Agribusiness
PQA Plus© Training Session Set in Cedar County PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Monday, 22 September 2014 08:39

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 Thursday, September 25th in Cedar County.

Cedar County Office Manager, Joyce Coppes said the session will be held at the Cedar County Extension office, 107 Cedar Street, Tipton, Iowa 52772 and will be taught by ISU Extension and Outreach swine program specialist Tom Miller.

“The PQA Plus© session is set for 1:00—3:00p.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 Cedar County Extension office at 563-886-6157.

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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Export Customers Commit to Buy $2.3 Billion of U.S. Soy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Monday, 22 September 2014 07:36
USB chairman commends U.S. soybean farmers for meeting customer demands for high-quality crop

MILWAUKEE (Sept. 17, 2014) – Buyers from China at the second-annual, soy-checkoff-funded U.S. Global Trade Exchange have agreed to buy $2.3 billion of U.S. soy totaling 176 million bushels of U.S. soybeans, marking the second consecutive year that the gathering has generated significant export sales for U.S. soybean farmers in their own backyard.

“This is very exciting news for U.S. soybean farmers,” says Jim Call, soybean farmer from Minnesota and United Soybean Board (USB) chairman. “This shows that we continue to meet the needs of our international customers, and they’ve certainly taken notice.”

The event – where foreign buyers gather in the heart of the American Soybean Belt to make deals and learn about U.S. soy – is co-sponsored by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), the Midwest Shippers Association and the American Soybean Association (ASA). It continues through Thursday, Sept. 18.

"This week is really a great example of the whole picture of U.S. soy's work with our export partners," says Randy Mann, USSEC chairman and soybean farmer from Kentucky. "Of course the new sales are a boon for farmers, but we're also laying groundwork for future sales by helping our current and prospective customers learn more about the sustainability and quality advantage of American soybeans."

During the event, international representatives will meet with U.S. soy farmer-leaders and will also attend a variety of presentations to learn about the sustainability and quality of U.S. soybeans.

"This event is a great opportunity for U.S. farmers to interface with our customers overseas," says Ray Gaesser, ASA president and soybean farmer from Iowa. "They continue to demand the soybeans we produce, and we continue to innovate to bring higher quality and better beans for them. The relationships we're strengthening here in Milwaukee are a huge part of why soybeans are the leaders in U.S. farm exports."

In the most recent marketing year, U.S. soybean farmers exported more than 1.7 billion bushels of U.S. soy to customers beyond our borders. The value of these exports set a record of more than $28 billion. Representatives from China committed to buy $2.8 billion worth of U.S. soy during last year’s U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in Davenport, Iowa.

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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Soybean Exports Brewing in Milwaukee PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Friday, 19 September 2014 09:30
Second annual U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange brings in soy buyers from around globe

ST. LOUIS (Sept. 15, 2014) - “Brew City” recently became “Soy City” as more than 270 representatives of major international companies interested in importing U.S. soy came together for the second annual U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in Milwaukee. Areas represented included China, the Middle East, Vietnam and many others.

“Every other row of U.S. soybeans is exported, so it is imperative to build and retain strong relationships with our international customers,” says Jim Call, soybean farmer from Minnesota and United Soybean Board (USB) chairman. “The Global Trade Exchange gives U.S. soybean farmers a great opportunity to meet face to face with these valuable customers and prospective buyers as they commit to buying millions of bushels of our soybeans.”

International representatives committed to buy $2.8 billion worth of U.S. soy during last year’s U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in Davenport, Iowa.

In the most recent marketing year, U.S. soybean farmers exported more than 1.7 billion bushels of U.S. soy to customer beyond our borders. The value of these exports set a record of more than $28 billion.

The event, which is co-sponsored by USB, the American Soybean Association (ASA), the checkoff-funded U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and the Midwest Shippers Association, continues through Thursday, Sept. 18. Besides meeting with U.S. soy farmer-leaders, attendees will also attend a variety of presentations to learn about the sustainability and quality of U.S. soybeans.

“This event offers a taste of American ag that they don’t get every day,” Call says. “This experience should give them a better understanding of the pride we take in our farms and product and how U.S. soybeans will benefit them for the long haul. Choosing U.S. soy is a win-win situation for all of us.”

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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USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief to Highlight Conservation Projects to be Announced on Monday by Secretary Vilsack PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Friday, 19 September 2014 08:44

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2014 - TODAY, Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Jason Weller will host an embargoed media conference call from Washington to discuss conservation projects to be announced later in the day by Secretary Tom Vilsack. Chief Weller’s comments will be embargoed until after the Secretary’s announcement. The embargo will lift at 3 p.m. Eastern time. The projects will help develop and demonstrate cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in conservation of natural resources.

