Waste wanted

Ste Gen Pesticide CollectionDuring the Aug. 3, 2019, collection event at MFA Agri Services in Ste. Genevieve, approximately 3,142 pounds of waste pesticides were collected from 22 participants. The program continues at different locations in 2020From 2012 to 2019, the Missouri Pesticide Collection Program has conducted 50 events, collecting more than 530,000 pounds of waste pesticide from 1,571 participants. In 2020, the department will again collect herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, dewormers, fly tags and fertilizer containing pesticides. Events are held from 8 a.m. to noon at these locations, which include MFA Agri Services in Montgomery City and our local affiliate in Clinton.

  • April 11 — Heritage Tractor, 3285 N. US Hwy. 63, West Plains
  • May 16 — Greenway Equipment, 20919 State Hwy. 114, Dexter
  • June 13 — Northeast Missouri Fairgrounds, 2700 E. Illinois Street, Kirksville
  • Aug. 1 — MFA Agri Services, 226 N. Walker Street, Montgomery City
  • Aug. 29 — Hundley-Whaley Research Center, 1109 S. Birch Street, Albany
  • Oct. 10 — Farmers Elevator and Supply Co., 511 S. Center Street, Clinton

At these events, approved hazardous waste contractors will send the chemicals to a permitted incineration facility.

To participate, keep all pesticides in original containers and identify those not in original containers or with missing labels. Do not mix the pesticides with other materials, like used motor oil or antifreeze. Make sure lids are tightly sealed. If the container is leaking, place it in a larger container with a non-flammable absorbent, such as clay-based cat litter. Secure waste pesticides upright in a cardboard box and transport in the back of a pickup truck, trailer or car trunk. Keep flamma­bles out of direct sunlight and away from sources of heat.

A hazardous waste contractor will unload the waste pesti­cides from your vehicle. Non-pesticide waste brought to the event will be rejected and sent back with the participant.

For more information, visit online at dnr.mo.gov/env/ hwp/pesticide/ or call 573-751-0616.

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USDA invests in water quality

CoverCropsPlanting cover crops are among practices encouraged by USDA's water-quality initiatives.Continuing two of its successful landscape-level water-quality programs, the USDA will invest $56 million this year to help agricultural producers in more than 300 high-pri­ority watersheds across the country.

The Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative and the National Water Quality Initiative, administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, offer technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to implement practices that avoid, control and trap nutrients and sediment. Practices include filter strips, cover crops and manure manage­ment, which promote soil health, reduce erosion and lessen nutrient runoff.

“When we partner with producers to deliver conservation practices to critical watersheds, we see a positive impact,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said. “Through these partnerships we maximize the delivery of our conservation efforts, which yields greater results to water quality and benefits the public, our natural resources and farmers’ bottom lines.”

NRCS launched the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Water­sheds Initiative in 2009, then took the concept nationwide in 2012. Since then, priority watersheds across the country have seen improvements such as delisting of once-impaired streams.

Within the Mississippi River Basin, NRCS will make available $17.5 million to producers in 13 states, including Missouri, Iowa and Arkansas in MFA territory. Goals are improving water quality, restoring wetlands and enhancing wildlife habitat while ensuring economic viability of farmland along the nation’s largest river.

Additionally, NRCS will make available $38.9 million this year through the National Water Quality Initiative, a partner­ship among NRCS, state water quality agencies and the EPA to identify and address impaired water bodies through voluntary conservation. Financial and technical assistance is provided for small watersheds most in need and where farmers can use conservation practices to address impaired surface water.

NRCS accepts applications for conservation programs year-round, but enrollment periods are set locally. For more infor­mation, contact your local NRCS field office. To find the one nearest you, visit www.farmers.gov/service-center-locator.

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Big-box beef

Walmart, the largest food retailer in the U.S., officially entered the beef business in January when it opened a case-ready beef plant in Georgia after establishing its own Angus supply chain.

Creating an end-to-end beef supply chain is the latest step Walmart has taken in its vertical integration strategy for food and toward its stated goal of improving the quality of its food offering, according to a new report from the Knowledge Exchange division of CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agri­businesses across rural America such as MFA Incorporated.

If Walmart’s new beef plant and Angus supply chain succeed, it could lead the retail giant to take another step toward the producer in the form of harvesting fed cattle or through a joint venture with a current packer.

The new plant will cut and prepare steaks and roasts produced by Walmart’s Angus beef supply chain for 500 stores in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Walmart will need to convince customers that the attributes of its beef, which is hormone-free, traceable and potentially of higher grade, make it worth buying at a premium price.

“While Walmart’s new beef strategy could make waves for the industry in the future, in its current state we don’t see it shifting the price and leverage dynamics of U.S. beef production,” said Will Sawyer, animal protein economist with CoBank. “By our calculations, this new supply chain will account for less than 5% of Walmart’s U.S. beef busi­ness and less than 0.5% of U.S. beef production.”

Sawyer said U.S. cattle producers, feeders and packers will not likely suffer any significant near-term changes from Walmart’s beef strategy, which the report described as “more of a test” that could lead to much bigger and more significant investments in the future.

Watch a video synopsis and read the report, “Walmart’s New Beef Plant is More Sizzle than Steak, For Now,” at cobank.com.

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