What’s Happening in RI Agriculture (and beyond)


The 2024 RI Farm Scavenger Hunts have been delivered
to all currently open (and soon to be open) farms!

Twenty-three of the thirty participating farms have opened for the season, please be sure to check the dates and hours of operation before making the trek! Click the flier below for the map and all details.


USDA Actions to Protect Livestock Health From
Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza

Mandatory Testing for Interstate Movement of Dairy Cattle

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2024 – To further protect the U.S. livestock industry from the threat posed by highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza, USDA is sharing a number of actions that we are taking with our federal partners to help us get ahead of this disease and limit its spread.

Today, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a Federal Order requiring the following measures, effective Monday, April 29, 2024 (click here for full press release)

Mandatory Testing for Interstate Movement of Dairy Cattle

  • Prior to interstate movement, dairy cattle are required to receive a negative test for Influenza A virus at an approved National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) laboratory.
  • Owners of herds in which dairy cattle test positive for interstate movement will be required to provide epidemiological information, including animal movement tracing.
  • Dairy cattle moving interstate must adhere to conditions specified by APHIS.
  • As will be described in forthcoming guidance, these steps will be immediately required for lactating dairy cattle, while these requirements for other classes of dairy cattle will be based on scientific factors concerning the virus and its evolving risk profile.

Mandatory Reporting

  • Laboratories and state veterinarians must report positive Influenza A nucleic acid detection diagnostic results (e.g. PCR or genetic sequencing) in livestock to USDA APHIS.
  • Laboratories and state veterinarians must report positive Influenza A serology diagnostic results in livestock to USDA APHIS.

USDA has identified spread between cows within the same herd, spread from cows to poultry, spread between dairies associated with cattle movements, and cows without clinical signs that have tested positive. On April 16, APHIS microbiologists identified a shift in an H5N1 sample from a cow in Kansas that could indicate that the virus has an adaptation to mammals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted further analysis of the specimen sequence, which did not change their overall risk assessment for the general public, because the substitution has been seen previously in other mammalian infections and does not impact viral transmission. Additionally, APHIS’ National Veterinary Services Laboratories found H5N1 in a lung tissue sample from an asymptomatic cull dairy cow that originated from an affected herd and did not enter the food supply.

The novel movement of H5N1 between wild birds and dairy cows requires further testing and time to develop a critical understanding to support any future courses of action. This Federal Order is critical to increasing the information available for USDA. Requiring positive test reporting will help USDA better under this disease and testing before interstate movement will limit its spread.

While we are taking this action today, it is important to remember that thus far, we have not found changes to the virus that would make it more transmissible to humans and between people. While cases among humans in direct contact with infected animals are possible, our partners at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe that the current risk to the public remains low. For the full press release, CLICK HERE.


Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)
Detected in Dairy Cattle
(No detections in RI or New England) 

APHIS Recommendations for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 Virus in Livestock
For State Animal Health Officials, Accredited Veterinarians and Producers | April 12, 2024

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (HPAI) H5N1 virus is an emerging disease in cattle. Federal and state agencies are moving quickly to conduct additional testing for HPAI (H5N1) virus, as well as viral genome sequencing, so that we can better understand the situation, including characterization of the HPAI (H5N1) virus strain or strains associated with these detections as well as any other multi-factorial components of the disease event in dairy cattle. This is a rapidly evolving situation. USDA and Federal and State partners will continue to share additional updates as soon as information becomes available. Our goal is to safeguard the health of the herd and protect the industry; keep our milk and beef supply safe; and protect public health and human safety based on the most up-to-date information we have.

As of June 17, 2024, The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) HPAI website shows total of 102 dairies in Texas, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, North Carolina, South Dakota, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota and Wyoming have tested positive for HPAI.  (Each detection is a herd detection, the number does not represent single animals.) At this time, there continues to be no concern that this circumstance poses a risk to consumer health, or that it affects the safety of the interstate commercial milk supply because products are pasteurized before entering the market.  (USDA Q & A regarding Milk Safety during the HPAI Outbreak). 

In a difference of opinion from USDA APHIS, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners will now refer to highly pathogenic avian influenza in cattle as bovine influenza A virus, or BIAV, and is encouraging everyone to do the same. In an open letter dated April 8, 2024, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) says that though caused by the same virus, the disease presents very differently in cattle versus poultry and is far less lethal. The name change reflects the difference in the presentation of the disease between species. The organization is encouraging government officials and industry to adopt the name change.

