Agribusiness
Secretary Vilsack Announces Regional Hubs to Help Agriculture, Forestry Mitigate the Impacts of a Changing Climate PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 14:16
'Climate Hubs' will provide regional networks on climate science, forecasting impacts as part of President's Climate Action Plan

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2014—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today the creation of the first ever Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change at seven locations around the country. "Climate Hubs" will address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, devastating floods, and crippling droughts on a regional basis, aiming to translate science and research into information to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners on ways to adapt and adjust their resource management. In his State of the Union Address, President Obama pledged that his Administration will continue to do everything in its power to act on climate change. Today's announcement is part of the President's Climate Action Plan to responsibly cut carbon pollution, slow the effects of climate change and put America on track to a cleaner environment.

"For generations, America's farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have innovated and adapted to challenges. Today, they face a new and more complex threat in the form of a changing and shifting climate, which impacts both our nation's forests and our farmers' bottom lines," said Vilsack. "USDA's Climate Hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate."

The Secretary first announced his intention to create the Hubs last summer. The Hubs will provide outreach and information to producers on ways to mitigate risks; public education about the risks climate change poses to agriculture, ranchlands and forests; regional climate risk and vulnerability assessments; and centers of climate forecast data and information. They will also link a broad network of partners participating in climate risk adaptation and mitigation, including universities; non-governmental organizations; federal agencies such as the Department of Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Native Nations and organizations; state departments of environment and agriculture; research centers; farm groups and more.

Across the country, farmers, ranchers and forest landowners are seeing an increase in risks to their operations due to fires, increases in invasive pests, droughts, and floods. For example, in the Midwest, growing seasons have lengthened by almost two weeks since 1950. The fire season is now 60 days longer than it was 30 years ago, and forests will become increasingly threatened by insect outbreaks, fire, drought and storms over the next 50 years. These events threaten our food supply and are costly for producers and rural economies. Drought alone was estimated to cost the U.S. $50 billion from 2011 to 2013. Such risks have implications not only for agricultural producers, but for all Americans.

The Hubs were chosen through a competitive process among USDA facilities. In addition to the seven Hubs, USDA is designating three Subsidiary Hubs ("Sub Hubs") that will function within the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest. The Sub Hubs will support the Hub within their region and focus on a narrow and unique set of issues relative to what will be going on in the rest of the Hub. The Southwest Sub Hub, located in Davis, California, will focus on specialty crops and Southwest forests, the Southeast Sub Hub will address issues important to the Caribbean, and the Midwest Sub Hub will address climate change and Lake State forests.

The following locations have been selected to serve as their region's center of climate change information and outreach to mitigate risks to the agricultural sector:

  • Midwest: National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa
    • Sub-Hub in Houghton, Mich.
  • Northeast: Northern Research Station, Forest Service, Durham, N.H.
  • Southeast: Southern Research Station, Forest Service, Raleigh, N.C.
    • Sub-Hub in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
  • Northern Plains: National Resources Center, Agricultural Research Service, Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Southern Plains: Grazinglands Research Lab, Agricultural Research Service, El Reno, Okla.
  • Pacific Northwest: Pacific Northwest Research Station, Forest Service, Corvallis, Ore.
  • Southwest: Rangeland Management Unit/Jornada Experimental Range, Agricultural Research Service, Las Cruces, N.M.
    • Sub-hub in Davis, Calif.

"This is the next step in USDA's decades of work alongside farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to keep up production in the face of challenges," Vilsack said. "If we are to be effective in managing the risks from a shifting climate, we'll need to ensure that our managers in the field and our stakeholders have the information they need to succeed. That's why we're bringing all of that information together on a regionally-appropriate basis."

The Climate Hubs will build on the capacity within USDA to deliver science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to support decision-making related to climate change across the country.

For more information, visit www.usda.gov/climatechange.

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Farm and Nutrition Bill Clears the Senate PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 09:43

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Senator Chuck Grassley released the following statement after the Senate passed the Agricultural Act of 2014 by a vote of 68-32.  Grassley voted against the measure.

“I’m extremely disappointed that my provisions to place a hard cap on farm payments and better define who can receive those payments were stripped down to such a great extent that they likely won’t have much effect.  Unfortunately, a few members of the House and Senate placed parochial interests above the broader good for the agricultural community.

