April 13, 2011
Vol. 29 No. 15
PESTICIDE PERMIT BILLS INTRODUCED IN SENATE, PASSED IN HOUSE The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to provide regulatory relief to pesticide applicators and a companion bill was introduced in the Senate. On March 31, the House passed H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, by a 292-130 vote. Of Georgia’s 13 representatives, 11 voted for H.R. 872, which was supported by Farm Bureau. H.R. 872 would eliminate what many consider burdensome and overlapping permit requirements resulting from the 2009 Sixth Circuit Court case National Cotton Council vs. EPA. It would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to clarify that CWA permits are not needed when a pesticide is applied in accordance with a FIFRA-approved label. The court ruling requires pesticide applications to be permitted under the CWA using the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) in addition to any label requirements or restrictions for the use of a pesticide under FIFRA, though the EPA has not previously required an NPDES permit for the application of FIFRA-registered crop protection products. Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate on April 4 by Pat Roberts, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Roberts’ bill, S. 718, was originally cosponsored by 12 senators, including Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). Under the EPA’s rule, 35,000 pesticide applicators will need permits to cover about 500,000 applications per year. Under the CWA, unlawful discharges are subject to fines of $37,500 per day. S. 718 clarifies that lawful application of pesticides under FIFRA does not trigger regulatory requirements in other programs. Like H.R. 872, S. 718 includes a provision that additional permits are not needed when a pesticide is used in accordance with the FIFRA-approved label, and is intended to solve many of the problems associated with the new NPDES permitting program and the Sixth Circuit ruling. “Once again, the EPA has overreached, causing serious consequences in our agriculture sector,” said Chambliss. “By refusing to defend current law and its own reasonable regulations, the EPA is in the position to place unnecessary, burdensome and duplicative permit requirements on producers, mosquito-control districts and states. Our legislation would simply prevent the EPA from imposing an erroneous regulation that does absolutely nothing to further protect or enhance the environment.”
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SENATE PASSES 1099 REPEAL BILL On April 5 the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 4, which repeals the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1099 reporting requirements that were included in President Obama’s health care package that passed in March 2010. The Senate voted 87-12 to pass the comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011. Georgia Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson both voted for the bill. The bill passed the House in early March by a 314-112 vote. “The 1099 provision imposes a tremendous burden on businesses, especially at a time where the government should be creating an environment for businesses to grow and hire employees,” Isakson said in a release. “Instead, this mandate hinders growth and creates unnecessary new costs for businesses. I am very pleased that we repealed this piece of the terribly-flawed health care bill today, and I will continue to work to repeal and replace the health care bill in its entirety.” Under Section 9006 of the health care law, an IRS Form 1099-Misc must be filed when a person engaged in a trade or business pays $600 or more to a non-employee for goods or services performed during the calendar year. Rental payments are included in the reporting requirement, but payments made to corporations are generally excluded. H.R. 4 cancels the 1099 requirement, which was set to go into effect in 2012. The business making the payment must provide a taxpayer identification number for each payee, and a copy of the 1099 form must be furnished to both the person providing the service and the IRS. Maintaining that the 1099 reporting requirement created an overwhelming administrative burden to small businesses, particularly agricultural producers, without improving the nation’s health care system, Farm Bureau supported passage of H.R. 4., which the president is expected to sign. In January, the House passed H.R. 2, a bill to repeal the entire health-care law that was referred to the Senate subcommittee on health in early February. Chambliss and Isakson co-sponsored similar legislation in the Senate (S. 192). CHAMBLISS NAMED RANKING MEMBER OF AG SUBCOMMITTEE Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss was named ranking member of the Subcommittee on Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management, one of three subcommittee assignments he received for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) was named chairman of the Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management subcommittee, which deals with matters regarding production agriculture and farming. The subcommittee assignments were announced March 31 by committee chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and ranking member Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). Chambliss was named to the Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation, chaired by Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and the Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources, chaired by Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) Chambliss is also serving as ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