“The virus isolated from affected animals in herds matching the clinical syndrome has been identified as avian influenza virus Type A H5N1. This virus causes Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in birds, however the disease syndrome in cattle does not cause high morbidity and mortality as it does in birds. The AABP does not believe that this disease should be referenced as “HPAI in cattle” or “bird flu in cattle” due to these differences,” the letter reads.


The 2024 Rhode Island Farm Scavenger Hunt
is at the Printer!

After a bumpy start taking on the RI Farm Scavenger Hunt, we are ready for the 2024 Hunt!

The fliers are at the printers and the Scavenger Hunts should be in place at all participating (and open) farms by Tuesday, May 7.  Check back here soon to see the full list of participating farms and their hours so you can grab your flier!

Check out this nice article in Hey Rhody magazine on our RI Farm Scavenger Hunt!


Uncertain about how the Plastic Waste Reduction Act will affect your farm business?

Click here/graphic above for Guidance Document for
Plastic Waste Reduction Act FAQ’s

Click here for the new R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-19.18-2


 

Current News, Program Updates and Deadlines for the
USA Farm Service Agency

  1.  
  1. Upcoming FSA Program Signup Deadlines

April 2024

  1. Presidential Disaster Declarations

Farmers in the following counties are eligible foEmergency Loans through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). 

Presidential Designation M4766
For Severe Storms and Flooding 01/09/2024-01/13/2024

Rhode Island Primary Counties: Kent, Providence, Washington
Rhode Island Contiguous Counties: Bristol, Newport
Emergency Loan Application Deadline: 11/20/2024

Presidential Designation M4765
For Severe Storm and Flooding 12/17/2023-12/19/2023
Rhode Island Primary Counties: Kent, Providence, Washington
Rhode Island Contiguous Counties: Bristol, Newport
Emergency Loan Application Deadline: 11/20/2024

For more information on these Presidential Disaster Declarations, please contact the Farm Loan Team at 401-828-3120 Option 2.

 

  1. Tri-State SARE Field Day 

Join SARE on May 15th for a tour of Pat’s Pastured in East Greenwich, RI and talk about the economics of pastured livestock. Following the tour, owner Pat McNiff will lead a presentation and answer questions regarding the economic analysis and decision making involved with growing, harvesting, and marketing his products to ensure the business remains viable for years to come. Click Here for more information, click here >> To Register.

  1. Become a Crop Weather Reporter 

If you are knowledgeable about crops across your county and have Internet access, you qualify to be a weekly crop reporter. It only takes about 10-15 minutes each week to alert USDA of the crop situation in your county using the Internet report form.  We will use that information to generate the weekly report of Crop Conditions across the Northeastern Region. This report is issued weekly during the growing season, April to November, and lists planting, fruiting, and harvesting progress and overall condition of selected crops in major producing states.   You can help alert USDA about crop progress and unusual crop conditions during the growing seasons. Instead of waiting until the crop is in, you can give us an early warning of crop situations that may need our attention for possible assistance.

To learn more, visit the NASS website and click on the “Help Wanted” link found here:
Help Wanted

  1. Agency News

Foreign Investors Must Report U.S. Agricultural Land Holdings

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director J. Eric Scherer in Rhode Island reminds foreign investors with an interest in agricultural land in the United States that they are required to report their land holdings and transactions to USDA.

USDA Announces April 2024 Lending Rates for Agricultural Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced loan interest rates for April 2024, which are effective April 1, 2024. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans provide important access to capital to help agricultural producers start or expand their farming operation, purchase equipment and storage structures or meet cash flow needs.

Interest rates for Operating and Ownership loans for April 2024 are as follows:

Farm Operating Loans (Direct): 5.125%
Farm Ownership Loans (Direct): 5.375%
Farm Ownership Loans (Direct, Joint Financing): 3.375%
Farm Ownership Loans (Down Payment): 1.500%
Emergency Loan (Amount of Actual Loss): 3.750%

    • Dairy Producers Can Enroll for 2024 Dairy Margin Coverage Beginning Feb. 28 Dairy producers will be able to enroll for 2024 Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC), an important safety net program offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that provides producers with price support to help offset milk and feed price differences. This year’s DMC signup begins Feb. 28, 2024, and ends April 29, 2024. For those who sign up for 2024 DMC coverage, payments may begin as soon as March 4, 2024, for any payments that triggered in January 2024.
    • USDA Announces Conservation Reserve Program General Signup for 2024  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the launch of a new conservation initiative – Working Lands for Wildlife’s Northern Bobwhite Pilot Project, as well as the signup dates for USDA’s General Enrollment signup in the Conservation Reserve Program (General CRP), which opens March 4. Both conservation opportunities give producers tools to conserve wildlife habitat while achieving other conservation benefits, including sequestering carbon and improving water quality and soil health.     
  1. Disaster Assistance Programs Available

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance for Producers Facing Inclement Weather

 Severe weather events create significant challenges and can often result in catastrophic loss for agricultural producers. Despite every attempt to mitigate risk, your operation may suffer losses. USDA offers several programs to help with recovery. While we never want to have to implement disaster programs, we are here to help. To file a Notice of Loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact the RI Farm Service Agency at 401-828-3120 Option 1.

