USDA Announces Early Release of Commodity Tables for USDA's Agricultural Projections to 2024 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 09:38

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2014—On Dec. 18, 2014, at 11:00am EST, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release selected tables from its upcoming USDA Agricultural Projections to 2024 report. USDA will post online tables containing long-term supply, use, and price projections to 2024 for major crops and livestock products, and will include supporting U.S. and international macroeconomic assumptions.

The USDA will release the complete USDA Agricultural Projections to 2024 report, as scheduled, on Feb. 11, 2015. The complete report includes a full discussion of the commodity supply and use projections, as well as projections for global commodity trade, U.S. trade value, and farm income.

The early-release tables will be posted to the Office of the Chief Economist's (OCE) website at The tables will be in MS Excel format.

USDA's long-term agricultural projections are a departmental consensus on a long-term representative scenario for the agricultural sector for the next decade. The projections are based on specific assumptions about macroeconomic conditions, policy, weather, and international developments, with no domestic or external shocks to global agricultural markets. The Agricultural Act of 2014 is assumed to remain in effect through the projection period. The projections reflect a composite of model results and judgment-based analyses and were prepared during October through December 2014. The projections use as a starting point the short-term projections from the November 2014 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.

Background on USDA's long-term projections and past issues of the report are available on the ERS website at

New Chairman Elected to Keep Moving Checkoff Forward PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Tuesday, 16 December 2014 12:05

Kansas farmer to draw on input from CONNECTIONS meeting to benefit soybean farmers

ST. LOUIS (Dec. 15, 2014) – Bob Haselwood, soybean farmer from Berryton, Kansas, has been elected by his fellow United Soybean Board (USB) farmer-directors to lead the board in investing soy checkoff funds for the next year. In addition to the support from the other 69 farmer leaders, Haselwood also has the input from the recently held 2014 CONNECTIONS meeting to help guide him.

“Having the feedback from the industry-wide CONNECTIONS meeting really helps us as farmer-directors to lay a path for the future of this organization,” says Haselwood. “And in addition to that, I’ve got a great group to help me lead this board, and we’re excited to get to work.”

The following farmer-leaders will be joining Haselwood on the executive committee to oversee USB’s profit-building projects:

  • Vice Chairman: Jared Hagert, Emerado, North Dakota
  • Secretary: Dwain Ford, Kinmundy, Illinois
  • Treasurer: John Motter, Jenera, Ohio
  • Meal Action Team Chair: Laura Foell, Schaller, Iowa
  • Oil Action Team Chair:  Jimmy Sneed, Hernando, Mississippi
  • Freedom to Operate Action Team Chair: Bill Beam, Elverson, Pennsylvania
  • Customer Focus Action Team Chair: John Dodson, Halls, Tennessee
  • International Opportunities Target Area Coordinator: Dwain Ford, Kinmundy, Illinois
  • Domestic Opportunities Target Area Coordinator: Lewis Bainbridge, Ethan, South Dakota
  • Communications Target Area Coordinator: Nancy Kavazanjian, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
  • Past Chairman: Jim Call, Madison, Minnesota
Additionally, Nebraska farmer Gregg Fujan will serve as Supply Target Area coordinator. Keith Tapp, from Kentucky, will serve as Audit & Evaluation Committee chair.

Members of the Strategic Management Committee (SMC) will continue to keep the checkoff’s strategic goals at the forefront. Farmer-leaders who will serve on the SMC include:
  • Jared Hagert, Emerado, North Dakota
  • Jim Call, Madison, Minnesota
  • Mike Beard, Frankfort, Indiana
  • Larry Marek, Riverside, Iowa
  • Ron Ohlde, Palmer, Kansas
  • John Motter, Jenera, Ohio
In addition to electing a new slate of officers, 19 checkoff farmer-leaders were sworn in. Five of these directors are new to the board, with 14 returning.

The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit
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USDA Provides Greater Protection for Fruit, Vegetable and Other Specialty Crop Growers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Monday, 15 December 2014 11:16

Free Basic Coverage Plans and Premium Discounts Available for New, Underserved and Limited Income Farmers

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that greater protection is now available from the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program for crops that traditionally have been ineligible for federal crop insurance. The new options, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provide greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect specialty crops such as vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, and energy crops.

