaminated feces.

Farm Bureau Members named to SB 13-252 Advisory Committee

The Colorado Energy Office announced last week the members of the SB13-252 Advisory Committee, and two Colorado Farm Bureau members were named to the committee.

The committee will advise the Colorado Energy Office Director on the effectiveness of SB 13-252. This bill increases the renewable energy standard for electric cooperative utilities from 10 to 20 percent by 2020, and expands the definition of renewable energy to include coal mine methane and gas produced from municipal solid waste.

The EO forms an advisory committee that will work to fully address these concerns, culminating in proposals for the 2014 legislative session.

The advisory committee will begin work this week.

They are expected to submit their conclusions to the CEO director on Nov 1.

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