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HOUSE COMMITTEE APPROVES 2012 BUDGET RESOLUTION The House Budget Committee approved a FY 2012 budget resolution on April 5 under which government spending would be cut by $6.2 trillion over the next 10 years. Drafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the plan includes $173 billion in reductions to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs over the next 10 years. The plan would cut $30 billion from USDA commodity support and market development programs, $18 billion from conservation programs and $125 billion from the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program. “It is vital that decisions to cut farm program spending be made with a recognition of the cyclical nature of our farm economy and its ties to a global economy that can be even more volatile,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said, noting that the cost of the farm safety net fluctuates according to market condition. For example, projections indicate a downward trend in farm program spending in the 2011 fiscal year and expenditures will be down by about 13 percent compared to the 2010 fiscal year. “This is a clear sign our farm bill works as intended and costs less when commodity prices are higher,” Stallman said. Under Ryan’s budget plan, Medicaid would be turned into a state block grant program and Medicare into a modified voucher program. According to The Washington Post, it would also repeal the health care plan enacted in March 2010. The top individual income tax rate would be reduced to 25 percent and the plan assumes estate taxes will continue with the current $5 million exemption and a top rate of 35 percent. The plan could shape discussions on future federal spending initiatives, including the 2012 farm bill. House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) said in a released statement that Ryan’s farm spending items are “simply suggestions. At the end of the day, members of the House Agriculture Committee and I will write the next farm bill.” GREENHOUSE GAS REGULATION BILL PASSES HOUSE H.R. 910, which prevents the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, passed the House of Representatives on April 7. The bill, which Farm Bureau supports, was introduced by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) with 95 cosponsors, including Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.). Ten of Georgia’s 13 representatives voted for it. An identical bill, S. 482, is pending in the Senate. S. 482 was originally proposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as an amendment to a small business bill but fell short of the 60 votes needed for passage. The Senate also voted down three other amendments to the small business bill (S. 493) that would have restricted in various ways the regulation of GHGs. One, proposed by Max Baucus (D-Mont.), would limit regulation to entities emitting more than 75,000 tons and exempt certain agricultural sources from permitting requirements. Senate Ag Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) submitted an amendment to delay implementation of GHG regulation of stationary sources for two years. It was defeated 93-7. A similar amendment submitted by John D. Rockefeller IV was defeated 88-12.
Leadership Alert page 4 of 6 37TH ANNUAL GREAT SOUTHLAND STAMPEDE RODEO April 14-16 UGA Livestock Instructional Arena 2600 South Milledge Ave. Athens Event includes bull riding, calf roping and barrel racing competitions. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the rodeo starts at 8 p.m. each night. At the gate, Friday and Saturday night tickets are $16 for adults and $13 for students and children (preordered, they're $13 for adults, $11 for students and children). Thursday night, preordered tickets are $10 for kids and students and $12 for adults; at the gate prices for Thursday night will be $12 for children and $15 for adults. Children three and under are free each night. Tickets can be preordered by calling 706- 542-9374 from April 4 through April 14. Seating is limited. Doors will be closed to general admission once attendance has reached maximum capacity. April 15 is "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" night. For every person who comes to the arena wearing pink, $1 