National briefs: 23 AR counties disaster areas after floods

Wisconsin State Farmer
National briefs


National Academies announces committee for 2030 study 
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is pleased to announce the appointments of the provisional committee of Science Breakthroughs 2030, a project to identify compelling future directions for research in food and agriculture. 
The year-long study will explore novel scientific approaches suggested by members of the scientific community, with special attention to those ideas empowered by insights and tools from disciplines of science and engineering not typically associated with food and agriculture.

Based on community input, the study committee will produce a report describing ambitious and achievable scientific pathways to addressing major problems and creating new opportunities for the food and agriculture system.

Major support for the study is provided by the SoAR Foundation, the Foundation on Food and Agriculture Research, and other agricultural research stakeholders. 
For more information on the study, visit the Science Breakthroughs 2030 website. 


23 counties designated disaster areas after floods 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared 23 Arkansas counties disaster areas after recent flooding. 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a May 26 news release he was informed of the designation from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Counties designated as disasters include Faulkner, Lonoke and Randolph. 

Perdue visited the state in early May and said in his letter to the governor that there were sufficient production losses in those counties to warrant a designation. 

Another 23 counties were designated contiguous disaster areas. 

Farmers in eligible counties will have eight months to apply for emergency loans from the USDA's Farm Service Agency. 


2017 looks to be a record sweet cherry crop 

The 2017 Pacific Northwest sweet cherry crop is forecast at 22.7 million, but it could easily exceed the 23.2 million-box record set in 2014. 

Capital Press reports that's according to growers at the Five State Cherry Commission meeting. 

But they also foresee a good spread of 90 to 100 days to harvest the crop, which they hope makes for orderly supply and sales and good prices. 

The 2016 crop was 20.97 million boxes, the third-largest in history. 

Many growers said this year's crop could well be 15 to 25 percent larger. That would put it in the 24 million- to 26 million-box range. 

In 2009 and 2012, the whole crop matured at about the same time, causing a glut in the supply chain and depressing prices. 

Growers hope that doesn't happen this year. 


Kansas man dies in ATV accident while farming

Atchison County authorities say a man died after an ATV he was riding rolled over and landed on top of him. 

Sheriff Jack Laurie says in a news release that 64-year-old Michael Bodenhausen died in the accident on May 29 on a farm north of Muscotah in northeast Kansas. 

Laurie says Bodenhausen was spraying thistles from the ATV when it rolled over. 

He was pronounced dead at the scene. 


Program to give Maine's veterans a chance to learn farming 

A program designed to help military veterans learn farming skills is coming to Maine this summer. 

The National Center for Appropriate Technology and United Farmer Veterans of Maine are bringing the "Armed to Farm" training program to the state.

The groups are currently accepting applications from veterans who want to attend a week-long training session in Bangor, Maine, in August. 

The state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says the program helps veterans and their spouses to learn small-scale farming. The program covers everything from record keeping and marketing to livestock production. 


Leftover school milk donated to homeless shelter

Thousands of cartons of milk unused by Omaha public school students have been donated to a homeless shelter.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that trucks from the Open Door Mission went from school to school picking up milk and hauling it to the shelter. It will be used as part of the mission's Kids to Kamp program, which provides meals and snacks to homeless children.

The donated milk that isn't served before its expiration date will be frozen for use in future meals.

Hiland Dairy saleswoman Sharon Schaefer told the newspaper that it's impossible for schools to order the exact amount of milk. She says that, for health reasons, Hiland can't resell the milk, but the district gets credit on future purchases for the milk that's donated.