USDA publishes national hemp production rules
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – Last Monday, the USDA issued a final rule for domestic hemp production. For Wisconsin hemp growers, they will continue to operate under the rules of the 2014 Farm Bill until the end of this year. Officials from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Commerce, and Consumer Protection said they would release the new rule sometime in May. This final new rule deals with acceptable levels of THC in hemp plants and how to treat the plants if those levels are too high. The new rule also limits negligence offenses to one per year.
A group of farm organizations are pushing the Biden administration to keep Mexico and Canada down to earth on the US-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement. With respect to Mexico, these groups are concerned about trade issues regarding biotech crops, organic products, market access for US agricultural products and the application of European Union geographic indicators. With respect to Canada, the groups continue to have problems with the US dairy industry who can ship products to Canada. It was the main topic this week when new US Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai held a virtual meeting with Canada’s top trade officials.
Unless Congress extends the deadline, farmers and other small businesses only have until Wednesday, March 31, to apply for a payroll protection program loan. The program was launched due to the Covid-19 pandemic under the CARES Act and provides forgivable loans up to $ 10 million. The program is for farmers and businesses of all sizes and you don’t need to have employees to qualify. There is no minimum loan amount, and the money can be used for more than just paying a payroll – things like land rent, utility bills, supplier payments and more. even to make interest payments on land and equipment loans.
Egg production across the country and in Wisconsin dipped slightly in February, but there should still be plenty for Easter egg hunts. Nationally, production fell about 4% from last February, but our 394 million laying hens still left 8.6 billion eggs in their nests. In Wisconsin, our 7.6 million hens laid 171 million eggs, 8% less than in January. This ranks us 15th in the country for egg production. Iowa continues to be number 1 with over 1.1 billion eggs in February.
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