“Currently 10 percent of the wealthiest farmers receive 70 percent of the benefit from the farm program.  This puts small- and medium-sized farms and young and beginning farmers at a disadvantage.  These are the very people the farm program is supposed to help.  The committee leaders negotiating the final bill struck my simple, common-sense and enforceable provisions from the final bill.

“As a farmer myself, I understand how a five-year farm bill helps with long-term planning, and there are some good things in the bill.  But, I can’t turn a blind eye to a select few members dismantling a provision that was passed by wide, bipartisan majorities in both the House and the Senate.”

 
Loebsack Praises Senate Passage of Farm Bill PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 15:12

Bill now heads to the President for his signature

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the Senate passed the five-year, bipartisan farm bill sending it to the President for his signature. Loebsack has been fighting for over two years to get a long term, comprehensive farm bill passed and sent to the President in order to give Iowa farmers and rural communities the stability they need. Loebsack led the fight to ensure the bill would include robust funding for the Energy Title, which gives farmers and rural small businesses the ability to continue to create jobs and grow the rural economy in a value-added and sustainable way.

“I am pleased that the farmers and rural communities across Iowa and the nation will finally be able to have the stability they need to make decisions and investments that create jobs with confidence. This long-term bill will finally put an end to the year-to-year uncertainty. I am optimistic that the President will swiftly sign this bipartisan legislation into law.”

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USB Helps Commercialize 38 New Soy-Based Products PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Monday, 03 February 2014 13:16
Farmer-funded projects drive innovations in soy chemistry, keep industrial demand on rise

ST. LOUIS (February 3, 2014) – Various performance and environmental attributes have made U.S. soy increasingly popular among product manufacturers, which has helped boost industrial demand for soy. That’s why last year, the soy checkoff  partnered with manufacturers to commercialize 38 new soy-based products and ingredients.

The list of products developed with soy checkoff support in 2013 includes new additions to some popular soy-based product categories, such as coatings, adhesives and plastics. It also includes soy-based ingredients that could be used in countless new products.

Dale Profit, a soy checkoff farmer-leader and soybean farmer from Van Wert, Ohio, recognizes the value-added prospects of industrial soy use.

“USB is helping discover other products that can be made from soy to add to farmers’ bottom lines,” says Profit. “These products are good for the farmer, the customer and all the people in between.”

Soybean meal’s primary use remains animal feed, while most soybean oil goes to human food, Profit adds. But versatile soy can also help manufacturers replace petrochemicals and possible carcinogens in their products. Soy-based products are more renewable and environmentally friendly and in some cases, perform better.

Click here to browse USB’s Soy Products Guide, an online catalog of the thousands of currently available soy-based products, ingredients and manufacturers.

New soy-based products and ingredients introduced in 2013 as a result of USB support include:

PLASTICS

MASEO (Maleinated Acrylated Epoxidized Soybean Oil) – A soybean-oil-based resin used to make plastic. It is made by Dixie Chemical Company, Inc.
Innergy™ Rigid Thermal Reinforcements – A fiberglass and soy-based urethane
insert that slides into window frames for greater support and insulation. It is marketed by Deceuninck North America.
INFIGREEN® Recycled Polyols – Produced by Emery Oleochemicals, and are used in foam seats of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.

COATINGS /PRINTING INKS/SOLVENTS

SoBind™ Balance – By DuPont™ is used in coatings and adhesives.
Varathane Diamond Floor – A wood-floor coating containing soy flour. It is made by Rust-Oleum®.
G.E.T. Biobased Safety Yellow – A zero-volatile-organic-compound (VOC) coating that contains soybean oil, biodiesel glycerin and soy methyl ester. It is made by Niemann & Associates.
ProClassic® – A multipurpose water-based soy acrylic alkyd primer, satin deck and siding product line made by Sherwin-Williams.
Pro-Park® – A soy- based parking-lot paint by Sherwin-Williams.

ADHESIVES

Meta-Tec® Products – Soy-based adhesive products for floor-covering installations, including carpet, resilient flooring and wood adhesives. They are made by W.F. Taylor Company.
PSA64MA – A soy-based material by Applied Protein Systems that is used in adhesives on paper cones where yarn and thread are wound.
Millenium One Step™ Green Insulation Adhesive – A soy-based, all-weather adhesive by ADCO used to install flooring.
Elemental – A soy-based wood-composite adhesive that is formaldehyde-free. It is available from States Industries.

PAPER

PSA35MA – A soy-based material used to coat paperboard. It is made by Applied Protein Systems.   
SUNKOTE® AU 4203 and 4240 – Soy-based products that are used as lubricants for paper and paperboard coatings. They are made by Omnova Solutions.

