Agribusiness
Last Call for Iowa Farmers to Help Nonprofit Organizations through America’s Farmers Grow Communities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Stephanie Miller   
Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:41

Community members can now encourage farmers to support their cause

ST. LOUIS (Nov. 1, 2012) – For the third consecutive year, America’s Farmers Grow CommunitiesSM, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, gives eligible farmers the opportunity to win a $2,500 donation to direct to their favorite local nonprofit organization. Farmers can enter between now and Nov. 30 for their chance to help a nonprofit in need.
This year, the entire community has a voice. Rural community members can suggest a local nonprofit idea or initiative that needs funding in their local community. Farmers may review the ideas and consider them in their entry. Those who wish to plant an idea and encourage farmers to support their cause can do so at www.growcommunities.com.
Since launching in 2010, the Monsanto Fund has invested more than $7 million in rural America through Grow Communities. In Iowa, at least $247,500 will be distributed to local nonprofit organizations among 99 counties. In 2012, Iowa farmers directed:

  • $65,000 to ag youth
  • $70,000 to fire/emergency services
  • $57,500 to community improvement
  • $27,5000 to education
  • $30,000 to service organizations

“Farmers have really stepped up to the plate since launching Grow Communities in 2010 and have thoughtfully chosen thousands of deserving organizations to receive the $2,500 donations,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. “New this year, we are pleased to offer rural community members the opportunity to voice their ideas and help farmers strengthen the towns where they live and work.”
Additionally, winning farmers from counties that have been declared natural disaster areas due to the drought by the USDA will have an opportunity to direct an additional $2,500 donation to a local nonprofit to address community needs that have surfaced due to the drought. To date, more than 700 counties have been declared disasters areas within the 1,271 eligible Grow Communities counties.
Now through Nov. 30, 2012, farmers can enter online, and rural community members can submit their ideas at www.growcommunities.com or by calling 1-877-267-3332. The Monsanto Fund will select one winner at random from each of the eligible counties and announce winning farmers and recipient nonprofits in January 2013. 
Eligible counties in Iowa include Adair, Adams, Allamakee, Appanoose, Audubon, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clarke, Clay, Clayton, Clinton, Crawford, Dallas, Davis, Decatur, Delaware, Des Moines, Dickinson, Dubuque, Emmet, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Kossuth, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Lucas, Lyon, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Mills, Mitchell, Monona, Monroe, Montgomery, Muscatine, O Brien, Osceola, Page, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Polk, Pottawattamie, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Sac, Scott, Shelby, Sioux, Story, Tama, Taylor, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Woodbury, Worth and Wright.
America’s Farmers Grow Communities is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund to highlight the important contributions farmers make everyday to our society and to help them positively impact their communities. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund’s overall effort to support rural America.

About the Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.
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U.S. Soybean Farmer Success Linked to Animal Agriculture PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Monday, 29 October 2012 13:59
Report also measures economic impact of poultry, livestock and fish sectors on U.S. economyST. LOUIS (October 25, 2012) – Challenges facing U.S. poultry, livestock and fish farmers threaten the future profitability of the country’s soybean farmers, according to a new report that also analyzes the economic impact of animal agriculture.

The report, prepared for the United Soybean Board (USB) and soy checkoff, concludes that the future success of the U.S. soy industry is closely tied to the long-term competitiveness of its No. 1 customer, animal agriculture. Rising feed prices and costs related to environmental and animal welfare regulations are just two factors that could significantly impact the practices involved with raising poultry, livestock and fish, the report says.

“U.S. soybean farmers should care about animal ag because it’s their number one domestic customer,” said Lewis Bainbridge, chair of USB’s Domestic Marketing program and a soybean farmer from Ethan, S.D. “We need to be sensitive to the issues facing poultry and livestock farmers and make sure that we are providing high-quality soy meal.”

The study, which can be viewed in its entirety by clicking HERE, looks at the production of broilers, eggs, turkeys, hogs, beef cattle, dairy and aquaculture between 2001 and 2011. It details the use of U.S. soy meal in each sector and the value that sector represents to U.S. soybean farmers.

The study also outlines the economic benefits poultry, livestock, and aquaculture provide at the state and national levels. Nationally, in 2011, these benefits included:

•    Support for 1.7 million jobs
•    $333 billion in total economic output
•    A $58 billion impact on household incomes
•    $18 billion in income and property taxes paid

For U.S. soybean farmers, U.S. animal ag remains their most important customer. Overall, poultry, livestock and fish farmers in 2011 used almost 30 million tons of soy meal, or the meal from 1.27 billion bushels of U.S. soybeans. The meal consumption per species broke down as follows:


•    Broiler chickens: the meal from about 480 million bushels of U.S. soybeans
•    Hogs: the meal from more than 360 million bushels
•    Dairy cattle: the meal from approximately 101 million bushels
•    Laying hens: the meal from 93 million bushels
•    Turkeys: the meal from more than 80 million bushels
•    Beef cattle: the meal from more than 80 million bushels

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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Iowa Farmers Continue to Lead National Grain, Hog Production Efforts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Heather Lilienthal   
Monday, 29 October 2012 13:56

New NASS analysis shows Iowa farmers number one in corn, soybeans, hogs and eggs

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Oct. 26, 2012 – While the results of the drought-stricken crop of 2012 is yet to be tallied, the recently-released Iowa Agricultural Statistics booklet shows that Iowa farmers continued to lead the nation in corn production in 2011, accounting for 19 percent of the U.S. crop. And despite more acres being planted to corn, Iowa’s soybean harvest was also the largest in the nation.

