November 13, 2017
The Agricultural Guestworker Act proposed by U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, passed out of committee and has been sent to the House. The bill would replace the H-2A program with an H-2C program, allowing farmers to hire workers for up to 18 months for seasonal labor and 36 months for year-round labor. Learn more at tinyurl.com/H2Cworkers.
-Mac Higginbotham, division director
Wheat & Feed Grains, Cotton and Soybean
In Alabama, only 15 percent of cropland is irrigated, a far cry from 61 percent in Mississippi and 40 percent in Georgia. Auburn University has received more than $1 million in grants to increase irrigation adoption in Alabama and close producers’ irrigation knowledge gap.
-Carla Hornady, divisions director
The Alabama Farmers Federation supports updating USDA pork grading standards to accurately reflect modern production’s commitment to a consistent, high-quality product. Submit public comments for revisions by Dec. 22 at tinyurl.com/PorkGradingComments. The last revision in 1985 does not reflect preferences for current pork products.
-Guy Hall, division director
Make sure horses are ready for winter by doing preventative maintenance. Fecal egg counts will determine if horses need worming with an anthelmintic to kill bots and tapeworms. Horses may also need vaccinations for equine influenza and rhinopneumonitis, Eastern and Western equine encephalomyelitis and West Nile virus. It’s also a good time to check teeth and trim hooves.
-Nate Jaeger, division director
As deer and quail seasons open, remember to practice good hunter safety. Wear orange, use a safety harness, and make sure the firearm safety is activated. For those who harvest a deer, report it through Game Check, the mandatory reporting system of the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Learn more at outdooralabama.com.
-William Green, division director
The Alabama Peanut Producers Association shared farm facts with consumers during the National Peanut Festival in Dothan. Hundreds of kids learned about ag during Kindergarten Day Nov. 6, while attendees tasted products in the Peanut Pavilion throughout the festival.
-Caleb Bristow, division director