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Earth Briefs

Commodity loans available to producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers interim financing at harvest time to help producers meet cash flow needs without having to sell commodities when market prices are at harvest-time lows.

The programs, known as marketing assistance loans and loan deficiency payments, were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill for the 2014-18 crop years.

A producer who is eligible to obtain a marketing loan, but agrees to forgo the loan, may obtain a loan deficiency payment if such a payment is available. The programs provide financing and marketing assistance for wheat, feed grains, soybeans and other oilseeds, pulse crops, rice, peanuts, cotton, wool and honey.

For eligibility, producers must control the commodity or a title to the commodity until the loan is repaid.

Colorado Farm Service Agency is now accepting applications for all eligible commodities.

For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/pricesupport. To find a local USDA Service Center, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

National Forest to survey visitors

Beginning in October, visitors to the San Juan National Forest may encounter people on backcountry roads or at campgrounds wearing orange vests near signs reading: “Traffic Survey Ahead.”

The effort is part of a National Visitor Use Survey conducted every five years on national forests nationwide to determine what the public desires from a forest experience. The basic interview lasts about eight minutes.

Participation is voluntary, and all information provided is confidential.

The agency compares earlier survey results to recent results to keep up with changing recreation trends to better manage national forest recreation facilities and sites.

For more information, call Brian White at 385-1246 or visit www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/nvum.

Durango Nature Studies announces programs

Durango Nature Studies announces these programs:

Durango Nature Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays through October. The center is free for members and children 12 and younger and $5 for nonmembers. For more information and directions, visit www.durangonaturestudies.org/center.htm.

A Fall Astro Tour will take place from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Durango Nature Center. The cost is $10 for non-members and free for members. Astronomer John Buting will lead the tour of the night sky.

A fly-fishing workshop will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Durango Nature Center. The cost is $10 for nonmembers, and free for members. Jake West will lead the workshop. He will talk about bugs, fly-tying and fly-fishing tips. Workshop participants receive free entry to the nature center.

A full moon hike under the Hunter’s Moon will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 27 at Greenmount Cemetery. The hike is free for members, and $10 for nonmembers

To register, email sally@durangonaturestudies.org, call 769-1800 or visit www.durangonaturestudies.org/fullmoon.htm.

Water, land-use session to cover key issues

A pilot water and land-use planning work session for land-use planners, water utility personnel, local government officials and other interested parties will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 23 at the La Plata County Administration Building, 1101 East Second Ave.

The session, sponsored by the American Planners Association – Colorado Chapter, La Plata County and the Water Information Program, qualifies for 4 credits for planners.

The cost is $35 or $50 for people seeking credits. Topics will include: American West and Colorado water realities and issues, water and land-use planning overview, Colorado land-use regulations and land-use planning tools and techniques.

The session is being taught by industry experts Drew Beckwith and Barbara Green. Beckwith is the water policy manager for Western Resource Advocates, and Green is a founding partner in the law firm Sullivan, Green & Seavy.

For more information and to register, call 247-1302 or visit www.waterinfo.org.

Herald Staff

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