La. Farm Bureau/Radio Network
February 24, 2014
EPA Proposes New Safety Measures To Protect Farm Workers From Pesticide Exposure
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced proposed revisions to the Worker Protection Standard in order to protect the nation's two million farm workers and their families from pesticide exposure.
EPA is proposing significant improvements to worker training regarding the safe usage of pesticides, including how to prevent and effectively treat pesticide exposure. Increased training and signage will inform farm workers about the protections they are afforded under the law and will help them protect themselves and their families from pesticide exposure.
Workers and others near treated fields will now be protected from pesticide overspray and fumes. In addition, EPA has proposed that children under 16 be legally barred from handling all pesticides, with an exemption for family farms. These revisions protect workers while ensuring agricultural productivity and preserving the traditions of family farms.
This proposal represents more than a decade of extensive stakeholder input by federal and state partners and from across the agricultural community including farm workers, farmers, and industry on the current EPA Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for Agricultural Pesticides first established in 1992.
Initial USA Rice Farm Bill Briefings Announced
The USA Rice Federation has scheduled its first series of education briefings for producers, landowners, lenders, and other industry members on the 2014 Farm Bill next month. Stay tuned for more state briefing announcements.
Wednesday, March 5
Session One -- 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Stuttgart Grand Prairie Center Auditorium
Session Two -- 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Paragould Community Center
Tuesday, March 11
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Acadia Parish Extension Office
Wednesday, March 12
Session One - noon to 2:00 p.m.
Dean Lee Experiment Station
Session Two -- 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Rayville Community Center
Ag Census Reveals Treasure Trove of Farm and Food Data
The Agriculture Department's National Agricultural Statistics Service has released selected data for farmers, ranchers and their farms for each state and the nation, as part of its preliminary report on the 2012 Census of Agriculture, available online at http://1.usa.gov/MeZzi3.
"Anyone with an interest in numbers will find a treasure trove of data in the ag census," said Bob Young, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation. "Also revealed are important trends about farmers that relate to their role in the economic health of rural America and the agriculture sector overall. Information about who farmers and ranchers are, how old they are and what type of food or farm animals they raise is available," he said.
Ag Census data includes information on number of farms, land in farms, market value of agricultural products sold including government payments and selected principal operator characteristics. Information on background, terms and methodology also is available.
"Today was a release of the preliminary set of data, and really just looked at overall farm numbers as well as some breakouts of special demographic characteristics of farms," explained Young. "Between the sequester last fall and associated furloughs, NASS faced a number of unusual challenges with this census, consequently, the agency has more work to do before full details are available," he said.
Young also pointed out that unlike other government agencies, NASS is prohibited by law from releasing any information related to individual farmers.
The full report is slated for release by NASS in May.