Finalizes New Microloan Program:
Microloans up to $35,000 aim to assist small
farmers, veterans, and disadvantaged producers
01/15/2013 12:09 PM EST
WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2013 — Agriculture Secretary Tom
Vilsack today announced a new microloan program from the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) designed to help small and
family operations, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers
secure loans under $35,000. The new microloan program is aimed
at bolstering the progress of producers through their start-up
years by providing needed resources and helping to increase
equity so that farmers may eventually graduate to commercial
credit and expand their operations. The microloan program will
also provide a less burdensome, more simplified application
process in comparison to traditional farm loans. Read the full
article on the USDA website.
From the Ground Down:
Updated Soil Survey of Spokane County now
SPOKANE, Wash. / July 17, 2012
It's not a gossip tabloid, but it sure dishes the latest "dirt"
on Spokane County. It's called a soil survey. And thanks to a
recent update by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service,
foresters, farmers, residents, builders, land managers and
others will now have the latest information on what lies
beneath their feet - the soil.
The Spokane County soil survey area encompasses over 1.1
million acres of agricultural, forest, range and urban lands
within three Major Land Resource Areas (MLRA): Palouse and Nez
Perce Prairies (MLRA 9), Northern Rocky Mountain Valleys (MLRA
44A) and Northern Rocky Mountains (MLRA 43A).
The updated survey is an extensive revision that will replace
the current Spokane County publication released in 1968 that
was based on fieldwork from 1955 through 1961 with an
agricultural interpretive focus.
Although the soils have not changed over the last 40 years,
shifts in land use and management, advancement of soil science,
research and technology and an increased demand from customers
for current and accurate soil information have dictated the
need for up-to-date soil data and interpretations.
"Knowing the physical characteristics and capacity of the soil
are integral in making good land management decisions," said
NRCS State Soil Scientist Kevin Sullivan. "The updated
information in this survey provides more accurate, detailed and
accessible soils information for nearly all of Spokane
The updated Spokane County Soil Survey is now available online
through the Soil Data Mart and Web
Soil Survey. This data will also be available at the
Spokane Field office.
SCD Soils Lab Open for
Did you know that a large majority of all planting problems
and failures can be directly attributed to issues with the
soil, and many of those problems can be detected and corrected
early? The SCD is the perfect place to start when looking to
ensure you have healthy soil; we now operate an in-house soil
testing laboratory available to the public for both lawn &
garden and small acreage. The basic testing includes
phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium, pH, and organic matter. The
lab fee is $30 and is payable by cash or check only. If you
need a more comprehensive analysis done on your soil, your
sample can be sent to an independent lab, whose fees vary and
will include a shipping cost.
You can download the Soil
Sample Request Form to include with your sample and
payment; the form provides soil sampling tips & techniques.
Contact Eric Choker, soil scientist, to arrange a time to drop
your sample off at the District office, and for any