Buckeye Farm News
AFBF pushes for continued use of atrazine
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to conduct a new investigation on atrazine, and Farm Bureau is concerned about the irregular and hastily convened process. Atrazine had been reviewed and approved by the EPA two years ago, raising concerns that the new review is being driven by politics rather than science. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman wrote to Lisa Jackson, the EPA’s administrator, calling for the continued use of the herbicide. “Having access to one of the most important crop protection products is vital to the success of America’s farmers providing a safe and abundant food supply,” Stallman wrote. “Accordingly, we felt heartened two years ago, that, having gone through a rigorous and fair re-registration process, atrazine continues to be available to farmers who abided by its strict label requirements.” At the end of this process, EPA will decide whether to revise its current risk assessment of the pesticide and whether new restrictions are necessary to better protect public health.
Application period opens for 2010 – Agriculture Easement Purchase Program
Ohio farmers wanting to preserve their farmland through the Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program can now find the 2010 application on the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Web site (www.agri.ohio.gov). The applications are used to evaluate and purchase agricultural easements to preserve Ohio’s farmland. Agricultural easements are voluntary legal agreements restricting non-agricultural development on farmland, with the land itself remaining on the tax rolls and under private ownership and management. To apply for the program, farmers must work through a sponsoring organization such as a local land trust, a Soil and Water Conservation District or a group of local officials. The sponsors complete and submit applications on behalf of interested landowners. All applications must be submitted to the department by April 26, no later than 5 p.m.
Divisions merge and conservation partnership established
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources recently merged the Division of Soil and Water Conservation and the Division of Water into the Division of Soil and Water Resources. In addition, the Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention is now aligned with the new division; however, it continues to be a separate division.
New association to promote Ohio ethanol
Ohio ethanol producers recently announced the formation of the Ohio Ethanol Producers Association. The new association will be lead by President Mark Borer, who also serves as general manager of POET Biofinery in Leipsic. The association will vigorously address legislative and public issues that arise from ethanol production and use. In addition to efforts at the state level, the association plans a push toward educating consumers on the basics of ethanol production and importance of Ohio’s ethanol producers.