What is in this article?:
- Safety net still a key goal in 2012 farm bill development, Mississippi producers are told
- Producer advisory recommendations
Direct payments to farmers are likely to be going away,” Randy Knight, president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation told farmers at the annual meeting of the Producer Advisory Council of northeast Mississippi. “But if that happens, what we need to do is to be able to take the direct payments money to subsidize crop insurance and risk management at a level where our farmers can stay in business. We’re not looking for a handout or giveaway program — but we’ve got to have some kind of safety net to fall back on when the inevitable catastrophic years come along."
ANDY MILSTEAD, from left, Walnut, Miss.; Steve Skelton, Ashland, Miss.; and Matt Ormon, Hickory Flat, Miss., were among those attending the annual Producer Advisory Council meeting for northeast Mississippi.
Producer advisory recommendations
Among timber, fruits/nuts, and specialty crop sector recommendations made by producer committees at the advisory council meeting were:
· Forestry: “We would like research on use of logging wastes for biofuels,” George Byrd said. “We’d also like to see continued support for tree farm/stewardship programs — since 1955, Mississippi has been the nation’s No. 1 tree farm state, and 70 percent of the tree farms are on privately owned land, so we need to keep supporting this effort.
“And we’d like to have help with market development and best management practices training.”
· Fruits/nuts: “Updated recommendations for fruit and nut varieties specific to our region’s soils would be helpful,” said Gerald Jetton. “Also, information on new varieties and planting trials, and grafting studies and demonstrations on how to get trees into production sooner.”
· Vegetables: “More information on cost-sharing and other programs would be helpful,” said Lisa Hart. “Also, further studies on beekeeping, varieties that grow best under plastic mulch, deer and squirrel control alternative — this is a huge issue for our producers — and more studies and information on propagation and grafting.”
· Ornamentals: “We’d like to see research and variety recommendations for disease and insect resistance in roses and ornamentals,” said Sherra Owen.
“Also, we’d like information on organic disease control and alternatives to fungicides, research for control strategies for critters such as voles, Japanese beetles, and others, and continued updates of Extension horticultural publications.”
· Turf: “Research on how best to maintain the tensile strength of mature sod, herbicide resistance and control issues, ways to deal with increasing regulations regarding chemical use in lawn care, and studies on products that can conserve nitrogen for turf applications are needs for our industry,” said Harry Collins. “Also, we would like to see the vacant Extension turf specialist position filled.”