"These new protections will help ensure that farm families growing crops for food, fiber or livestock consumption will be better able to withstand losses due to natural disasters," said Vilsack. "For years, commodity crop farmers have had the ability to purchase insurance to keep their crops protected, and it only makes sense that fruit and vegetable, and other specialty crop growers, should be able to purchase similar levels of protection. Ensuring these farmers can adequately protect themselves from factors beyond their control is also critical for consumers who enjoy these products and for communities whose economies depend on them."

Previously, the program offered coverage at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production. Producers can now choose higher levels of coverage, up to 65 percent of their expected production at 100 percent of the average market price.

The expanded protection will be especially helpful to beginning and traditionally underserved producers, as well as farmers with limited resources, who will receive fee waivers and premium reductions for expanded coverage. More crops are now eligible for the program, including expanded aquaculture production practices, and sweet and biomass sorghum. For the first time, a range of crops used to produce bioenergy will be eligible as well.

"If America is to remain food secure and continue exporting food to the world, we need to do everything we can to help new farmers get started and succeed in agriculture," Vilsack said. "This program will help new and socially disadvantaged farmers affordably manage risk, making farming a much more attractive business proposition."

To help producers learn more about the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program and how it can help them, USDA, in partnership with Michigan State University and the University of Illinois, created an online resource. The Web tool, available at, allows producers to determine whether their crops are eligible for coverage. It also gives them an opportunity to explore a variety of options and levels to determine the best protection level for their operation.

If the application deadline for an eligible crop has already passed, producers will have until Jan. 14, 2015, to choose expanded coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. To learn more, visit the Farm Service Agency (FSA) website at or contact your local FSA office at The Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers the program, also wants to hear from producers and other interested stakeholders who may have suggestions or recommendations on the program. Written comments will be accepted until Feb. 13, 2015 and can be submitted through

These new provisions under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program were made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit

Scott County Extension Calendar Dec 2014 - Jan. 2015 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Monday, 15 December 2014 09:59

Dec. 25, 2014 Extension Office Closed for Holiday

Dec. 26, 2014 Extension Office Closed for Holiday

Jan. 1, 2015 Extension Office Closed for Holiday

Jan. 13, 2015 Manure Applicator Certification, Scott County Extension Office, 7 pm

Jan. 26, 2015 Private Pesticide Applicator Training, Scott County Extension Office, 9:30 am and 1:30 pm

Jan. 27, 2015 Scott County Extension Council Meeting, Scott County Extension Office, 7 pm-9 pm

Visit our events calendar at our web site:

Driftless Region Beef Conference PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Monday, 15 December 2014 09:57

The third annual four-state Driftless Region Beef Conference will be held on Jan. 22-23, 2015, at the Grand River Convention Center in Dubuque, Iowa.

The program will begin at 1 p.m. on Jan. 22 and run through 11:45 a.m. on Jan. 23. This year’s conference features two keynote speakers; Dr. Jude Capper, a livestock sustainability consultant from Bozeman, Montana, and Dr. Mark Hilton, a Professor of Beef Production Medicine at Purdue University. Other speakers include Dan Loy, Lee Schulz, Iowa State University; Rhonda Gildersleeve, and Gene Schriefer, University of Wisconsin; Nicole Rambo, University of Minnesota; and Travis Meteer, University of Illinois and Rick Rasby, University of Nebraska, as well as Tom Arnold from Elizabeth, Ill., Dr. Joe Dedrickson from Merial, and Darrell Busby from the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity. The Thursday evening program includes a panel discussion focused on the wide scope of the beef industry and how they all fit together to meet consumer’s demands. Friday morning’s program includes four breakout sessions as well as a breakfast presentation by Dr. Capper.

Registration for the conference is $85 before Jan. 15 or $115 after Jan. 15. Additional information about the conference is available at Registration opened for the conference on Dec. 1. Sponsors of the program with display booths at the conference currently include Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association, Merial, Thiesen's, US Feeds, ABS Global, Multimin USA, Vita Plus, Animat, People's State Bank, Wisconsin Beef Improvement Association, Diamond V, Prairie Creek Seed, Zoetis, FarmTek, Summit Livestock Facilities, Mix 30, USDA National Ag Statistics Service.

The Driftless Region Beef Conference is sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the University of Minnesota Extension, and University of Wisconsin Extension. The planning team strives to deliver the latest in research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information or to receive a brochure, contact Denise Schwab at 319-721-9624.


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