Agribusiness
Soy Checkoff Harnesses Industry to Combat Herbicide-Resistant Weeds PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Friday, 28 February 2014 09:43
U.S. agriculture takes action to promote production practices to manage these costly weeds

ST. LOUIS (February 27, 2014) – Two billion dollars annually: Only a problem this large and costly could bring together private industry, universities from across the country and farmer-led organizations to provide farmers with answers.

That’s how much University of Wisconsin researcher Vince Davis estimates herbicide-resistant weeds cost U.S. farmers each year.

To help fight this loss, the soy checkoff recently took the lead in creating the Take Action program to help farmers implement production practices on their farms that can manage herbicide-resistant weeds. Universities and herbicide providers have joined the effort, and all are promoting a unified approach to weed management.

“Diversification is the most important thing farmers can do to manage these weeds,” says Davis. “This includes diversification of effective herbicide modes of action, diversified weed-management practices and also utilizing non-herbicide control options such as judicious tillage, cleaning equipment for weed seed and diversified crop rotations. Weeds develop resistance more quickly when production systems remain static.”

Take Action recently launched a website, www.TakeActionOnWeeds.com, with interactive guides and other information on how to diversify weed management.

“What makes the Take Action program unique is the support from all the different organizations, private industry and universities,” says Jim Call, United Soybean Board (USB) chairman and soybean farmer from Madison, Minn. “It really shows how big of an issue herbicide-resistant weeds are and how they impact all of agriculture.”

In addition to the checkoff, other supporters of the Take Action program include Cotton Incorporated, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Corn Growers Association, the United Sorghum Checkoff, BASF, Bayer, DuPont, Dow, Monsanto, Syngenta and universities throughout the United States.

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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USGC Urges US Farmers, Handlers, Exporters to Strictly Adhere to Stewardship Program Statement from the U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Marri Carrow   
Friday, 28 February 2014 09:07

“The U.S. Grains Council welcomes the announcement of an aggressive stewardship program for the release of Syngenta seed trait Agrisure Duracade to minimize the risk of export trade disruption. It is important for all sectors of the value chain -- individual farmers, technology providers, shippers and exporters alike -- to recognize the potentially significant international implications of their actions. The Council therefore urges producers who choose to plant Agrisure Duracade in 2014 to adhere carefully to their stewardship responsibilities in order to minimize the risk to U.S. export sales.

“Today’s unfortunate reality is that biotechnology approval systems around the world are not synchronous. In addition, some countries still lack effective, trade-enabling policies regarding the low level presence (LLP) of unapproved biotech events in grain shipments. Inadvertent commingling is almost certain to occur in the high volume U.S. commodity handling system, and modern testing methods are likely to detect even trace levels of unapproved events. The presence of unapproved events in the export stream therefore carries a significant risk of major international trade disruptions. Given the increase in corn production in competitor countries and the ability of buyers to source anywhere in the world, leakage of unapproved events may even result in the closure of some major markets to U.S. corn exports for an indefinite period.

“The U.S. Grains Council represents a wide variety of members across the value chain committed to maintaining an open and fair grain trading system around the world. We recognize the desire of producers to deploy new technology as soon as it becomes available. We recognize also that continued technology development is essential to achieving global food security and creating new opportunities for producers and agribusinesses. We believe, finally, that countries lacking a functioning, science based regulatory system ought not to enjoy a de facto veto over U.S. technology deployment. At the same time, however, the risk of costly trade disruption is significant and should be taken seriously by the entire value chain.

“There is no easy solution to these conflicting goals. In the short term, we urge all stakeholders to weigh the consequences of their actions, recognize the international implications of planting and marketing decisions, and stringently adhere to their stewardship responsibilities. In the long run, we encourage all parties to join the Council in working for a resolution of the low-level presence and asynchronous approval issues, which is the solution ultimately needed to serve the common interests of producers, agribusinesses, and consumers around the world.”

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The U.S. Grains Council is a private, non-profit partnership of farmers and agribusinesses committed to building and expanding international markets for U.S. barley, corn, grain sorghum and their products. The Council is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has nine international offices that oversee programs in more than 50 countries. Financial support from our private industry members, including state checkoffs, agribusinesses, state entities and others, triggers federal matching funds from the USDA resulting in a combined program value of more than $26.5 million.

