November Arizona USDA Newsletter


This publication is brought to you by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and is filled with great information about programs and services available to Arizona from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Thanks to #OurFarmers for Voluntary Conservation

Thanks to #OurFarmers for Voluntary Conservation

In this season of giving thanks, we are grateful to our most important partners in implementing conservation: #OurFarmers. Throughout the year, we highlight stories of the amazing work that these farmers are doing on their own land, and how we have been able to contribute to their success.

Continue reading here


Office of Tribal Relations - Tribal Consultations

The Office of Tribal Relations serves as the single point of contact for consultation with American Indian and Alaskan Native Governments and continues to refine the consultation process to ensure strong partnerships that will preserve Tribal sovereignty and result in high quality service for farmers, ranchers, consumers, and other constituents.


Upcoming Consultations

If you wish to attend the consultations below, please send an RSVP through email to with the following information:
1. Name
2. Tribe/Organization
3. Title (i.e. chairwoman)
4. City, State
5. Phone
6. Attendance
7. Issues you are interested in

Industrial Hemp Interim Final Rule Consultation

Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm Pacific Time
Location: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Room: Artist Hall G
4455 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89169

Industrial Hemp Consultation Invitation (PDF, 682 KB)
Industrial Hemp Consultation Proxy Letter (PDF, 129 KB)


Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) Tribal Leader Work Group Consultation

Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Time: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm Pacific Time
Location: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Room: Artists Hall E
4455 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89169

FDPIR Consultation Tribal Leader Letter (PDF, 572 KB)
FDPIR Consultation Proxy Letter (PDF, 69.0 KB)

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program

The 2018 Farm Bill (pdf) directed USDA to establish a national regulatory framework for hemp production in the United States.  USDA established the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program through an interim final rule.  This rule outlines provisions for the USDA to approve plans submitted by States and Indian Tribes for the domestic production of hemp.  It also establishes a Federal plan for producers in States or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own USDA-approved plan.

The interim final rule governs the production of hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill.  The interim final rule does not affect industrial hemp that was or is being cultivated under the 2014 Farm Bill programs.  That industrial hemp remains subject to the requirements of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Submit comments on the Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program interim final rule at Comments may be submitted until December 30, 2019.


If you have any issues viewing these webinars, please contact us at


Specialty Crop Newsletter

View the November Specialty Crop Newsletter here


News Releases

November 21, 2019: USDA Publishes Negotiated Cattle Market Reporting Study

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a study on Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) negotiated slaughter cattle market reporting.

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Reporting Study available here


November 20, 2019: USDA Announces Appointments to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the appointment of 40 members to serve on the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. Thirty-nine members will serve three-year terms and one appointee will serve the remaining one-year portion of a vacant position.

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Information about the board and list of members available here



Origin of Livestock Proposed Rule Comment Period Closing soon

Comment Period Closes December 2

On October 1, 2019, the National Organic Program (NOP) reopened the public comment period for the Origin of Livestock proposed rule originally published in 2015. The comment period is open for 60 days: October 1 - December 2, 2019.

The proposed rule would change the requirements related to origin of livestock under the USDA organic regulations. NOP received 1,580 public comments during the original comment period in 2015. USDA will consider all public comments in developing a final rule. This includes public comments from 2015 and from this new comment period.

You do not need to resubmit public comments provided on the 2015 proposed rule. We welcome new or updated comments.

Reopening the public comment period gives people a chance to submit comments who did not do so in 2015. It also allows people to submit updated information, if needed, to inform USDA's development of a final rule. 

Submit your comments here

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

November 14, 2019: USDA Taking Action to Protect the United States from Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is taking immediate action to prevent the introduction of tomato brown rugose fruit virus into the United States and protect U.S. tomato and pepper production worth more than $2.3 billion annually.

Continue reading here

Federal Order available here

Economic Research Service (ERS)

November News Releases and Events

View the November news releases and events from ERS


Recent Outlook Reports

Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: November 2019

Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: November 2019

Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: November 2019

Feed Outlook: November 2019

Oil Crops Outlook: November 2019

Rice Outlook: November 2019

Wheat Outlook: November 2019

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Arizona Farm Service Agency Newsletter


News Release: USDA Designates Five Utah Counties as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

Emergency Support also available to producers in Apache, Coconino, and Navajo counties in Arizona and San Juan County, New Mexico.

