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Commodity Communicator Weekly

November 22, 2013

FSA PROGRAMS IMPACTED BY SEQUESTRATION . . . . .USDA issued a press release reminding farmers and ranchers who participate in Farm Service Agency programs to plan accordingly in FY2014 for automatic spending reductions known as sequestration. The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) mandates that federal agencies implement automatic, annual reductions to discretionary and mandatory spending limits. For mandatory programs, the sequestration rate for FY2014 is 7.2 percent. Accordingly, FSA is implementing sequestration for the following programs:

• Dairy Indemnity Payment Program;
• Marketing Assistance Loans;
• Loan Deficiency Payments;
• Sugar Loans;
• Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program;
• Tobacco Transition Payment Program;
• 2013 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payments;
• 2013 Average Crop Revenue Election Program;
• 2011 and 2012 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program;
• Storage, handling; and
• Economic Adjustment Assistance for Upland Cotton.

Conservation Reserve Program payments are specifically exempt by statute from sequestration, thus these payments will not be reduced.

IMMIGRATION…..House Speaker John Boehner has said that the House will never take up the Senate Bill on immigration reform, S. 744.  In Ohio, the Speaker’s home state, there has been a merger of farmers and big city business groups such as manufacturers, research hospitals and tech companies to take the argument for action on immigration reform right to Mr. Boehner.  These groups prefer the comprehensive approach offered by the Senate Bill as it addresses the majority of their concerns.  Their point is based on economics, but their efforts with the Speaker had a discouraging result.  In the meantime, various members of his own caucus are busy working on immigration reform in a piecemeal approach.  The Greater Cleveland Partnership, a regional Chamber of Commerce, is part of the group mentioned above.  This important venture means that the rural businesses such as farms and plant nurseries for the first time have found a kinship with urban Cleveland.  In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal reported that Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL) got feedback from a possible Plan B if current efforts at immigration reform fail.  Their idea was to take a niche approach and turn over the agricultural guest-workers program to the Agriculture Department, rather than the Labor Department, in order to hopefully speed up processing of visa applications.

.....Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and a representative of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District announced recently that a new technology planned for the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant in Chicago will remove nutrient pollution from wastewater and convert it to pellets to be sold as fertilizer for crops and lawns. (Excerpt from AgProfessional)

To read the article, click on the following link: AgProfessional - Converting Pollution into Fertilizer.

.....The nation’s largest meat producer says it has terminated its contract with an Oklahoma farm after NBC News showed the company undercover video of workers on the farm kicking, hitting and throwing pigs and slamming piglets into the ground. (Excerpt from NBC News, ArkansasMatters. com)

The read the full story, click on the following link: Tyson Foods - Hog Farm Contract Terminated.

ARKANSAS WATER PLAN UPDATE SEEKING NOMINATIONS FOR THE ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS TECHNICAL WORK GROUPS.....The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) seeks approximately 55 citizens to commit to serve on the Statewide Water Resources Issues and Recommendations Technical Workgroup to help lead the next phase of the Plan update. The nomination period for Workgroup members closes on December 6, 2013.

For more information or to obtain a nominations form, click on the following link: Water Plan Update - Nominations for Technical Workgroups.

GRAINGER DISCOUNTS. . . . . Receive a 10% discount on Grainger products by calling 1-877-202-2594 or by going to the website at  The account number for members is 805 059 599.

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