SURFACTANTS

Armeen® S – A corrosion inhibitor for oilfields that is made by Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry, LLC.
Ethomeen® S/12 – A cleansing surfactant for oilfields and dry cleaning that is made by Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry, LLC.
Arquad® SV 60 PG – A foaming, antistatic, emulsifier, wetting agent used in laundry products from Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry.
Larostat® 264A – An antistatic material that holds textile products together. It is made by BASF Corp.
Agnique® SBO 10 – A soybean oil used in agricultural products, manufactured by BASF Corp.
Comperlan® VOD – A thickener for personal-care products from BASF Corp.
Prifac™ 8953 – An emulsifying agent for household products. It is made by Croda, Inc.
HY-3200 Emulsiyfing Soy Wax – By Dow Corning Corp, a material that allows ingredients in personal-care products to smoothly blend together.
SERADOX NAD 20 – By Elementis Specialties, is an antistatic material for softening and smoothly blending personal-care products.  
LAMCHEM™ PE-130 K – Improves the taste of food products and also serves as a pressure lubricant on metals. It is made by Lambent Technologies Corp.
Lipovol® SOY – Adds a soft, smooth skin-feel to personal care products. It is made by Lipo Chemicals, Inc.
Chemonic™ SI-7Surfacant – Builds the thickness of personal-care products and stabilizes foam. It is made by Lubrizol Corp.
Schercomid™ SLL – Thickens personal care products. It is made by Lubrizol Corp.
Schercoquat™ SOAS-PG – A hair conditioner for personal care products made by Lubrizol Corp.
Quatrex™ S Conditioning Agent – A conditioning agent for personal-care products,
made by Lubrizol Corp.
Amidex™ S Surfactant – Helps create personal-care products that foam and feel like soap. It is made by Lubrizol Corp.
Chembetaine™ S-FA Surfactant – Adds special properties for personal-care products. It is manufactured and marketed by Lubrizol Corp.
Chemoxide™ SO Surfactant – Offsets hard water in household/personal-care products. It is made byLubrizol Corp.
Potassium Soyate – A soy soap with glycerin as a moisturizer, made by Lubrizol Corp.
ACCOSOFT® 750 – Used as a fabric softener for laundry products. It is made by Stepan Company.
PETROSTEP® Q-50S – A unique ingredient used in oilfields as a down-hole corrosion inhibitor. It is made by Stepan Company.

EMERGING INDUSTRIAL OPPORTUNITIES

SoBind™ HARMONY, Impression and CLARITY – Soy polymers that replace harsh synthetic and animal-based ingredients in a variety of products to make the products thicker, smoother and more colorful. They are made by DuPont™.

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 www.unitedsoybean.org
Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/UnitedSoybeanBoard
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/unitedsoy
View our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/UnitedSoybeanBoard

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The Agricultural Act of 2014 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 31 January 2014 15:06

This week negotiations on the farm bill came to a close.  After two years, the House of Representatives passed the bill on Wednesday by a vote of 251 to 166.  When the bill comes up for a vote in the Senate, I will be voting against it.

The country needs good farm policy that provides a limited safety net to ensure small and medium sized farms have the resources to weather the uncontrollable risks they face every year.  The farm program must also be defensible to the American taxpayer.  As a farmer, a citizen and a legislator, I believe it is wrong to expect or allow the government to give unlimited support to any farm.  The $17 trillion debt is real, and we need to treat it as such.

The individual Senate- and House- passed farm and nutrition bills included nearly identical provisions that I championed that would have placed a hard cap on farm payments and accurately define a farmer.  My efforts stem from a need to get the farm program back to its original intent.  Currently 10 percent of the wealthiest farmers receive 70 percent of the benefit from the farm program.  This puts those small- and medium-sized farms and young and beginning farmers at a disadvantage.  These are the very people the farm program is supposed to help.  The committee leaders negotiating the final bill struck my simple, common-sense and enforceable provisions from the final bill.  And, $387 million in savings are no longer realized.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some positives in the bill.  The crop insurance program remains in place to help farmers manage their own risk and the dairy program ended up better than where we started. But, this bill is a missed opportunity for true reform.  A few people put parochial interests ahead of agriculture as a whole.  Voting yes on this bill would be an endorsement of the egregious manipulation of my payment limit reforms behind closed doors.  I cannot in good conscience do that.

 
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