The U.S. Grains Council does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation or marital/family status. Persons with disabilities, who require alternative means for communication of program information, should contact the U.S. Grains Council.

 
Training to be Held for 4-H Leaders PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 27 February 2014 15:08

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development staff announces statewide trainings for all new 4-H Club, Clover Kid and Project Leaders. This training is targeted to those who are beginning as volunteers or those with three years or less experience. The training is open to all volunteers and current club leaders are encouraged to attend if they have not attended before.

Advantages of this training program include: learning about the role of a caring adult, dynamic training to boost positive youth development knowledge and skills in order to support a vibrant 4-H club or Clover Kids group, and an opportunity to meet and network with other volunteers. The interactive training includes an agenda loaded with knowledge, skills, and tools needed to enhance a volunteer’s work with 4-H youth. There will be age appropriate breakout sessions specific for 4-H Clubs and Clover Kids groups to provide more targeted skill building for volunteers working with those specific age groups. Volunteers will receive a binder of resources to prepare them for working with their club or group.

Training will be held in southeast Iowa on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at the Scott County Extension Office in Bettendorf 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There are numerous trainings throughout the state; volunteers are able to attend any of the locations. To register, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/4h/volunteertraining or call your local county office. Registration is due by March 24th for the March 29th session. The training will include a binder of resources and lunch. There is no fee to attend.

For more information on how to volunteer with 4-H in your county please contact your local Iowa State University Extension and Outreach office at 563-359-7577. For more information on Leader’s Training in southeast Iowa, please contact Daleta Thurness, Youth Program Specialist, 563-263-5701 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta to Host Google+ Hangout on the Changing Face of Agriculture PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Friday, 21 February 2014 10:21

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2014—On Monday, February 24 at 3 PM ET, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Harden will host a Google+ Hangout to highlight USDA’s commitment to new farmers to build the new generation of agriculture. There are great challenges and opportunities for new and beginning farmers and ranchers as the average age of farm operators continues to rise and more diverse farmers are entering the industry. During the Hangout you will learn from Deputy Secretary Harden and two farmers who will share their experiences in agriculture.

Monday’s Hangout will launch a series of outreach and education efforts led by Deputy Harden focusing new and beginning farmers. After the Hangout, we’ll ask you to tell us which topics we should cover in future outreach events.

Participate in the Hangout on Monday by watching it live on the USDA Google+ page or on usda.gov/live. Submit discussion questions in advance via the G+ Event page, Twitter, YouTube or Facebook using #NewFarmers.

WHAT: USDA Google+ Hangout on the Changing Face of Agriculture

WHEN: Monday, February 24, 3 PM ET

WHERE: Watch live on USDA Google+ page or via www.usda.gov/live

WHO: USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden

Kate Danner, corn and soybean farmer, Aledo, Ill.

Alejandro Tecum, Adelante Mujeres, Forest Grove, OR

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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).

 
Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the 2012 Census of Agriculture Preliminary Results PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Thursday, 20 February 2014 16:54

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2014—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today made the following statement on the 2012 Census of Agriculture preliminary results:

"The preliminary data released today provide a snapshot of a strong rural America that has remained stable during difficult economic times.

We have slowed significantly the loss of farmland, which has totaled 72 million acres since 1982. New tools provided in the 2014 Farm Bill will help to further slow and reverse this trend.

The data confirm that farm income is at a record high. However, the prolonged drought and lack of disaster assistance have made it more difficult for livestock producers and mid-sized farms to survive. The 2014 Farm Bill guarantees disaster assistance and provides additional stability for farmers and ranchers.

A bright spot in the data is the slight increase in young farmers and the stable number of small farms and large-scale farms. This reflects our work to grow both local and regional food systems and exports, but we must do more for mid-sized operations. The 2014 Farm Bill will expand support for beginning farmers and new market opportunities for all producers.

Finally, the data illustrate the strength of diversity in crop production, markets, people and land use across the agricultural sector. While the aging nature of the farming population is a concern, we are hopeful that as we attract and retain the next generation of talent into rural America, this trend can also be reversed.”

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