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USU’s Small Farm Water Quality Improvement Project

Applications due on September 30.

Utah State University Extension, in partnership with the Utah Division of Water Quality (DWQ), are excited to offer a grant opportunity to help improve water quality on small farms throughout the State.

The focus of this program is to improve water quality rather than conservation or efficiency.

All 4-H/FFA youth and adult ag producers are invited to apply! Here are some of the grant details:

• Applicants may apply for up to $10,000 (includes a 20% match)
• Awards assist with fencing, piping, infrastructure, etc.
• Applications are due by September 30th

To learn more, visit here: https://bit.ly/3pPowpO

 

Announcing New UDAF Conservation Program

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food announces the transfer of the LeRay McAllister Critical Land Fund from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget and established administration of the program to the Land Conservation Board on July 1, 2022.  The LeRay McAllister Critical Land Conservation Program provides grants to preserve or restore critical open land or agricultural land in Utah. Matching funds are required.

Eligible applicants are counties, cities, towns, the Utah Department of Natural Resources, other Utah Agencies, and charitable organizations that qualify as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Staff may be able to assist landowners to find an eligible partner if one has not already been identified.

Learn more about this program here.

 

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Increase of West Nile Virus Cases in Horses

UDAF officials are urging horse owners to vaccinate their horses to protect them from the West Nile Virus (WNV) due to an increase in cases. Four horses have tested positive for the virus since August 16, 2022.

“The West Nile Virus continues to be a threat to horses in Utah,” said state veterinarian, Dr. Dean Taylor. “It is important that horse owners get their horses vaccinated annually to protect against this disease.”

The four horses that tested positive for WNV were located in Duchesne and Uintah counties. Three of the four horses were euthanized as a result of contracting the disease.

WNV is spread by mosquitoes and affects people, birds, and horses. The disease can be prevented in horses with a yearly vaccination in the spring or early summer. Horse owners can also protect their horses by removing standing water on their property where mosquitoes may breed or by using insect repellant on their horses to prevent mosquito bites. The disease cannot be spread from horses to other horses or people.

In horses, WNV causes fever, incoordination, and other neurological signs. Around one-third of horses that contract WNV will die or be euthanized due to the disease. For more information about WNV, visit https://wwwn.cdc.gov/arbonet/maps/ADB_Diseases_Map for a map of all reported human and animal cases of WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases.

 

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USDA to Mail Additional Pre-Filled Applications to Producers Impacted by 2020 and 2021 Disasters

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced another installment (phase) in assistance to commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disaster events in 2020 and 2021. More than 18,000 producers will soon receive new or updated pre-filled disaster applications to offset eligible crop losses. Approximately $6.4 billion has already been distributed to 165,000 producers through USDA’s Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Emergency Relief Program (ERP).

“We knew when we announced ERP in May that we would have additional applications to send toward the end of the summer as we received new information, and we came to know of producers who were inadvertently left out of the first data set we used,” said USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie. “I am proud of our team’s continued effort to capture additional insurance records to enable over 18,000 producers to receive new or updated pre-filled disaster applications to provide much needed financial relief.”  

FSA will begin mailing pre-filled applications in late August to producers who have potentially eligible losses and:

  • Received crop insurance indemnities for qualifying 2020 and 2021 disaster events after May 2, 2022.
  • Received crop insurance indemnities associated with Nursery, Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX), Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO) and Margin Protection (MP) policies.
  • New primary policyholders not included in the initial insured producer Phase 1 mailing from May 25, 2022, because their claim records had not been filled.
  • Certain 2020 prevent plant losses related to qualifying 2020 disaster events that had only been recorded in crop insurance records as related to 2019 adverse weather events and, as such, were not previously provided in applications sent earlier this year.
  • New Substantial Beneficial Interest (SBI) records, including SBIs where tax identification numbers were corrected.

Producers are expected to receive assistance direct deposited into their bank account within three business days after they sign and return the pre-filled application to the FSA county office and the county office enters the application into the system.

Before applying any program payment factors or eligibility criteria, it is estimated that this next installment (phase) may generate about $756 million in assistance.

Emergency Relief Payments to Date

This emergency relief under ERP complements ERP assistance recently provided to more than 167,000 producers who had received crop insurance indemnities and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) payments for qualifying losses. USDA has processed more than 255,000 applications for ERP, and to date, has made approximately $6.4 billion in payments to commodity and specialty crop producers to help offset eligible losses from qualifying 2020 and 2021 natural disasters. Also, earlier this year, staff processed more than 100,000 payments through the Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) and paid eligible producers more than $601.3 million for 2021 grazing losses within days of the program announcement.

Phase Two

The second phase of both ERP and ELRP will be aimed at filling gaps and provide assistance to producers who did not participate in or receive payments through the existing risk management programs that are being leveraged for phase one implementation. USDA will keep producers and stakeholders informed as program details are made available.

More Information

In addition, on Aug. 18, 2022, USDA published a technical correction to the Notice of Funds Availability for ERP and ELRP to clarify how income from the sale of farm equipment and the provision of production inputs and services to farmers, ranchers, foresters, and farm operations are to be considered in the calculation of average adjusted gross farm income.  Producers whose average adjusted gross farm income is at least 75% of the producer’s the average Adjusted Gross Income can gain access to a higher payment limitation.

ERP and the previously announced ELRP are authorized by the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, which President Biden signed into law in 2021. The law provided $10 billion to help agricultural producers impacted by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms and other eligible disasters experienced during calendar years 2020 and 2021.

For more information on ERP and ELRP eligibility, program provisions for historically underserved producers as well as Frequently Asked Questions, producers can visit FSA’s Emergency Relief webpage. A new public-facing dashboard on the ERP webpage has information on ERP payments that can be sorted by crop type – specialty or non-specialty– specific commodities and state. FSA will update the dashboard every Monday.

Additional USDA disaster assistance information can be found on farmers.gov, including the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet and Farm Loan Discovery Tool. For FSA and Natural Resources Conservation Service programs, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, producers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.

 

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Avian Influenza Case Confirmed in Weber County

Officials with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) have confirmed a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in a backyard flock of birds in Weber County. This is the first case detected in Weber County and HPAI has now been detected in five counties in Utah.

“UDAF officials were notified of the sick birds and were dispatched immediately to conduct testing,” said state veterinarian, Dr. Dean Taylor. “Our office is working with the bird owners to depopulate and prevent further spread of the disease.”

Symptoms of HPAI include high death loss among flocks, nasal discharge, decreased appetite or water consumption, and lack of coordination in birds. If domestic birds are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact the state veterinarian’s office immediately at statevet@utah.gov. Early reporting and action will help to contain the disease.

Surveillance will be conducted in surrounding areas of the confirmed case to help prevent further spread of HPAI. To view all current surveillance areas and for more information about HPAI in Utah, visit here.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern; only one human case of this strain of HPAI has been detected in the United States. As a reminder, proper handling and cooking poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F is recommended as a general food safety precaution.

Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to ensure the health of their birds. USDA APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/defend-the-flock-program/dtf-resources/dtf-resources.

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