will be donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation. For more information, call 706-542-9374 or visit www.uga.edu/bandb/GSSRodeo.html. APRIL 15 IS DEADLINE TO VOTE ON PEANUT ASSESSMENT INCREASE The deadline to submit ballots in the referendum on raising the checkoff assessment for peanuts is April 15. The referendum will determine whether the assessment will be raised from the current $2 per ton to $3 per ton. If you are a peanut grower and have not received a ballot, contact the Georgia Peanut Commission at 229-386-3470. NATIONAL AGDISCOVERY PROGRAM APPLICATION DEADLINE APRIL 15 Fort Valley State University will host this USDA-sponsored program June 20-July 1 for students ages 14 to 17. This program offers observation opportunities and participation in veterinary care and management of goats, sheep, cattle and other animals. The experience includes field trips to various farms, UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Zoo Atlanta and the Georgia Aquarium. A completed application package should be postmarked by April 15 and submitted to the USDA. Application packets can be downloaded at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/agdiscovery. For more information about the program, visit the AgDiscovery site, or contact Dr. Seyedmehdi Mobini, interim head of the FVSU Department of Veterinary Science at firstname.lastname@example.org or 478-825-6424. TEAM SUCCESS APPLICATION DEADLINE APRIL 15 High school students who will be juniors, seniors or college freshmen next year from 13 Middle Georgia counties have the chance to participate in an eight-week program this summer that gives them the chance to intern with the Fort Valley State University’s Cooperative Extension Program and the Extension agent in their county. From June 6- July 29 students will work with Extension agents assisting with their community programs. Students from Bulloch, Burke, Crawford, Dougherty, Hancock, Houston, Irwin, Laurens, Macon, Marion, Peach, Talbot and Twiggs counties are eligible to participate. Students must have a 2.0 GPA, be 16 as of April 15 and complete an application and essay. For more information or an application, visit http://www.ag.fvsu.edu/teamsuccess.cfm or contact Kena Torbert at 478-825-6573 or email@example.com. NATURALLY REMARKABLE PLANTERS AWARD APPLICATION DEADLINE April 15 This award, developed by Planters and the National Peanut Board (NPB), will recognize peanut farmers who are implementing sustainable practices and making positive social changes in their communities. A diverse panel of peanut industry experts will judge applications on sustainability, effectiveness and originality. A winner will be chosen to represent the nation’s three growing regions: one each from the Southeast, Southwest, and Virginia-Carolinas. Each winner will receive: a three-day trip to New York for themselves and up to three family members in August and a donation of $10,000 in their name towards a community land revitalization project of each winner’s choice. Visit http://www.PlantersAwards.com to apply.
Leadership Alert page 5 of 6 BIG IRON CRANK UP April 15 & 16 Bowman Event kicks off April 15 at 7 p.m. with a game of bingo and prizes at the Bowman VFD. On April 16 enjoy a day of arts and crafts, antique engines and tractors at the Bowman Park from 8 a.m. – until. For more information visit http://bowmanga.net or contact Tiffany Gibbons at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-245-5432. UGA CAES ALUMNI G-DAY TAILGATE April 16 Connor Hall, UGA campus Athens The University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Alumni Association is hosting a tailgate for alumni, friends and students before the annual spring G-Day game. Tailgate begins at 10 a.m. in front of Connor Hall. The G-Day game kicks-off at 1 p.m. Admission is free! The CAES Alumni Association will provide hamburgers and hotdogs while supplies last. Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs and other tailgate supplies. Tailgate games will be available for kids of all ages! To help us plan more appropriately, please RSVP to the CAES Alumni Office at email@example.com or call 706-542-3390. 13TH ANNUAL SOUTHLAND JUBILEE April 16 Historic Downtown Square Greensboro Enjoy a display of classic cars, arts, crafts, food and entertainment during this family event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Greene County Farm Bureau will display exhibits highlighting Georgia’s agricultural commodities, which will highlight peanuts this year. The event also includes a petting zoo of miniature animals. For more information call Cail Hammons at 706-453-7674. VIDALIA ONION SEASON OPENS APRIL 18 The official “Shipping Date” for the 2011 Vidalia Onion Marketing Season is April 18, according to Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black. The shipping date is based on the recommendation of the Vidalia Onion Advisory Panel under the authority of the law, rules and regulations applicable to Vidalia onions, which may only be shipped