News Update
March 2, 2011

EPA Announces Next Steps for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Program has recently completed extensive work to develop GHG data reporting requirements for a wide range of different industries in response to Congressional mandates. This program will provide Congress, stakeholder groups and the public with information about these emissions while helping businesses identify cost-effective ways to reduce emissions in the future.

To ensure that the requirements are practical and understandable to the thousands of companies already registered to report under the program, the agency is in the process of finalizing a user-friendly online electronic reporting platform.

Following conversations with industry and others, and in the interest of providing high-quality data to the public this year, EPA is extending this year’s reporting deadline — originally March 31 — and plans to have the final uploading tool available this summer, with the data scheduled to be published later this year. This extension will allow EPA to further test the system that facilities will use to submit data and give industry the opportunity to test the tool, provide feedback, and have sufficient time to become familiar with the tool prior to reporting. The agency will provide more detail on these intended changes in the coming weeks and will ensure that this reporting extension is in effect before the original reporting deadline of March 31, 2011.

In addition to the nine rulemakings necessary to comply with congressional direction for the program, during the past two years EPA has established a public help center that operates through our website and contains efficient mechanisms for stakeholders to get answers from EPA experts to detailed technical questions. EPA has also conducted training sessions with each affected sector and held hundreds of meetings with stakeholders across the country.

EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting program, launched in October 2009, requires the reporting of GHG emissions data from large emission sources and fuel suppliers across a range of industry sectors. This program will provide data that will help industries find ways to be more efficient and save money.

More information on these actions:

More information on the GHG Reporting Program:

— Release by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

USDA Seeks Public Input on Conservation Policy Issues

The first in a series of six regional meetings seeking public input on natural resource policy issues will take place Thursday, March 3, at the Olin Technology Center on the campus of Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill. This Midwest regional meeting, which will be 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is open to anyone with an interest in natural resource conservation policy issues. As required by Congress in the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act (RCA), the USDA is to gather public input on natural resource conservation policy issues. The overall goal of this effort is to improve delivery of conservation services to landowners and communities, as well as to expand participation in conservation programs.

At each regional forum, discussion will focus on three broad topic areas: water security, climate variability and landscape integrity. A panel of invited speakers will present comments, followed by open discussion with forum participants.

There is no fee to attend the regional meetings, but registration is requested. To register, go to and follow the link from the item on the home page.

The purpose of the RCA, which provides broad strategic assessment and planning authority for USDA, is to ensure that USDA programs for the conservation of soil, water and related resources are responsive to the long-term needs of the nation. The overall goal is to improve delivery of conservation services to landowners and communities, and to expand participation in conservation programs. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) is the lead agency working on the RCA and is collaborating with nine other USDA agencies: Agricultural Research Service, Economic Research Service, Rural Development, Farm Service Agency, Forest Service, Risk Management Agency, National Institute for Food and Agriculture, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Input is sought on specific natural resource conservation issues and economic and public policy issues related to agriculture and rural America, including: 1) natural resource status and trends; 2) emerging challenges; 3) emerging opportunities; and 4) long-term impacts on natural resource conditions and food, fuel and fiber production. A panel of nationally recognized thought leaders in soil and water conservation and agricultural landscapes has been appointed to contribute to the regional and national meetings.

Information from the six regional forums will feed into a national agricultural landscapes conference planned April 7-8, 2011, at the Marriott Metro Center, Washington, D.C. The other regional forums will be: March 10, Bouck Center, State University of New York, Cobleskill, N.Y.; March 10, Lory Student Center, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colo.; March 15, Polytechnic Campus of Arizona State University, Mesa, Ariz.; March 18, Portland State University, Portland, Ore.; and March 22, 4-H Center, Columbiana, Ala. Details on each of the forums are available on the Farm Foundation website,

This project is organized by USDA in collaboration with Farm Foundation, NFP and American Farmland Trust. For more information contact: Daniel Mullarkey,; Patty Lawrence,; Sheldon Jones,; and Mary Thompson,

— Release by USDA NRCS.

February Not Too Early to Get Ready for Breeding Season

Although calving season may be in full swing, it isn’t too early to prepare for the breeding season, says David Fernandez, Cooperative Extension Program livestock specialist at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Begin by making sure your cows and heifers are getting adequate nutrition. Cows in good body condition are more likely to rebreed early in the breeding season. They have heavier calves at weaning and a lifetime of greater productivity. If your cows and first-calf heifers are not in good condition when they calve, it’s hard for them to catch up before they enter the breeding season; they may have difficulty getting pregnant, says Fernandez.

Plan which sires to use. Set production goals and analyze production records to reach those goals, advises Fernandez. Order semen from artificial insemination (Al) studs or lineup leased bulls.

Schedule breeding soundness exams for owned or leased bulls if you are using bulls instead of AI. Each bull should undergo a breeding soundness exam. Veterinarians are usually extremely busy between calving and breeding seasons. If a bull is questionable, you’ll have time to put a back-up plan in place as well as get test lab results from a trichomoniasis test, if necessary. Questionable breeders can be rechecked right before breeding season begins.

Update your cows’ vaccinations. Ask a veterinarian if cows in your area should be vaccinated against vibriosis and trichomoniasis 30 to 60 days before breeding.

Check inventory of disposable supplies. Remember to order enough shoulder length gloves, latex exam gloves, insemination gun sheaths, extra O-rings, antiseptic and lubricant. Order estrus detection aids such as heat mount detectors, chin ball marker fluid and paint sticks.

“Nothing is more frustrating than thawing a straw of semen only to discover you don’t have what you need to inseminate a cow,” says Fernandez.

Check equipment and handling facilities if you are using AI. Make sure your semen tank will hold a charge of liquid nitrogen, the squeeze chute is in good working order and your AI kit is ready.

— Release by University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension.

Scholarship Available

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation annually awards youth scholarships. Eligible students must graduate from high school this year, and meet any of these criteria:

• received the Youth Beef Team training,
• completed the Masters of Beef Advocacy, or
• served as a county Beef Queen/Princess/Ambassador.

Candidates will compete for $1,000 scholarships; up to three scholarships will be awarded. The number of scholarships awarded is based on the number of applications received.
Scholarship applications must be e-mailed or postmarked by March 18, 2011. 

Finalists will participate in a personal interview and presentation at the Cattle Industry Headquarters in Ames, scheduled for Saturday, April 2, 2011. Each finalist will be interviewed by a panel of judges. Finalists will also give a five- to eight-minute presentation on an issue of their choice that affects the beef industry. Scholarship winners will be announced at the conclusion of the day’s events.

If you have questions, please contact Trent Wellman at 515-296-2266 or via e-mail at

— Release by Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

— Compiled by Mathew Elliott, assistant editor, Angus Productions Inc.

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