 Risk Management

For producers who have risk protection through Federal Crop Insurance or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), we want to remind you to report crop damage to your crop insurance agent or the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

If you have crop insurance, contact your agency within 72 hours of discovering damage and be sure to follow up in writing within 15 days. If you have NAP coverage, file a Notice of Loss (also called Form CCC-576) within 15 days of loss becoming apparent, except for hand-harvested crops, which should be reported within 72 hours.

 Disaster Assistance

USDA also offers disaster assistance programs, which is especially important to livestock, fruit and vegetable, specialty and perennial crop producers who have fewer risk management options.

First, the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) reimburses producers for a portion of the value of livestock, poultry and other animals that died as a result of a qualifying natural disaster event or for loss of grazing acres, feed and forage.

The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) provides assistance to producers of grazed forage crop acres that have suffered crop loss due to a qualifying drought.  Livestock producers suffering the impacts of drought can also request Emergency Haying and Grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres.

Next, the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides cost share assistance to rehabilitate and replant tree, vines or shrubs loss experienced by orchards and nurseries. This complements NAP or crop insurance coverage, which cover the crop but not the plants or trees in all cases.

For LIP and ELAP, you will need to file a Notice of Loss for livestock and grazing or feed losses within 30 days and honeybee losses within 15 days. For TAP, you will need to file a program application within 90 days.

 Documentation

It’s critical to keep accurate records to document all losses following a devastating weather event. Producers are advised to document by taking time and date-stamped video or pictures prior to and after the loss.

Other common documentation options include:

      • Purchase records
      • Production records
      • Vaccination records
      • Bank or other loan documents
      • Third-party certification

 Other Programs

The Emergency Conservation Program and Emergency Forest Restoration Program can assist landowners and forest stewards with financial and technical assistance to restore damaged farmland or forests.  Additionally, FSA offers a variety of loans available including emergency loans that are triggered by disaster declarations and operating loans that can assist producers with credit needs.  You can use these loans to replace essential property, purchase inputs like livestock, equipment, feed and seed, or refinance farm-related debts, and other needs.

Meanwhile, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial resources through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help with immediate needs and long-term support to help recover from natural disasters and conserve water resources. Assistance may also be available for emergency animal mortality disposal from natural disasters and other causes.

 Additional Resources

Additional details – including payment calculations – can be found on our NAPELAP, LIP, and TAP fact sheets. On farmers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery ToolDisaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help you determine program or loan options.

Additional information can be found within our handy Disaster Assistance at a Glance brochure or at the RI FSA Homepage, RI NRCS Homepage, or the RI RMA Homepage.

Please feel free to distribute this information as you see fit.  For more information regarding the latest FSA news and programs, please visit farmers.gov and the RI FSA Homepage For questions, feel free to reach out to me or contact the Rhode Island Farm Service Agency County Office located at 60 Quaker Lane Suite 49, Warwick RI at 401-828-3120 Option 1.  For Farm Loan questions, please contact our Farm Loan team at 401-828-3120 Option 2.

Thank you,

Leila Naylor
Administrative Specialist
USDA-Farm Service Agency
60 Quaker Lane Suite 62
Warwick, RI 02886
Leila.naylor@usda.gov


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On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant

jersey cow with yellow ear tag and brown collar

Grant Overview

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announces the availability of funds through the On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant program, which will provide grants for dairy farmers to access funds that support the purchase of equipment and other related costs that will improve milk storage, handling, and energy efficiencies. The focus of this grant is on the purchase of specialized equipment. Applicants will be able to select from a pre-approved list of eligible equipment which includes milk storage tanks, milk pipeline, glycol chillers, milk loading systems, reclaim systems for water, cooling equipment, plate coolers/heat exchangers, and equipment installation costs.