prior to April 18 with a Federal-State Inspection Certificate stating the onions have met the established grade requirements and are under “Positive Lot Identification” as approved by the Federal-State Inspection Service. U.S. REP. AUSTIN SCOTT (8TH DIST.) TOWNHALL MEETINGS U.S. Rep. Austin Scott will hold six meetings for his constituents in the 8th District. Each meeting will last approximately one hour and will include a question and answer session. For more information about any of these meetings, call Rep. Scott’s Warner Robins office at 478-971-1776. April 18 Covington 10 a.m. Old Courthouse, Covington Square 1124 Clark Street SW, Covington, 30014 Jackson 12 p.m. Fresh Air BBQ, 1164 Highway 42 S, Jackson, 30233. This event is Dutch treat. Forsyth 2 p.m. Forsyth-Monroe Chamber, 5 West Adams Street, Forsyth, GA 31029 April 19 Macon 10 a.m. Georgia Farm Bureau Building, 1620 Bass Road, Macon, GA 31210 Gray 12 p.m. Tri-County EMC, 1164 Highway 42 S, Gray, GA 30233. Please bring a brown-bag lunch. Beverages will be provided. Warner Robins 2 p.m. Houston County Board of Commissioners, Room 200 Carl Vinson Parkway, Warner Robins, GA 31088
Leadership Alert page 6 of 6 HEIFER EVALUATION & REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT (HERD) SALE April 19 Tifton Bull Evaluation Center Irwinville Sale starts at12:30 p.m. For more information contact Dr. Lawton Stewart at 706-542-6627 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Patsie T. Cannon at 229-386-3683 or email@example.com. UGA MOUNTAIN BEEF CATTLE FIELD DAY April 20 Ga. Mountain Research Center 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Blairsville Topics will include forages, beef cattle efficiency and beef quality assurance. Market trends, stocker feeding, EPDs and prudent antimicrobial use of antibiotics will also be covered. Event is free; lunch and refreshments will be provided. The field day is co-sponsored by AgGeorgia Farm Credit, Godfrey's Feed and Resaca Sun. For more information, call 706-745-2655. SUBSCRIBE TO THE MARKET BULLETIN! The Georgia Department of Agriculture is urging readers of its Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin to pay their $10 subscription fee by April 20 to avoid being dropped from the publicationâ€™s mailing list. Subscription forms are available at every county Farm Bureau office. You may pay with cash, checks or money orders made payable to: Market Bulletin. You may also subscribe online by visiting http://www.thegamarketbulletin.com. Subscriptions will be taken after April 20 but must be received by then to avoid the disruption of an unpaid subscription. GEORGIA AGRITOURISM ASSOCIATION WORKSHOP April 26 The Rock Ranch 8:45 a.m.-3 p.m. The Rock This program is designed for teachers, parents and farmers or anyone interested in agritourism. Workshop participants will experience a field trip in action at The Rock Ranch so wear comfortable shoes. Registration is $50 per person and includes lunch. To register or for more information contact Jeff Manley at 706-647-6374 or firstname.lastname@example.org. FORESTRY WORKSHOP April 28 Randolph County Agricultural Education Building Cuthbert This meeting, which runs from noon to 2:30 and includes a free lunch, is for all landowners, forestry industry members and any interested persons in southwest Georgia. The meeting will address issues that arise after tree establishment such as managing insect pests, best management practices, herbaceous weed control and other silviculture topics. Dr. Phillip Dougherty & Dr. David Moorhead will lead the workshop. The Randolph County UGA Extension office is partnering with Arborgen Supertree Nursery to sponsor this event. Participants can earn 1.5 Hours CFE forestry, master timber harvester and pesticide credits. The event is free but attendees must RSVP by April 26 by calling the Randolph County Extension Office at 229- 732-2311 or by emailing email@example.com. 29th ANNUAL FORT VALLEY STATE HAM AND EGG BREAKFAST April 28 C.W. Pettigrew Farm and Community Life Center Fort Valley The public is invited to attend Fort Valley State Universityâ€™s annual Ham and Egg Breakfast and meet with elected officials who have been invited to this historical event to discuss current topics. Begins at 8 a.m. Cost is $6. Contact Jean Willis at 478-825-6268 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to pre-register. 12TH ANNUAL PANHANDLE MULE FARM MULE DAY April 30 Panhandle Mule Farm Reynolds The heritage of breaking land comes to life at this free event, which starts at 9 a.m. The event includes mule and tractor plowing, displays of antique farm implements and a milking demonstration by the Georgia Milk Producers Mobile Dairy Classroom. Festival attendees will be able to mine for rubies, emeralds, sapphires and amethysts at the new gem-mining exhibit. Farm is located at 358 Milton Lowe Road, Reynolds, Ga. 31076 (off of Hwy. 137 southwest of Roberta or northeast of Butler). For more information, please contact Steve Montgomery at 478-837-1044.