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News from around the Farm World - September 13, 2017
Dairy producers can opt out of 2018 MPP coverage
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The USDA  Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that starting Sept. 1, dairy producers can enroll for 2018 coverage in the Margin Protection Program (MPP-Dairy). Secretary Sonny Perdue has used additional flexibility this year by providing dairy producers the option of opting out of the program for 2018.

“Secretary Perdue is using his authority to allow producers to withdraw from the MPP Dairy Program and not pay the annual administrative fee for 2018,” said Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Rob Johansson. “The decision is in response to requests by the dairy industry and a number of MPP-Dairy program participants.”

To opt out, a producer should not sign up during the annual registration period. By opting out, a producer would not receive any MPP-Dairy benefits if payments  are triggered for 2018. Full details will be included in a subsequent Federal Register notice. The decision would be for 2018 only and is not retroactive.

Enrollment ends on Dec. 15 for coverage in calendar year 2018. Participating farmers will remain in the program through Dec. 31, 2018, and pay a minimum $100 administrative fee for 2018coverage. Producers have the option of selecting a different coverage level from the previous coverage year during open enrollment.

For more information, visit or stop by a local FSA office.

Northeast Iowa man killed, another hurt, in farm accident

LANSING, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have
identified a man killed in a northeastern Iowa farm accident. The Allamakee  County Sheriff’s Office said 55-year-oldRichard Weber was killed when he was caught in a piece of farm equipment.

Another person, identified as 52-yearold Christopher Weber, was seriously injured when he, too, became caught in the forage wagon. The accident occurred around 2 p.m. Sept. 7 about five miles west-northwest of Lansing.

The sheriff’s office said Richard Weber died at the scene. Christopher Weber was flown to a La Crosse, Wis., hospital for treatment. It was not clear how the two men are related.

Thousands of Texas cattle may have died in wake of Harvey

HOUSTON (AP) — Texas agricultural officials fear thousands of cattle may have died in the aftermath of Harvey, resulting in losses to ranchers of tens of millions of dollars.

The counties that sustained damage when Harvey first came ashore August 25 were home to 1.2 million head of cattle, representing 1-in-4 of all beef cows in Texas, the nation’s largest producer. Sales of beef cattle and calves in the state averaged $10.7 billion annually between 2011-14, according to the Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension Service and Agri-Life Research.

Most ranchers don’t insure their herds because of the cost, so a rancher could be out hundreds of thousands of dollars if an entire herd drowned, the Houston Chronicle reported. Officials are still in the process of tallying the damages.

Cattle standing in water will have weakened skin and hooves that are susceptible to infection, said Dr. Dan Posey, a veterinarian and clinical professor at Texas A&M. Prolonged standing, lack of food and lack of drinkable water could make the cattle susceptible to respiratory disease, he said.

David Anderson, an A&M professor and agriculture economist, said he doesn’t expect the losses to affect meat prices, because the number of cattle lost in Harvey won’t be enough to impact the national beef market, which is expected to yield a record amount next

Indiana inmates farm gardens, donate vegetables to charity

BUNKER HILL, Ind. (AP) — Inmates at a central Indiana prison have grown 270 pounds of vegetables and herbs that have been donated to a local rescue mission. The Kokomo Tribune reported the Miami Correctional Facility in Bunker Hill has two gardens. Fifteen inmates enrolled in a U.S. Department of Labor program have spent hours planting, tilling and weeding the gardens.

Prison officials said the gardens have produced cabbage, zucchini, bell peppers, cucumbers, green beans and kale. Kokomo Rescue Mission Administrator Kraig Kailey said the food from the prison was one of the group’s larger donations  this year. He says the mission will usethe produce in meals they serve. Kailey called the donation a “circle of giving.” Prison Warden Kathy Griffin said she’s proud of the inmates and staff who manage the garden