Projects funded by this grant will streamline milk pick up, create efficiencies around milk storage, and improve handling for both farmers and their processors. Successful applications will show reduced costs to the farmer and will improve efficiencies around the movement of milk, reduce frequency of milk pick up, and/or otherwise meet processors’ needs for improved storage and handling.

Grants are available to applicants in all 11 Northeast states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Grants will range from $15,000- $50,000 with a 25% match commitment. Match waivers are also available. FSA low-interest loans and other grants are encouraged to supplement the project. Total funds available: $800,000.

Watch a recording of our webinar on this grant and the Dairy Farm Improvement & Modernization Grant.

Eligibility

Applicants eligible for these funds are dairy farmers (producers) that:

  1. are headquartered or based in the Northeast; and
  2. produce milk within the Northeast; and
  3. are licensed dairy operations in compliance with all required state and/federal standards.

    Spotted Lanternfly Detected in RI In August 2023

It looks so pretty, but it’s actually the very damaging Spotted lanternfly adult (left) and fourth instar nymph (right). Photo credit: USDA APHIS.

The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive planthopper currently spreading through the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern US.  On August 9, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says it sprayed pesticides along the Route 7 corridor in several communities to fight an infestation of the spotted lanternfly.

The department says it sprayed along Douglas Pike, or Route 7, in Smithfield, Lincoln, and North Providence.

Link to WJAR article.

The potential spread of this insect threatens our region’s grape, tree fruit, hardwood, and green industries. Please click the photo above to go to the RI DEM Division of Agriculture Spotted Lanternfly page for more information.  ProJo Article March 25, 2024 

DEM said if you come across a suspected spotted lanternfly, especially in the North Providence, Smithfield and Lincoln area, they ask you to take a photo , kill the insect, collect a specimen and report it on their designated form.


Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza 2022-2024 Outbreak

March 16-April 16: Detections in 7 Commercial and 5 Backyard flocks in 8 states including Maine.

March 18-27, 2024: 12 Wild bird detections in 5 states including NY, PA and NJ.

On Friday, October 21, 2022, the state Department of Environmental Management euthanized a small, backyard flock of chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys on a farm in Newport County, Rhode Island, after confirming that some had been infected with HPAI.  This is the first confirmation of the HPAI  virus in a domestic flock in Rhode Island, and is currently the only detection from this current outbreak.  In July 2022, a great black-backed gull found seriously ill on a South Kingstown beach tested positive for HPAI. Since then, there have been a total of 11 wild bird detections in Rhode Island, the most recent in March 2023.

From February 8, 2022 through December 18, 2023, USDA has announced more than detections in 480 commercial and 645 backyard flocks across 48 states, with a total of over 90.6 million birds affected (number of birds on confirmed affected premises).  In addition there have been 9,294 detections in wild birds across 49 states. (Only Hawaii has remained unaffected from either domestic or wild bird detection.)  For up-to-date information, please visit the USDA APHIS site: H5N1 Bird Flu: Current Situation Summary CDC

The following February 22, 2022 update is from Dr. Scott Marshall, RI State Veterinarian.

State and federal animal health officials are monitoring for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). HPAI is a virus that is relatively common in wild waterfowl and is well-adapted in that population in that it rarely causes disease. However, when domestic poultry are infected with HPAI it can result in mortality rates approaching 100%. HPAI has been detected in hunter harvested wild waterfowl along the East Coast from Canada to FL. Canada had experienced some infections of domestic poultry but the USA did not until about 2 weeks ago when a turkey farm in Indiana was diagnosed. Since then there have been an additional 3 commercial poultry farms in IN, 2 commercial farms in KY, and backyard farms in VA, NY, and ME. The findings in NY and ME came in over the weekend with the NY finding being fairly close to RI on Long Island.

I have been the State Veterinarian for 15 years and we have always prepared for HPAI. In my tenure there has been one major HPAI outbreak (2015-2016) primarily in the upper Midwest and one relatively small one in 2022 in the Southern USA. Those were quite distant from RI and the monitoring of wild birds for HPAI with those outbreaks didn’t show that we were high risk. This is different because of the proximity of HPAI detections in both wild and domestic birds in the Northeast. If there is a silver lining with this virus it appears that it is not a threat to public health. Public health officials have long predicted that the “next great pandemic” would be an influenza virus, probably avian origin. Well, we all know how that went 2+ years into COVID. That said, CDC and USDA are monitoring the virus for any characteristics that would make it likely to infect people, and thus far they are not seeing any.