States receiving funding include:

Ala., Alaska, Miss., Wis., Calif., S.C., Minn., Ariz., Fla., Kan., La., Iowa, Ill., Neb., Ohio, N.C., Ga., Wash., Okla., Texas, Ind., Ark., Mo., N.Y., N.D., Penn., Tenn., Hawaii, Idaho, Mont., Vt., Utah, Va., W.Va., Colo., Ore., and also the District of Columbia.

The 2014 Farm Bill is our country’s biggest investment in land and water conservation and has been called the most significant conservation legislation in generations. Voluntary partnerships between agricultural and conservation groups help farmers conserve soil health, protect water quality, and restore wildlife habitat.

 
Corn Spots: Study Finds Important Genes in Defense Response PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Mick Kulikowski   
Friday, 12 September 2014 14:51

When corn plants come under attack from a pathogen, they sometimes respond by killing their own cells near the site of the attack, committing “cell suicide” to thwart further damage from the attacker. This cell sacrifice can cause very small, often microscopic, spots or lesions on the plant.

But up until now it’s been difficult to understand how the plant regulates this “spotty” defense mechanism because the response is so quick and localized.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have identified a number of candidate genes and cellular processes that appear to control this so-called hypersensitive defense response (HR) in corn. The findings, which appear in PLOS Genetics, could help researchers build better defense responses in corn and other plants; HR is thought to occur in all higher-order plants, including all trees and crop plants, and is normally a tightly regulated response.

The 44 candidate genes appear to be involved in defense response, programmed cell death, cell wall modification and a few other responses linked to resisting attack,  says Dr. Peter Balint-Kurti, the paper’s corresponding author and a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) professor who works in NC State’s plant pathology and crop science departments.

To arrive at the finding, the NC State researchers joined researchers from Purdue University in examining more than 3,300 maize plants that contained a similar mutation: They all had exaggerated HR because one particular resistance gene, Rp1-D21, doesn’t turn off.

“It’s similar to a human having an auto-immune response that never stops,” Balint-Kurti says. “This mutation causes a corn plant to inappropriately trigger this hypersensitive defense response, causing spots on the corn plant as well as stunted growth.”

The researchers examined the entire corn gene blueprint – some 26.5 million points in the 2 to 3 billion base pair genome – to find the genes most closely associated with HR. Balint-Kurti said the top candidates made sense, as they mostly appear to be linked to defense or disease resistance.

“All of the processes associated with the top candidate genes have been previously associated with HR,” Balint-Kurti said. “Hopefully this work provides an opening to really characterize this important defense response and learn more about it in other plants.”

USDA plant geneticist and breeder Jim Holland co-authored the paper along with first authors Bode Olukolu and Guan Feng Wang, who are post-doctoral researchers at NC State. Vijay Vontimitta, a post-doctoral researcher at Purdue working in a group headed by Guri Johal, is also a first author.

The research was funded by USDA, the National Science Foundation, NC State and Purdue University.

- kulikowski -

Note: An abstract of the paper follows.

“Multivariate Analysis of Maize Disease Resistance Suggests a Pleiotropic Genetic Basis and Implicates a Glutathione S-transferase Gene”

Authors: Bode A. Olukolu, Guan Feng Wang, Adisu Negeri, Dahlia Nielsen, James Holland and Peter Balint-Kurti, North Carolina State University; Vijay Vontimitta, Bala Venkata, Sandeep Marla, Jiabing Ji, Emma Gachomo, Kevin Chu and Gurmukh Johal, Purdue University; Jacqueline Benson, Rebecca Nelson and Peter Bradbury, Cornell University

Published: Aug. 28, 2014, in PLOS Genetics

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004562

Abstract: Much remains unknown of molecular events controlling the plant hypersensitive defense response (HR), a rapid localized cell death that limits pathogen spread and is mediated by resistance (R-) genes. Genetic control of the HR is hard to quantify due to its microscopic and rapid nature. Natural modifiers of the ectopic HR phenotype induced by an aberrant auto-active R-gene (Rp1-D21), were mapped in a population of 3,381 recombinant inbred lines from the maize nested association mapping population. Joint linkage analysis was conducted to identify 32 additive but no epistatic quantitative trait loci (QTL) using a linkage map based on more than 7000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Genome-wide association (GWA) analysis of 26.5 million SNPs was conducted after adjusting for background QTL. GWA identified associated SNPs that colocalized with 44 candidate genes. Thirty-six of these genes colocalized within 23 of the 32 QTL identified by joint linkage analysis. The candidate genes included genes predicted to be in involved programmed cell death, defense response, ubiquitination, redox homeostasis, autophagy, calcium signalling, lignin biosynthesis and cell wall modification. Twelve of the candidate genes showed significant differential expression between isogenic lines differing for the presence of Rp1-D21. Low but significant correlations between HR-related traits and several previously-measured disease resistance traits suggested that the genetic control of these traits was substantially, though not entirely, independent. This study provides the first system-wide analysis of natural variation that modulates the HR response in plants.

 
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