The statistics are compiled by the Iowa office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) and based on surveys and questionnaires completed by Iowa farmers.  The 123-page book is published by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF).

“Iowa's farmers continue to lead the nation in the production of corn, soybeans, pork and eggs despite a variety of production challenges brought on by extreme weather and market challenges including very volatile pricing of both inputs and what they produce,” said Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services. “The 2011 Iowa Ag Statistics highlights some of the variability in production county to county that existed in Iowa in 2011.  Northwestern Iowa had near record crops while some of the south-central and southeastern counties experienced less robust yields.”

The book includes information regarding crops, livestock, farm economics and county-specific data.

“The book details Iowa’s vibrant and dynamic agricultural industry,” said Iowa NASS director Greg Thessen. He highlighted Iowa’s top-of-the-nation status in the following areas: corn production, soybean production, hog and pigs inventory and value, egg production, capacity of on-farm grain storage, feed grain export value and meat export value.

“This book helps share the positive story of the productivity, efficiency and tenacity of the Iowa farmer,” said Craig Hill, IFBF president. “In many cases, our farmers are raising the grain that will feed their livestock.

And they are so efficient that they’re also raising feed for export. Our farmers are doing an excellent job of balancing their farming operations, meeting the needs of many different customers and always working to protect the land from which it all comes. It’s a truly sustainable cycle.”

The strong grain production efforts support the state’s livestock industry, which continues to be strong in the wake of rising feed prices. Iowa’s cattle and hog producers earned $10 billion in cash receipts, an increase of 22 percent over 2010’s results. Cattle accounted for $3.4 billion of cash receipts and hogs totaled $6.7 billion.

While the number of farms in the state in 1950 was more than 200,000, that number in 2011 was 92,300. The land in farms in the state has also remained fairly stable, with 30.7 million acres being farmed.

The book costs $11 and can be ordered from the Marketing and Communications Division, Iowa Farm Bureau, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266. In addition, a CD-version of the document is available for purchase for $10. Checks should be made to the Iowa Farm Bureau.

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About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

 
Double Trouble for Soybean Cyst Nematode PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Monday, 29 October 2012 13:34
Two recent checkoff-funded discoveries provide more possible solutions to billion-dollar disease

ST. LOUIS (October 25, 2012) – When it comes to soybean cyst nematode (SCN), which costs U.S. soybean farmers $1 billion annually in crop losses, farmers can never have enough potential solutions. Twice recently, research funded by the United Soybean Board (USB) and soy checkoff has yielded potential breakthroughs in fighting off this devastating disease.

In a paper titled “A Soybean Cyst Nematode Resistance Gene Points to a New Mechanism of Plant Resistance to Pathogens,” scientists reveal that they identified and validated the gene at the Rhg4 locus, a major driver in a soybean plant’s resistance to SCN.

“The checkoff has a number of projects that aim to identify the genes in a soybean plant that can effectively control SCN,” says USB Production program Chair Jim Schriver, a soybean farmer from Bluffton, Ind. “Even though there are different types of SCN, if we could take advantage of those genes that control resistance, it would be effective for all types of SCN.”

The study, published recently in the online journal Nature, is the first to identify the gene and its mechanism for creating resistance, according to the article’s lead authors, Khalid Meksem, Ph.D., of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) and Melissa Goellner Mitchum, Ph.D., of the University of Missouri at Columbia.

“Funding and support from USB and the soy checkoff have been crucial to this new discovery of disease resistance, which will be used to develop products that will benefit U.S. soybean farmers,” says Meksem, associate professor of plant, soil science and agricultural systems at SIUC. “This discovery comes at a time when farmers need new solutions, as the nematodes adapt and find ways through the soybeans’ defenses.”

The team hopes their research will lead to a better understanding of how the resistant genes work and ultimately lead to improved crop yield.

A separate checkoff-funded project recently found that soybean plants with multiple copies of a multi-gene block known as Rhg1 also show better resistance to SCN. Both projects allow researchers to focus on these gene structures – Rhg1 and Rhg4 – to help them develop SCN-resistant U.S. soybean varieties.

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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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to Attend Grand Opening of NewBo City Market in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Monday, 29 October 2012 13:33

WASHINGTON, October 25, 2012 – On Saturday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for the grand opening of the NewBo City Market. He will highlight the growing strength of local and regional food systems, USDA’s continuing efforts to expand marketing opportunities for producers and small businesses, and the important role this market and ventures like it can play to strengthen the Iowa economy.

NewBo City Market, located in a reclaimed, formerly flood-ravaged industrial site in the heart of Cedar Rapid’s New Bohemia district serves as a public market for area small businesses selling Iowa-produced food and food products. In addition to the market space, NewBo comprises an entire city block at the crossroads of 12th Ave. and 3rd St. SE and houses an event hall, a culinary kitchen, and a distribution center that will facilitate efforts to feed hungry families in the area.

The local and regional food sector is a multi-billion dollar piece of America’s thriving agricultural economy. Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Secretary Vilsack’s leadership has supported all sectors of American agriculture, including efforts to strengthen local and regional food systems for farmers of all types and sizes, helping them take advantage of new opportunities and succeed in today’s diverse marketplace. Today, the number of farmer’s markets has increased more than 60 percent over 2008 levels, and USDA efforts have supported more than 200 new food hubs across America that are helping small and medium-sized producers and value-added small businesses reach broader markets.

Saturday, October 27, 2012
10:45 a.m. CDT

WHAT: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will host a press availability to discuss the importance of local agriculture at the grand opening of the NewBo City Market.

WHERE: NewBo City Market
1100 3rd Street SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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