The purpose of this email is really twofold. First is for your situational awareness as agriculture partners and stakeholders. Second is that you personally, or your organizations, may provide services to poultry farms. Therefore I ask that you please review this site for important information on the current HPAI outbreak, and also for information on biosecurity. The biosecurity information includes practices that you all should be taking so that you don’t spread HPAI if you visit poultry farms, and also information you can pass onto your customer/client so they can protect their poultry assets.  USDA Defend the Flock Program 

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Scott N. Marshall, DVM
Deputy Chief / RI State Veterinarian
Division of Agriculture and Forest Environment
Tel: (401) 222- 2781 Ext 2774503

Scott.Marshall@dem.ri.gov

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street | Room 370 | Providence, RI 02908

The virus is spread primarily through fecal droppings and respiratory droplets and can contaminate feed or water sources that wild birds have access to.

RI DEM asks that you contact the State Veterinarian, Scott Marshall, DVM, if your flock is having any illness or mortality event. You can reach him via email at scott.marshall@dem.ri.gov or by calling 401-222-2781 X2774503.


Preventing Diseases Spread by Livestock and Backyard Flocks

With the official start of spring, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) would like to remind retailers and consumers to take steps to protect your health from diseases, such as salmonella, that can be passed from livestock and backyard livestock flocks to humans.
Backyard poultry can carry germs that can make people sick even if they look clean and healthy. You can take these simple steps to prevent getting sick:
Please follow these steps to protect yourself:

    • Wash hands with soap and water right after touching livestock, flocks, and flock supplies
    • Don’t kiss or snuggle the birds
    • Keep flock and flock supplies outside the house
    • Never eat, drink, or put anything in your mouth around animals.
    • Older adults, pregnant women, and young children should be extra careful around animals.

Below are some fact sheets and infographics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on this topic. To help keep people safe, we would appreciate it if you would share with your customers by posting them or making them available at your store or considering posting them on social media:

Thank you for your cooperation and assistance in keeping Rhode Islanders healthy and safe. To learn more, please visit this website: Backyard Poultry | Healthy Pets, Healthy People | CDC.


GAP Certified Producers

Along with implementing food safety practices, farms covered by the Produce Safety Rule and/or involved with the RI GAP program (Good Agricultural Practices) will need to keep some records. Visit URI’s new webpage [uri.edu] to access free templates designed to assist Rhode Island produce growers with record requirements and/or for farms wanting to make food safety a priority.


RI GAP Certification

Thinking of becoming a RI GAP Certified Grower?
Want to learn more about Produce Safety in Rhode Island?
The first step is to take the RI GAP/Produce Safety Rule Grower Training.  
Sign-up for the RI GAP/PSR training waitlist by clicking this link and you will be notified once dates become available!


RI Produce Farm Registration

Do you grow, harvest, pack or hold produce?
 
Have you registered your produce farm for 2023?
 
All Produce Farms in Rhode Island are now required to register annually with the RIDEM Division of Agriculture.
 
If you grow, harvest, pack or hold produce for sale in Rhode Island you must register with the Division of Agriculture – Produce Safety Program on an annual basis.
 
Registration can be completed easily on the DEM website.
 
If you have questions, please contact Ananda Fraser – ananda.fraser@dem.ri.gov

Storm Damage?

For the most complete and  up-to-date disaster information on our website, go to our Emergency Resources page.

USDA DISASTER RECOVERY ASSISTANCE PAGE

(Click Link Above)

Reminder for farmers about sales tax obligations

Those who make retail sales of taxable items must collect and remit tax

We received this notice from the Rhode Island Department of Revenue Division of Taxation in early June.  It is a reminder that farms that make retail sales of taxable items must collect and remit Rhode Island sales tax on those items.

Please see the linked notice here.



 
The  USDA Farmers Guide to Farm Bill programs contains comprehensive information about all NRCS, FSA and RMA programs.  Click the picture below for details or call any of the offices below for program information.
 
Rhode Island USDA FSA County Office can be reached at 401-828-1320 Option 2https://www.fsa.usda.gov/state-offices/Rhode-Island/index
Rhode Island NRCS can be reached at 401-828-1300.  https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/ri/home/
 
Risk Management Agency can be reached at 919-875-4880.  They provide crop insurance.  https://www.rma.usda.gov/en/RMALocal/Rhode-Island

Rhode Island Farmers: Become an
authorized SNAP retailer

Rhode Island farmers: you can open a new market for your business while helping your less fortunate neighbors during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn how to apply to be an authorized retailer to accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — formerly Food Stamp Program) benefits. This will allow you to accept SNAP benefits at your retail farm stand, CSA, and through home delivery. Click here for the Guidebook.


