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Multiple organic groups plan conference

Registration is open for the «Growing Stronger Collaborative Conference on Organic & Sustainable Farming.» The conference will be held online Feb. 22-27. The event will combine five conferences.

  • Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service Organic Farming Conference
  • GrassWorks Grazing Conference
  • Organic Grain Resource and Information Network Organic Grain Conference
  • Midwest Organic Pork Conference
  • Organic Vegetable Production Conference 

Planned are more than 60 workshops and opportunities to connect through roundtables, meet-ups and socials. The conference will feature a virtual exhibit space with suppliers, buyers, certifiers and consultants.

Admission is $125, with a $25 discount through December. Scholarships for farmers are available. Visit mosesorganic.org for more information. 

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program applications due

The deadline to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 – known as CFAP 2 – is Dec. 11. The program provides direct relief to producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program will provide as much as $14 billion to eligible producers of certain row crops, livestock, dairy, specialty crops and aquaculture. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 is separate from the first iteration. Interested producers must complete a new application to be eligible for payment. Producers have application options.

Using an online portal at farmers.gov/cfap. That allows producers with secure U.S. Department of Agriculture login credentials, known as eAuthentication, to certify eligible commodities online. They may digitally sign applications and submit them directly to their local USDA Service Center.

Completing the application form using the CFAP 2 Application Generator and Payment Calculator found at farmers.gov/cfap. The Excel workbook enables customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form. The form can be printed, then signed and submitted to one’s local USDA Service Center.

Downloading the AD-3117 application form from farmers.gov/cfap and manually completing the form to submit to one’s local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically or by hand delivery to an office drop box. In some limited cases the office may be open for in-person business by appointment.

USDA Service Centers also can work with producers to complete and transmit digitally-signed applications through Box and OneSpan. Producers who are interested in digitally signing their applications should notify their local FSA office when calling to discuss the application process. Learn more about the solutions at farmers.gov/mydocs.

Producers of commodities with payments based on acreage will use acreage and yield information provided by the Farm Service Agency through the annual acreage-reporting process.

All other eligibility forms such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information may be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap/apply. For existing Farm Service Agency customers including those who participated in CFAP 1 the documents are likely already on file. Visit farmers.gov/cfap or call 877-508-8364 for more information.

House Agriculture Committee chairman named

U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-13-GA-Aynor, recently was approved to serve as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. He was chosen to serve by the Democratic Caucus. The committee is empowered with legislative oversight relating to the U.S. agriculture industry, forestry, nutrition and rural development.

“I was born on my grandparents’ farm in rural Aynor, South Carolina, during the days of segregation and the hardships of those on whose shoulders I now stand,” he said. “I owe this historic selection as the first African American Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee to a diverse coalition of members from across our nation.”

Scott has served as a Member of Congress and the House Agriculture Committee since 2003. In his various leadership roles on the committee, he has chaired the subcommittees on commodity exchanges, energy and credit as well as livestock and foreign agriculture. Visit agriculture.house.gov and davidscott.house.gov for more information.

House Agriculture Committee leader elected

U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-15-Pennsylvania-Bellefonte, recently was elected to serve as Republican leader of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee in the 117th Congress. He was elected by the Republican steering committee.

«As a lifelong resident of a small town in rural central Pennsylvania and the descendant of a long line of dairy farmers, I’m incredibly humbled to have been elected by my Republican colleagues to be their leader on the House Agriculture Committee in the 117th Congress,” Thompson said. “The challenges ahead of us are considerable, but we will continue to put farm families first and ensure our country has the most safe and affordable food supply chain on the planet.»

Visit republicans-agriculture.house.gov and thompson.house.gov for more information.

Risk-management agency makes improvements

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency recently made improvements to prevented-planting coverage as well as to the Beginning and Veteran Farmer and Rancher Program for crop year 2021. The improvements were made to the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions.

Improvements to prevented planting coverage are listed.

  • Expanding the “1-in-4” requirement nationwide, requiring producers to plant, insure and harvest acreage in at least one of the four most recent crop years.
  • Making modifications to ensure that producers’ prevented-planting payments adequately reflect the crops the producer intended to plant.

The improvement to the Beginning and Veteran Farmer and Rancher Program will enable participants with farming experience to use the actual production history of the previous producer, with permission, on newly acquired land. Previously, actual production history could be used only if the beginning or veteran farmer or rancher was involved on the specific acreage acquired.

Visit rma.usda.gov and search for «Prevented Planting Program Changes» for more information.

Firms to speed corn breeding

MAS Seeds and Nature Source Improved Plants recently formed a research agreement to accelerate breeding technologies. The companies will initially focus on corn breeding but may expand to other crops in the future.

The companies will combine the breeding programs, germplasm, trialing networks and predictive analytics of MAS Seeds with Nature Source’s analytics and computational breeding technologies. The companies aim to further develop predictive-breeding technologies to bring genetic innovation to market faster. MAS Seeds is based in Mont-de-Marsan, France. Nature Source is based in Ithaca, New York. Visit masseeds.com and nsiplants.com for more information.

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