National Ag Week, Wild Pigs & Rural Broadband

National Ag Week, Wild Pigs & Rural Broadband

National Ag Week, Wild Pigs & Rural Broadband plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last week that USDA issued a Notice of Solicitations of Applications and regulations implementing the 2008 Farm Bill for the broadband loan program.  Building out broadband infrastructure remains an important Obama Administration priority but some people want to know: "Why has it taken until now to get 2008 Farm Bill broadband loan program rules announced?"

VILSACK: Two reasons; one because the recovery act gave us a significant amount  of opportunity, over $3.5 billion dollars of opportunity to leverage resource and get them to work immediately to get the economy stimulated again and get it moving in the right direction and we also had to craft the rules consistent with the 2008 Farm Bill and informed by the process we went through with the Recovery Act gave us a better sense and understanding of precisely the need and how to structure the rules.

The topic of hunting wild or feral pigs has come up in southern Idaho and the Idaho Fish & Game decided to clarify the issue by saying you do not need a hunting license to hunt feral hogs on your property. However, if you hunt on public lands, that will require a valid Idaho hunting or trapping license. There is no hunting limit although numbers of feral pigs are rather small.

Today is the beginning of National Ag Week with National Ag Day celebrated on Wednesday. It is celebrated each year to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless other across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

Ask any farmer or gardener and they’ll tell you even in the plant world their are friends and foes. It’s called companion planting and has been well known by anyone with a green thumb for centuries. Farmers often grow certain crops in close proximity because they know the two will benefit one another and increase productivity. For instance, corn and pole beans. The beans climb the cornstalks and fix nitrogen for the corn in return. Native Americans were practicing this form of companion planting well before anyone else arrived on the scene. Kitchen gardeners will often plant marigolds along their vegetable rows, as the scent of the pretty yellow headed flowers are particularly annoying to any number of garden pests, especially aphids and hornworms. One of my favorite companion plants is peppermint which deters cabbage moths, while attracting beneficial insects that chow on aphids, mites and other annoying pests. Plus it smells good! Scientists are still debating the validity of companion planting, but that doesn’t stop those of us who know it works, and works well. While they keep trying to prove or disprove its benefit, we’ll just keep right on planting.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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