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Posts Tagged ‘USDA’

… What are these Greenie Weenies thinking ?!?! [U.S.Department of Ag]

Posted by paulfromwloh on Sunday,September 15th,2013

.. I thought that I had heard of everything , in terms of ecosocialism . Well , guess what . I was wrong .

.. It seems that the geniuses at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are making their own contribution to Obama and his ecosocialist power – grab . With this , these dummies want to try to convince farmers of how to best manage their “green footprint” and try to minimize it . Guys and Gals , these farmers are trying to make the most money from their crops . They are also trying to take care of their lands , rotate crops , and whatever other steps will help them . They could hardly give a damn about their “green footprint.” Maybe some do . Most do not ….

.. from Newsmax …

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking to advance President Barack  Obama’s climate-change agenda with the establishment of seven regional climate  hubs — none of which the nation’s farmers are asking for.

The hubs will  serve as regional centers that will give advice to farmers about which crops are  best suited for a changing climate and how best to reduce their carbon  footprint. But critics say the hubs add an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy,  while farmers fear additional government intrusion into their private  operations.

The USDA push for the climate hubs continues Obama’s first  term objectives and advances the “national climate action plan” he outlined in a  major policy speech June 25 at Georgetown University.

“Farmers see crops  wilted one year, washed away the next; and the higher food prices get passed on  to you, the American consumer,” Obama said as he listed problems he said stemmed  from climate change.

Stymied by Congressional inaction in his first term,  Obama is now directing federal  agencies to take actions that don’t require approval from Congress. At  Georgetown, Obama said he directed the Environmental Protection Agency to enact  new pollution standards for power plants and the Department of the Interior to  open up public lands to permit renewable energy projects.

The USDA is  doing its part to further the president’s goal, saying the climate hubs will  “provide accessible regional data and

USDA logo

USDA logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

interpret climate-change forecasts  for hazard and adaptation planning.”

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said on  June 5 “the hubs will enable us to carry out regionally appropriate  climate-change risk … and get data out to the field more quickly. Practically,  the hubs will deal out advice to farmers and forest owners on ways to reduce  risks and manage change.”

But critics wonder why the hubs are even  needed.

“That is just symptomatic of the attitude in Washington — that  farmers and ranchers … are too stupid to maximize their efficiency is something  that really boggles the mind,” Patrick J. Michaels, director of the Center for  the Study  of Science at the Cato Institute, told Newsmax.

“If it gets hot and dry,  corn culture will switch to sorghum culture. And the amount of protein and  carbohydrate in sorghum is almost exactly the same in amount and quality as it  is in corn. They don’t need the USDA to tell them that,” Michaels said.

Michaels said there are already federal services that gather such  information.

“That’s what the agricultural extension service is for,”  Michaels said. “Why are we having to put another layer of bureaucracy in this?  You call up Virginia Tech if you’re in Virginia, and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a  little issue here,’ and somebody will get you to the right person.”

Bill  Hohenstein, director of USDA’s Climate Change Program  in the Office of the Chief Economist, dismissed many of the concerns raised  about the climate hubs.

“In fact, we’re not trying to create a new layer  of bureaucracy,” Hohenstein said. “What we’re trying to do is utilize the  existing infrastructure,” including the agriculture extensions, the land-grand universities,  state conservation offices, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Farm  Service Administration field offices.

Hohenstein said additional  expertise about climate change was needed by federal officials dealing with the  agricultural sector.

“The experts in the field don’t know a lot about  climate change. They don’t know what type of advice to give farmers in terms of  how to manage to reduce risks from climate change,” Hohenstein said.

Hohenstein noted there were benefits to global warming for agriculture,  including longer growing seasons, some regions of the country getting more  moisture, and new cropping opportunities for some areas.

“The  interesting thing about how climate change plays out in agriculture, it’s not  simply negative consequences, it’s looking at everything in balance,” he said.  While CO2 is a greenhouse gas, “it’s also essential to plant growth, and higher  CO2 … can cause increases in productivity.”

However, farmers are  skeptical about the climate-change program and need more information about the  hubs.

“Agricultural resources and the tools are important, but does USDA  need a climate hub, I don’t know,” said Andrew Walmsley, director of  Congressional relations with the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington,  D.C., told Newsmax. “There hasn’t been clear explanation to our members on  exactly how these hubs are going to operate and what is the need for them.”

USDA closed “an internal competition” to determine which facilities would  hold the hubs on August 21, and the will announce its selections in mid-to-late  October, Hohenstein said. “They will all be at existing locations,” he  added.

Part of the USDA’s efforts includes its online Carbon Management and Evaluation Tool (COMET-Farm) which,  according to Vilsack, will “help farmers understand the greenhouse gas  footprints of their operations.”

With COMET-Farm, producers “will input  information about their land and current and past management practices to  establish a baseline. The tool will let them select from a list of alternative  conservation practices to see how each one changes their greenhouse gas  emissions and carbon capture,” he said.

COMET-Farm can help producers and  “serve as a gateway for future efforts to help producers participate in  voluntary carbon markets,” Vilsack said.

Many agricultural producers are  wary of government intrusions into their operations, fearing that what at first  may be offered as unasked for help could turn into something more.

The  Farm Bureau Federation is “opposed to regulatory-type stuff, cap-and-trade,  carbon tax,” Walmsley said. “I think there’s definitely concerns, too, when you  look at the document USDA released last week on looking at a carbon footprint of  a farm or your emissions.”

“I think there’s a concern from our folks that  we’re not being regulated now, but USDA is … putting these pieces together. Who  knows where we’ll be in the future?” Walmsley said. “If we’re getting down to a  farm-level emission-type, how can that possibly be used against us?”

Walmsley said, “We don’t necessarily want any more government, we don’t want  folks telling us how to farm, and any more intrusion. That’s the double-edged  sword, and I think that’s where some of the concern might be going forward,  especially with some of this carbon-calculator and on-farm-type level of  analysis.”

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