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Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie who maintained that compliance with the 56 conservation practices would remain voluntary. Representative Rick Crawford (R-AR) said, "The NCRS has been seen for many years as a body of technical knowledge and now it seems to be more of a regulatory body. It's very disappointing."The subcommittee also heard testimony from Don Parrish of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Chip Bowling of the National Corn Growers Association, Andy Fabin a producer from Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Scott Kovarovics of the Izaac Walton League of America. All expressed concern for whether conservation practices would even be possible for farmers and ranchers under this rule.The comment period is open for EPA's "Waters of the U.S." rule until October 20, 2014 and the comment period for the interpretive rule has been extended until July 07, 2014. Contact: Lydia Holmes, (703) 236-1450

Agri Buzz : China Government Forecasts Bumper Grain Harvest In 2014-15 Capital Markets 10:16:00, Jun 20, 2014 Higher winter wheat output allays concerns over food security this year.Higher output of winter wheat and early-season rice will bolster China's grain output self-sufficency and allay worries over food security this year, the China Ministry of Agriculture said.China harvested more than 20 million hectares of winter wheat crop this week, accounting for about 90 percent of the total winter wheat crop.Farm mechanization rates improved with 19,900 combine harvesters being used to harvest the wheat spread over an area of 18.87 million hectares, according to data provided by the farm mechanization department under the Ministry of Agriculture.

Officials from the agricultural departments of the major wheat-growing regions like Shandong and Henan also expressed confidence that winter wheat output this year would be higher than that of last year. The two provinces have so far harvested 3.74 million and 5.47 million ha of winter wheat.Hubei, another prime winter wheat-growing province, has purchased 1.3 million metric tons of wheat from local farmers, up 53 percent from a year earlier. The purchases were managed by China Grain Reserves Corp's Hubei branch and the local government.According to the Ministry of Agriculture, all the 11 major grain-growing provinces in China have all reported higher yields this month.

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