Soil Nutrient Analysis

It’s planting season and with that comes the question: Where can I get my soil tested.  At this time we recommend Midwest Labs in Kansas.



Free Soil Testing for Landowners!

RI State Conservation Committee (RISCC) has a soil health agreement with NRCS by which they do free soil testing for landowners. The program is absolutely free, and after the results are back, the appropriate conservation district will work with the landowner on programs he/she may want to implement based on results. Please see the attachment below for more information.

HOW CAN MY FARM’S SOIL HEALTH BE EVALUATED?

Have a Comprehensive Soil Health Assessment conducted on your cropland, hayland or pasture. This Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) for enhancing Soil Health provides access to Cornell University’s Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Health when you apply for technical assistance. The Conservation District Soil Health staff will collect soil samples fr m your property, send the samples to Cornell Soil Health Testing Lab and interpret those results in a Soil Health Management Plan.

Soil Health Program Fact Sheet


Ford $500 Bonus Cash!

Rhode Island Farm Bureau (RIFB) is pleased to announce the newest member benefit. Farm Bureau members in Rhode Island can now receive a $500 Bonus Cash offer from Ford Motor Company on a purchase or lease of a new qualifying vehicle.  Please click here for more information.  Click here to print your certificate.


As RIFB renewals are rolling out, remember to keep your membership current to maintain your American National* Insurance discount!

 American National offers a full line of insurance products through a local agent. That way they can help you ensure that your property and liability insurance needs are covered. So, whether it’s auto, home, life, farm or business insurance, you can feel confident you’re getting options to fit your lifestyle and budget.

Your current Rhode Island Farm Bureau membership entitles you to discounts on:

– 5% discount for personal auto
– 3%  discount for the SFP, including Country Estate Insurance
– 3% BOP discount up to $100. (Certain classes not eligible for the discount, ask your agent.)

Contact your American National agent to make sure you are getting the best discount.

Not an American National Insurance customer? To find out more about American National Insurance, click the following link to find an agent near you.  www.americannational.com.

*Previously know as Farm Family under the American National umbrella.


RI Sales Tax Exemption on Seeds and Plants

Late this spring we had several calls  regarding the Sales Tax Exemption on Seeds and Plants.  We are happy to say that after considerable work trying to get seeds and plants used to grow food and food ingredients exempted from the state sales tax, the following changes were passed in last year’s state budget. State Budget link here. Page 178, lines 11-14.

Here is the much abbreviated, relevant text.
 
TITLE 44
Taxation
CHAPTER 44-18
Sales and Use Taxes – Liability and Computation
SECTION 44-18-30
 
§ 44-18-30. Gross receipts exempt from sales and use taxes
 
There are exempted from the taxes imposed by this chapter the following gross receipts:
 
(65) Seeds and plants used to grow food and food ingredients. From the sale, storage, use, or other consumption in this state of seeds and plants used to grow food and food ingredients as defined in § 44-18-7.1(l)(i). “Seeds and plants used to grow food and food ingredients” shall not include marijuana seeds or plants.
 
44-18-7.1(l)(i).   “Food and food ingredients” means substances, whether in liquid, concentrated, solid, frozen, dried, or dehydrated form, that are sold for ingestion or chewing by humans and are consumed for their taste or nutritional value and seeds and plants used to grow food and food ingredients. “Food and food ingredients” does not include “alcoholic beverages”, “tobacco”, “candy”, “dietary supplements”, “soft drinks”, or “marijuana seeds or plants.”


THE PURPOSE OF THE RI FARM BUREAU

The Rhode Island Farm Bureau is an independent, non-governmental, voluntary organization of farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing their problems and formulating action to achieve advancement and, thereby, to promote the national well-being.

Farm Bureau is local, county, state, national, and international in its scope and influence and is non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-secret in character. Farm Bureau is the voice of agricultural producers at all levels.

Statement from 1997 Policy Manual of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Support Rhode Island Farms by joining the Rhode Island Farm Bureau.

Your Membership in RIFB entitles you to …

  • A complete line of insurance services through the American National- Farm Family Insurance Companies
    Discounts available on Automobile, Special Farm Packages (inc. Country Estate) & BOP
  • Discounts on Case IH, CAT, Dungarees.com, Grainger and John Deere
  • Discount at participating Choice hotels and Wyndham hotels
  • Discounts from Avis and Budget.
  • Thousands of additional discounts when you use your membership number and log into Access Benefits.

Click here to learn more about RIFB membership benefits.