Agribusiness
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   
Thursday, 20 February 2014 08:54

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2014—On Monday, February 24th 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).

 
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   
Thursday, 20 February 2014 08:54

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2014—On Monday, February 24th 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

#

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).

 
Quality of U.S. Soybean Crop Even Higher PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 13:16
Checkoff-funded Crop Quality Survey shows less regional variation in protein, oil levels

ST. LOUIS (February 18, 2014) – The average protein and oil levels in the 2013 U.S. soybean crop ticked upward, according to the soy-checkoff-funded Crop Quality Survey. Average oil levels jumped to 19 percent, a 0.5- point increase from 2012 levels, while average protein levels grew by 0.4 percentage points to 34.7 percent.

U.S. soy’s biggest customer, the global animal agriculture sector, takes note of the protein content in the soybeans it uses, says Laura Foell, chair of the United Soybean Board’s Meal Action Team.

“Our customers buy our soybeans for the components: protein and oil,” says Foell, who farms in Schaller, Iowa. “The animal agriculture sector uses protein to feed animals, and the food industry uses the majority of soybean oil for human consumption and the rest for industrial-like biodiesel. The more protein and oil we have in our soybeans, the more product we have for our end-customers. And more demand could lead to a better price for our crop.”

The study found less regional variation in protein and oil levels in 2013 than in previous years. These typical regional differences result from climate events and other factors outside of farmers’ control.

Foell says farmers should talk with their seed representatives about soybean varieties that will produce higher levels of protein and oil without sacrificing yield.

The U.S. soy industry provides its customers with a total quality experience: high-performing products delivered by a reliable, consistent and sustainable soy supply chain. And the checkoff’s international arm, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), will use the results of this year’s crop quality survey to help build and maintain a preference for U.S. soy products in the international market.

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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Governor Quinn Leads Fight Against Reduction in the Use of Renewable Fuels PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Grant Klinzman   
Monday, 17 February 2014 10:48

Urges U.S. EPA to Reconsider Decision to Lower Renewable Fuel Standard; Cites Economic and Clean Air Benefits

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today announced that he is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider a decision that would cause decreased production of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. The U.S. EPA wants to reduce the volume of renewable fuels that must be used in the nation’s retail fuel supply. This decision could impact Illinois farmers who grow renewable fuel crops like corn and soybeans, and it could also affect the air we breathe since renewable fuels create less air pollution. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.

“Illinois farmers benefit because they produce the materials needed for renewable fuels, and less dependence on foreign energy sources means consumers have a more stable and economical source of fuel,” Governor Quinn said. “We also help the environment through the cleaner air we get when less petroleum is burned.”

Governor Quinn submitted a letter to U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging that the agency’s proposed new Renewable Fuel Standard rule be reconsidered. The letter accompanied comments from several Illinois state agencies about the benefits of renewable fuel production to the state and the nation’s economic and physical well-being. Governor Quinn also submitted a letter to the U.S. EPA as the new chairman of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, a bipartisan group of the nation’s governors pushing for biofuel development and use.

Biofuels have an economic impact of $5.3 billion in Illinois according to the Illinois Renewable Fuels Association. The Illinois ethanol industry is third in the nation with 14 ethanol plants providing 4,000 jobs that produce enough ethanol to displace 35 percent of the state’s petroleum usage. Illinois has five plants that produce about 200 million gallons of biodiesel. The export of Illinois dried distillers grains, a byproduct of ethanol production, topped $1 billion in 2013, more than 20 percent ahead of the previous year; Illinois soy meal exports for fuel production were more than $215 million last year, up 40 percent.

“The claim that the Renewable Fuel Standard eliminates a source of livestock feed is a misconception,” Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Bob Flider said. “The fact is that one of the by-products of ethanol production is a ready-made livestock feed called dried distillers grains. Research demonstrates these grains have a higher protein concentration than even pre-ethanol corn, making them a more efficient animal feed. The bottom line is that renewable fuels like ethanol are good for the environment, good for economy and good for agriculture.”

The use of renewable fuels has also helped improve air quality. Since ethanol contains oxygen, it contributes to the cleaner, more efficient combustion of gasoline, reducing carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 30 percent. Ethanol is also a key to increasing octane in gasoline blends, a critical element in achieving the new Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency standards of 54.5 miles per gallon in 2025.

“Illinois supports the continued use of biofuels as a direct benefit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in this country,” Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett said. “Reducing the use of biofuels will result in added greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere and will contradict the climate change policies currently in place.”

The Quinn Administration has taken the lead in the use of renewable fuels, converting much of the state’s vehicle fleet to Flex Fuel Vehicles and providing incentives for retailers to dispense biofuels. The state also offers an Alternative Fuel Vehicle rebate program, providing rebates for nearly 12,500 vehicle purchases since the program began in 1999.

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USDA to Invest in Prairie Pothole Landscape Effort PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Friday, 14 February 2014 13:29

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that up to $35 million will be provided during the next three years to help landowners conserve grasslands and wetlands in the Prairie Pothole region. The announcement was made on the Secretary's behalf by Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie.

Farmers, ranchers and conservation partners will have access to a mix of financial and technical assistance opportunities through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to restore wetlands and grasslands.

"This region of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Montana provides critical breeding and nesting habitat for more than 60 percent of the nation's migratory waterfowl," Bonnie said of the Prairie Pothole region. "Our goal is to help landowners manage their working lands in a way that's compatible with agricultural production and good stewardship of the soil, water and habitat resources of the area so we are really talking about keeping working lands working."

The wetlands and grasslands that characterize the region provide vital water storage to reduce regional flooding, improve water quality, and have tremendous potential to store carbon in soils, which reduces the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, one of the leading greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

The funding comes in a couple of pieces, including:

  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program: The agency's largest conservation program will help producers with expiring Conservation Reserve Program contracts keep their lands as working grasslands or haylands through implementation of prescribed grazing and other conservation practices.
  • Ducks Unlimited-NRCS partnership for carbon credits: NRCS is working with North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana to create a carbon credit marketing system for landowners who agreed to avoid tilling grasslands. This work started in 2011 in North Dakota as part of a Conservation Innovation Grant, but now it's being expanded to the three states. Through this system, interested landowners can keep their land in grass, continue grazing and haying, and generate verified carbon credits that place a conservation easement on their land. These credits can be sold or traded into existing voluntary carbon markets.

NRCS also is providing additional technical assistance to complete certified wetland determinations, needed by producers to meet conservation compliance requirements first put in place in 1985.

Additionally, the 2014 Farm Bill has expanded opportunities for conserving grasslands and wetlands, including those in the Prairie Pothole region. To find out more about USDA's efforts to work with producers in the region click here. USDA also recently solicited proposals for Conservation Innovation Grants.

For more information on these opportunities, visit a local NRCS field office or the NRCS website.

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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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