U.S. Hay Exports To China

It hasn’t been big news for hay growers that China has had a growing interest in importing U.S. and other countries’ hay crops. But the Los Angeles Times recently explored the topic and quoted Holtville, CA, hay grower Ronny Leimgruber:

" ‘The last four years have been the best ever,’ said Leimgruber, 53. ‘I've made millions when in years past I've lost millions.’ His good fortune traces across the Pacific to China’s booming dairy industry. Faced with dwindling access to water and arable land, China has little choice but to turn to U.S. farmers to help supply feed for the country’s growing herd of dairy cows,” the Times article reports.

Preventive Plant Options For Rain-Deluged Upper Midwesterners

While many Western and Southwestern producers deal with drought, Minnesota and surrounding states have had too much water. This past week’s rains battered crops and even downed beef cattle. Many insured producers unable to get into fields to plant still have options, according to Kent Olson, University of Minnesota Extension economist. Planting an emergency hay crop could be a viable alternative to taking a preventive-plant payment, suggests Dwight Aakre, North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension farm management specialist.

“The net income from the hay may be as much or more than the prevented-planting payment, less the cost of putting a cover crop on prevent-planted acres,” says Aakre in a recent NDSU press release.

For more on emergency crops, read our stories: "Fast-Growing Emergency Feeds For Dairies” and “Top Emergency Crop.”

Time To Review The EPA Water Regs

The Environmental Protection Agency is in hot water from farm groups for not giving enough time for the ag community to review and comment on its proposed definition of the Clean Water Act. The deadline, which was set for July 21, has been extended to Oct. 20, according to a story from our sister publication, Southwest Farm Press:

“On March 25, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a joint statement that would ‘clarify the definition of waters of the United States’ under rules of the Clean Water Act. The announced (statement) drew fire from individual farmers, ranchers and farm and livestock support groups who contend such a change in the rules would expand EPA’s authority to regulate water run-off ditches on private property, infringing on individual property rights.”

To comment on the proposed definition, visit regulations.gov.

More Water-Related Woes

The U.S. House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry is reviewing a rule regarding the applicability of Clean Water Act (CWA) ag exemptions – and isn't happy with it.

“There is growing concern the newly proposed rule released by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps poses a grave threat to the economic vitality and ecological health of our farming communities,” says Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), subcommittee chairman, in a House Committee on Agriculture press release.

Comment period has been extended until July 7. Visit regulations.gov.