Okay, the long anticipated new climate change Senate bill authored by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) was finally unveiled. The American Power Act at first glance does appear to be an improvement over the House bill (Waxman-Markey) in that there appears to be added certainty on offsets. Kerry and Lieberman tout the bill as a jobs bill and a step toward achieve energy security, while reducing carbon pollution by 17 percent in 2020 and by over 80 percent in 2050. Unlike W-M, the Kerry-Lieberman bill enumerates a specific and lengthy list of eligible offset categories. K-L also addresses offset regulation in a way that weaves together both EPA regulatory and USDA oversight responsibilities, ultimately, in a step likely to annoy both the agriculture and environment community, requiring consultations between the two in most cases for offset designation and removal. As expected, and basically mandated by farming groups and their congressional champions, the USDA is given the primary role over agricultural and forest offset approval, while the EPA has a similar role over other offsets. Time will tell whether this complicated approach in which USDA may be required to take on the unsavory role of a regulatory agency is workable. My guess is that it will not work as proposed. On the bright side is the provision making environmental consideration of offsets is still in place for sequestration projects, especially to protect habitat and native species. In general environmental considerations may even be stronger then W-M.
USDA Funding Leads To First Wood-To-Jet Fuel Commercial Flight
On November 14, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its partners celebrated the successful journey of the first commercial flight powered in part by a new renewable fuel made from wood waste. The demonstration flight, operated by Alaska Airlines, was made possible due to a five-year $39.6 million research project to develop a viable renewable fuel source from cellulose-rich wood harvest leftovers funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and led by Washington State University...
VICAM’s Afla-V AQUA Strip Test Receives USDA-GIPSA Certification for the Quantitative Analysis of Aflatoxins
Waters Corporation (WAT: NYSE) today announced VICAM®, a Waters® Business, received USDA-GIPSA (Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration) certification for itsAfla-V® AQUA™ strip test for the quantitative analysis of total aflatoxins in grains. “Aflatoxin detection is critical to global food cultivation and trade. USDA-GIPSA approval provides official verification of method performance, giving our customers even greater confidence in their aflatoxin testing data,”...
AgriTechNews Money Saving Rice Crops to a New Innovative Fertiliser Approach
Another week, another agri-tech development taking progress to the next level. From rice crops that can save farmers money and cut pollution to an innovative approach to a new fertiliser, here’s four articles that caught our eye. It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a USDA Aerial Cover Crop Seeding Helicopter “For a few years now, the USDA has been administering an aerial program that’s a little unusual. Helicopters are, surprisingly enough, not that uncommon in the agriculture...
USDA announces availability of BCAP funding for farmers, foresters and ranchers
On May 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) had resumed incentives for farmers and foresters producing biomass for renewable energy and biobased products. BCAP has $3 million in available funding for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The program was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, and supports growers who produce energy biomass crops, or deliver forest and agriculture residues to a USDA-approved bioenergy or bioproducts...
USDA Unveils New Improvement to Streamline Crop Reporting
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that farmers and ranchers filing crop acreage reports with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and participating insurance providers approved by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) now can provide the common information from their acreage reports at one office and the information will be electronically shared with the other location. This new process is part of the USDA Acreage Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI). This interagency collaboration also...