Public Support for EPA’s Emphasis on Sound Science In the Review of Bee Health

Editor’s Note:  The  following appeared as a letter to the Editor in the Boise Weekly on Sept. 29, 2013. This letter is one is one of a series of statements by the public in support of  EPA’s emphasis on addressing bee health issues  only through a sound science filter.
Re: “Bee In His Bonnet

I applaud the very objective coverage you provided in this article regarding the decline in bee population. You correctly identified the overwhelming factor which leads to the death of bees—the Varroa destructor. The Varroa destructor is a mite whose offspring feed on bee larvae with the ultimate effect that new born bees are weakened which leads to their death.

What moves farmers to adopt nitrogen use efficiency?

From: AgProfessional

By Penelope Whitney

Ag professionals discussed nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) challenges and solutions in a three-day conference in Kansas City, Mo., this summer, but implementation of tactics and programs by farmers is seen as an “uphill battle” that could take years.

A lot of the discussion centered on third-party influencers such as ag retailers, crop consultants and farm managers being champions for change.

The group of agronomists, crop and soil scientists, Extension agents, economists, growers and other agricultural experts gathered to mainly discuss nitrogen use efficiency and the barriers and opportunities for improving implementation. The interesting list of what was learned is below along with proposed solutions.

ARA Testifies at Hearing on West Fertilizer

From: Ag Professional

Michael Kennedy, Public Policy Counsel

Paul Derig, environment, health and safety (EHS) manager with J.R. Simplot, testified on behalf of the Agricultural Retailers Association at a House Subcommittee hearing titled, “West Fertilizer, Off the Grid: The Problem of Unidentified Chemical Facilities.”

Witnesses at the hearing presented their testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. ARA appreciates the additional agricultural industry representation provided by Donnie Dippel, president of the Texas Ag Industries Association, who also testified at the hearing.

Department of Agriculture Embraces New Technology to Reach Florida Farmers

From: Sunshine State News

By: Kevin Derby

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is doubling down on its commitment to digital outreach and technology as Commissioner Adam Putnam unveiled a new program and website in recent days.

Putnam announced on Monday that the department has teamed up with the University of Florida’s Automated Weather Network (FAWN) to launch the “My Florida Farm Weather” program which provides information on weather and wind conditions in the Sunshine State. The new program contains information on the temperature, rainfall and other precipitation, dew point, wind speeds and other factors.

We Apologize for the Inconvenience Resulting from the Outage of Our Website

         The CRE website was attacked with the result that had we not pulled down the website we would have risked loosing content.

         We appreciate your many emails and we are  working to continue to install state of the art  early warning systems.  We must , however, add that we have only had two major outages in more than a decade of operation.

        We are particularly concerned that some of you could not use the website for the preparation of regulatory filings.

New guidelines on ammonium nitrate released in response to West disaster

From: Dallas News


The federal government issued new guidelines Friday for storing and handling the chemical behind last April’s deadly explosion in the Central Texas farming town of West.

Regulators also urged emergency responders to take precautions that were overlooked in West before the blast, which killed 15.

The detailed 19-page advisory is seen as a step toward improving the safety and security of ammonium nitrate. The potentially explosive chemical is used in fertilizer blends popular in Texas.