This natural disaster designation allows FSA to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

Continue reading here

Deadline to apply for these emergency loans is July 6, 2020.


News Release: USDA Issues Second Tranche of Market Facilitation Program

Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

News Release: USDA Encourages States to Engage SNAP Participants in Employment Opportunities

USDA reminded states that as partners in administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) they have an opportunity to address challenges and provide support to program participants as they move towards – and into – employment.

Continue reading here

Additional Resources:

Letter to states

SNAP E&T: Self-Sufficiency  

SNAP E&T: Fit for Purpose

Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

News Releases

November 25, 2019: USDA Clarifies Terms for Livestock Export Sales Reporting

November 5, 2019:Western Hemisphere Ag Leaders Unite in Support of Science-Based Standards

November 5, 2019: Secretary Perdue Leads USDA Trade Mission to Mexico

National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS)

NASS Releases

Date             Release

Nov 25         Cotton Ginnings

Nov 27         Ag Prices

Dec 2           Crop Progress

Dec 5           Census Specialty Crops

Dec 10         Crop Production

Dec 10         Cotton Ginnings

Dec 12         Wheat County Estimates

Dec 18         Milk Production

Dec 19         Census of Aquaculture

Dec 19         Livestock Slaughter

Dec 20         Cattle On Feed

Dec 23         Cotton Ginnings

Dec 23         Hogs & Pigs

Dec 27         Ag Prices

Jan 10          Cotton Ginnings

Jan 10          Crop Production - Annual

Jan 10          Grain Stocks

Jan 10          Durum Wheat Seedings

Jan 10          Crop Production

December Surveys

Beginning in late November we will begin asking for information on the December Agricultural Production Survey for final end-of-year acreage and production for corn, cotton, and hay. The Quarterly Hog Report will also begin December 1st as well as Off-Farm Grain Stocks SurveyCotton Ginnings data collection continues to help determine the number of bales ginned to the 1st and 15th of December and expected total bales to be ginned from the current season.  County Agricultural Production for Row Crops continues through December.  This survey measures final yields for cotton.

January Surveys

The Cattle Report asks for current inventories, calf crops and grazing fees.  The Sheep and Goat Report is very similar inquiring about inventory, lamb crop, wool and mohair production and prices.  Also this month is the Quarterly Milk Production Report, and a Land Values inquiry.


News Releases


November 19, 2019: USDA 2019 Organic Survey to get underway
Results will help develop programs for producers

The deadline for response is January 10, 2020. Results will be available October 2020. For more information about the Organic Survey, visit

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November 13, 2019: 2018 Irrigation and Water Management data now available

To access the results of the 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey, visit

Continue reading here

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Funding Opportunities

Organic Transitions

The Organic Transitions Program (ORG) supports the development and implementation of research, extension and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices.

Read the full ORG Request for Application


Resident Instruction Grants Program for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas (RIIA) & Agriculture and Food Sciences Facilities and Equipment (AGFEI)

These programs promote and strengthen the ability of eligible institutions in the Insular Areas to carry out education within the FANH sciences.

  • RIIA projects strengthen institutional educational capacities, including libraries, curriculum, faculty, scientific instrumentation, instruction delivery systems, and student recruitment and retention, in order to respond to education needs in the food and agricultural sciences.
  • AGFEI projects support activities to acquire or renovate facilities and relevant equipment necessary for conducting agricultural research to support tropical and subtropical agricultural research, including pest and disease research.

Read the full RIIA & AGFEI funding opportunity.


News Releases & Announcements

NIFA Announces $41.4 Million in Grants to Encourage Healthy Food Purchases for SNAP Participants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $41.4 million in 23 competitive grants to support projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. The funding comes from The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP), reauthorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and renamed from the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program (FINI).

A list of the grantees and their projects is available on the NIFA website at the respective links: three GusNIP Pilot Projects, four GusNIP Projects, six GusNIP Large-Scale Projects, ten Produce Prescription Projects(link is external), and one Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center.

