Agribusiness
USDA Drought Assistance Minimizes Impacts While Spurring Improvements on 1M Acres of American Farmland PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:42

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) efforts to help producers rebound from drought have touched more than one million acres of farmland across the country as nearly 2,000 producers took advantage of conservation funding targeted to drought-stricken areas by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS made more than $27 million available to farmers and ranchers to make conservation improvements, spurring recovery and ensuring lands are more drought resistant in the future.

"This tremendous response reflects the severity of this year's drought conditions, "Agriculture Secretary Vilsack said."The level of producer participation is also a testament to the hard work of USDA and other federal agencies to help farmers and ranchers weather one of the worst droughts in decades."

NRCS provided financial and technical assistance to help crop and livestock producers in 22 states apply conservation practices, including conservation tillage, cover crops, nutrient management, prescribed grazing, livestock watering facilities and water conservation practices. These actions build healthier soil that lead to better harvests and cleaner water and air.

"The conservation investments made by these producers today will continue to improve the resilience of their lands in the face of drought as well as other natural events that are out of their control," Vilsack said. "The farmers and ranchers that have voluntarily implemented conservation improvements have taken an important step toward building drought resistance into their operations."

Exceptional drought continues to dominate sections of Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, causing widespread losses of crops and pastures and water shortages in reservoirs, streams and wells.

Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah are under extreme drought, with accompanying major losses of crops and pasture, widespread water shortages and restrictions on water use.

See the total NRCS drought assistance received by each state.

Producers and landowners are encouraged to visit the NRCS website or stop by their local NRCS office to find out if they are eligible for drought assistance.

Learn more about WHIP and EQIP and other NRCS programs.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


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Checkoff-Funded Research Could Boost Soy's Resistance to SCN PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Friday, 19 October 2012 07:01
Scientists ID Key Genetic Structure, Expect it to Help Fight Biggest Yield Robber

ST. LOUIS (October 18, 2012) – Research funded by the United Soybean Board (USB) and soy checkoff has made a breakthrough that could strengthen the soybean plant’s resistance to soybean cyst nematode (SCN). This disease is U.S. soy’s biggest yield robber, causing more than $1 billion worth of yield losses annually.

“SCN has been devastating soybeans ever since I’ve been involved in the industry,” says Jim Schriver, chair of USB’s production program and a farmer from Indiana. “This is a great use of biotechnology that can help farmers break through yield barriers so we can continue to increase production and meet demand.”

For years farmers have been planting soybeans containing a genetic structure called Rhg1, the top defense against SCN. But ways to further improve that resistance have eluded plant scientists.

In a study recently published in the journal Science, however, researchers reveal that Rhg1 is actually three genes located next to each other on the chromosome, that work together to make a plant more resistant to SCN. Even more intriguing, SCN-resistant varieties carry multiple copies of this multi-gene block. This discovery allows researchers to quickly find soybean varieties that include these repeated three-gene blocks. It also allows researchers to work with those genes to develop new SCN-resistant varieties.

Andrew Bent, professor of plant pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the finding “opens the gate for us to walk in” and take SCN resistance to the next level.

“It’s been a goal of biologists for nearly 20 years to identify this Rhg1 gene,” says Bent, who has been working on the project for about six years. “The United Soybean Board knew it was important work, and they were very supportive. The real value of the work will be seen in the next few years.”

Bent, who collaborated on the study with several other researchers, including Matthew Hudson of the University of Illinois, said funding from the soy checkoff was vital to the research.

The 69 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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PQA Plus© Training Session Set in Washington County PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Friday, 19 October 2012 06:59
The Iowa Pork Industry Center and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are teaming
up to provide training for pork producers and others who need certification in the Pork Quality
Assurance Plus© (PQA Plus©) program. One certification session has been set for November 8th
in Washington County.

Washington County administrative assistant Nancy Adrian said the session will be held at the
Washington County Extension office, 2223 250th St. Washington, and will be taught by ISU
Extension and Outreach swine program specialist Tom Miller.

“The PQA Plus© session is set for 7 to 9 p.m.,” she said. “Anyone who plans to attend should let
us know as soon as possible to ensure that we have adequate materials for everyone.”

Cost for this certification program is $25 per person and is payable at the door. To preregister,
contact the Washington County Extension office at 877- 435-7322 or 319-653-4811.

To learn more about PQA Plus© please see the National Pork Board Web site at http://
www.pork.org/certification/default.aspx

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There's still time to support Breast Cancer Research PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Friday, 19 October 2012 06:58
Entomologists at Iowa State University have confirmed that Scott County has the first breeding
infestations of brown marmorated stink bugs reported in Iowa.

Earlier in October, an alert ISU Master Gardener trained to watch for new invasive species took
a stink bug specimen to the Scott County Extension Office. County extension horticulturist
Duane Gissel made the tentative identification based on training materials provide through ISU
Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Master Gardener program. The specimen was submitted
to the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic and confirmed as brown marmorated stink bug
(BMSB).

This week additional samples of stink bugs have been reported in the Davenport and Bettendorf
area. The timing of the collections (mid-autumn on warm, sunny days) and the location of
the live specimens indicates there are now established populations of BMSB in Scott County.
Previous detections of BMSB in Iowa were hitchhikers transported in boxes or crates from the
eastern United States.

BMSB was first identified in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2001. They spread rapidly
and detections have been reported in 38 states as awareness of this invasive pest increased.
During the summer the stink bugs use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on plant sap
from fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and field crops. On warm fall days the stinkbugs migrate to
overwintering sites. They congregate on houses and buildings and accidentally wander inside in
a manner similar to boxelder bugs and multicolored Asian lady beetles. Stink bugs are named for
the characteristic, disagreeable odor they produce, making the invasion even more distressing.

Specialists from Iowa State University and the state and federal departments of agriculture are
tracking the presence of this and other invasive insects in the state. Please be on the lookout
and report any suspicious stink bugs to your local county extension office or the ISU Plant
& Insect Diagnostic Clinic. Reports can be made by emailing digital images to the clinic at
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Beef and Dairy Feedlot Field Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Monday, 15 October 2012 14:42
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting a manure management and runoff
control field day on Wednesday, October 31 from 10:30 to noon at a Naeve Livestock Farms
feedlot west of Andover, Iowa. Lunch will be served by the Clinton County Cattlemen’s
Association. The purpose of this field day is to review low-cost options for managing runoff
water and manure from small to medium size beef or dairy feedlot operations.

Feedlot owners, Ray and Andrew Naeve will discuss the two different manure control systems
at this feedlot location and will share the decisions they made on how to approach feedlot runoff
concerns.

In addition to the manure control systems, the field day will also include information on
regulations for small and medium sized feedlots, nutrient content of feedlot manure and use in
cropping systems, stockpiling regulations, and cost-share opportunities for feedlot owners.
The Naeve feedlot is located at 4166 135th St., Clinton, IA. Go 0.5 miles north of the
intersection of Co Hwy E-50 and Z-50 on Co Hwy Z-50 (thru Andover) to 135th St. Turn left
(west) on 135th St. and go 1.6 miles to first place on north side of road. This field day will be
held rain or shine.

For more information please contact: Greg Brenneman, extension agricultural engineer, 319-
337-2145, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Denise Schwab, extension beef specialist, 319-472-4739,
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; or the Clinton County Extension Office at 563-659-5125.

 
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