Continue reading here

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

USDA Invites Input on Conservation Stewardship Program Rule

Submit your public comments by January 13, 2020.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) seeks public comments on its interim final rule for the Conservation Stewardship Program. CSP, the nation’s largest conservation program in terms of participating land, is designed to help farmers have more robust conservation activities. The rule – now available on the Federal Register – takes effect upon publication and includes changes to the program prescribed by the 2018 Farm Bill.

“We’re excited to roll out an updated Conservation Stewardship Program,” NRCS Chief Matt Lohr said. “We know the program is important to American farmers and ranchers, especially those who want to build on existing conservation efforts while strengthening their operations.”

Changes to CSP include:

  • Increasing payment rates for adoption of cover crop rotations.
  • Introducing a new supplemental payment for advanced grazing management.
  • Creating one-time payment for developing a comprehensive conservation plan.
  • Providing specific support for organic and transitioning to organic production activities.

As part of implementing the 2018 Farm Bill, NRCS has streamlined CSP by basing contracts on funds instead of acres, bringing it in line with the agency’s other large conservation program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Additionally, NRCS is aligning CSP with EQIP through common applications, contracting operations, conservation planning, conservation practices and related administrative procedures.

“These changes will result in greater efficiency in program delivery and reduced burden on producers,” Lohr said.

Submitting Comments

The interim final rule becomes effective upon publication in the Federal Register. NRCS invites comments on this interim rule through January 13, 2020.  Electronic comments must be submitted through under Docket ID NRCS-2019-0020. All written comments received will be publicly available on 

NRCS will evaluate public comments to determine whether additional changes are needed. The agency plans on publishing a final rule following public comment review.

Continue reading here

Innovations in Biochar

Innovations in Biochar

New Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) enhancement helps forest owners convert tree debris to soil-friendly, carbon-storing biochar

Continue reading here

Risk Management Agency (RMA)

Don’t Miss Crop Insurance Deadlines

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds producers that the final dates to apply for crop insurance are fast approaching. The last day to purchase or change your policy for Potatoes is November 30, 2019 and for Pistachios it is December 31, 2019. Producers need to purchase, review, or modify their crop insurance policies before these sales closing dates have passed.  Crop insurance provides protection against crop production losses due to natural perils such as drought, hail, and excessive moisture. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. In order to receive premium subsidies, the insured must certify that they meet Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation  requirements (AD-1026) with Farm Service Agency (FSA). For more information contact your agent or you can find an agent online at the RMA Agent Locator.   

Rural Development (RD)

News Release: USDA Invests in Drinking Water Quality and Wastewater Management for 784,000 Rural Residents and Businesses in 42 States

Investment in Town of Superior will be used to design, construct and rehabilitate the the waste water treatment plant.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy announced that the department is investing $635 million in 122 projects (PDF, 315 KB) to improve water systems and wastewater handling services in rural communities in 42 states. USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.

Continue reading here

Full list of projects available here


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA invites applications to its Environmental Education Grants program supporting environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. Three to four awards from each of the 10 EPA regions of varying amounts may be made. Please see the following link for detailed eligibility information. All applications are due Jan. 6, 2020.

More information is available here »


Bureau of Reclamation

The Bureau of Reclamation today announced that it is making grant funding available under the WaterSMART Drought Response Program to develop and update drought contingency plans that will build long-term resiliency to drought.

“The drought planning that emerges from this program is a big win for both Reclamation and its partners. When implemented, it will increase water supply reliability, improve water management and provide benefits for fish, wildlife, and the environment. That’s impactful,” said Reclamation’s Drought Response Program Manager Darion Mayhorn.

Eligible applicants for funding include states, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, or other organizations with water or power delivery authority located in the 17 Western United States and Hawaii.

This funding opportunity will provide up to $200,000 per agreement to develop new drought plans or update existing plans. In general, recipients must match the funding with at least 50% funding from a non-federal source. In exceptional circumstances, a reduction or waiver of the non-federal cost-share may be considered. Work must be completed within two years of the funding award.

Applications for fiscal year 2020 funding are due Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, at 4 p.m. MST. Learn more at by searching for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-20-F003.

Visit Reclamation's WaterSMART program at and the Drought Response Program at