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Commodity Communicator Weekly

February 21, 2014


CHANCE TO WIN FREE SEED FOR SOYBEAN SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENTS. . . . .UA System Division of Agriculture, Jeremy Ross
The University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture in cooperation with The National Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture (NISA) is conducting an on-line assessment of the sustainability of the Arkansas soybean industry.  The National Sustainable Soybean Initiative (NSSI) is working toward streamlining sustainability for soybean growers by creating a coordinated national framework for assessing sustainability and communicating achievements throughout the value chain.  With funding from the United Soybean Board, this pilot program is being developed under the NISA, a producer-led group whose goals are to: 1) Coordinate producer-led, research-driven sustainability programs; 2) Document and measure progress for agricultural entitles; and 3) Communicate these advances to the supply chain.

The primary objective of the NSSI program is to provide all segments of the soybean value chain – including growers, processors, manufacturers, retailers, end-users and consumers – with a method for documenting and verifying progress along the sustainability continuum.  Soybean growers need a voice in the sustainability discussion that ensures they have a reasonable way forward and that they receive credit for previous advancements.

The whole farm portion of the assessment asks what practices you commonly use across all the crops grown on you farm, while the soybean specific assessment will be only for you soybean crop.  You will need to complete the whole farm assessment, then follow the link to the soybean specific version.  This on-line assessment will take only 20-40 minutes of your time.  Please have both assessments completed by March 10, 2014.

Upon completion of both surveys, please e-mail Jeremy Ross your name and county of residence to have your name entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of five bulk bag of soybean seed developed by the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture.

The deadline for completion of both the whole farm and soybean specific assessments is March 10, 2014.  The assessments can be found by clicking here.


ARKANSAS GRAZING LANDS CONFERENCE
On Friday March 14, 2014, at the Arkansas Grazing Lands Conference, several South Central and South East US graziers will discuss how changes in their grazing management improved soil health, increased forage production and increased profitability. The featured speaker will be Oklahoma rancher and consultant Walt Davis. The conference will be held at Lake Point Conference Center in Russellville, Ark. Admission is $40 and includes a hearty lunch. For more information go to www.argrazinglandscoalition.org.

AGL Conference Flyer


REMINDER - STATE WATER PLAN REGIONAL MEETINGS
The regional Issues & Recommendations Workgroup Meetings for the state water planning process are as follows:

South-Central: February 24 – National Park Community College, 101 College Dr., Hot Springs, AR
Southwest: February 25 – Four States Fairgrounds, Ag Learning Center, 3700 East 50th St., Texarkana, AR

All Regional Issues & Recommendations Workgroup Meetings are scheduled for 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. They will be followed by public meetings at the same locations from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The Arkansas Farm Bureau submitted five individuals as agriculture representatives for the remaining two regional meetings. Those individuals are listed below:

South Central Region – Jason Green, Derek Helms and Grant Pace
Southwest Region – Dennis Ritchie and Ray Rogers

Anyone interested in the water planning process is encouraged to attend these meetings. To view the agendas for each region, click on the following link: ANRC - Water Plan Regional Meetings.



DELINQUENT WELL REGISTRATION FEES & WATER USAGE REPORTING
Arkansas Farm Bureau wants to remind farmers to be sure their well registration fees ($10 per well per year) and water usage reports are current per Arkansas Natural Resources Commission requirements. If you are uncertain whether or not this is applicable to your farm, consult with your county conservation district office.

If your well registration fees and water usage report are paid and up to date by February 28, 2014, the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission will waive associated penalties and fines. Those who fail to register and report water usage by February 28 will be subject to late registration penalties up to $500 for each unreported year. For additional assistance, contact Evan Teague, ArFB’s environmental specialist, at 501-228-1335 or evan.teague@arfb.com.


AGFC 2014-15 GENERAL HUNTING REGULATIONS CONSIDERATIONS SURVEY

As part of its annual regulations-setting process, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Wildlife Management Division is requesting public input on a variety of possible regulations changes before presenting them to the Commission for consideration. The following link will take you to a survey prepared for the 18 proposals for the 2014-15 general hunting season. We are encouraging Farm Bureau members to express their concerns related to feral hogs.
To complete the survey, click on the following link: AGFC - 2014-15 Hunting Regs Survey.


USDA ANNOUNCES ESTIMATED PRICES FOR CROP INSURANCE. . . . University of Arkansas, Scott Stiles
The attached file includes the 2014 crop year projected prices approved for the Yield Protection, Revenue Protection, and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion policies available in Arkansas.

The projected prices are covered by the February 28 sales closing date, unless otherwise indicated, and are applicable for the crops, types, practices, and states indicated.

2014 crop insurance prices


MIDSOUTH FARM AND GIN SHOW
The 62nd annual Mid-South Farm & Gin Show is scheduled for February 28-March 1, 2014 at the Cook Convention Center, Memphis, TN.  Those two days, more than 400 exhibitors from over 40 states will be on hand showcasing the latest technology and innovation available in agriculture. Ag Update Seminars are scheduled for Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Lobby Meeting Room.  Attendees can expect to hear from incoming chairman of the Cotton Council, Carl Brothers, Riceland Foods, and Joe Nicosia, of Allenberg Cotton. Richard Brock, of Brock Associates will headline the Saturday, March 1, Ag Update seminar, providing his unique perspective on grain marketing, as well as a market outlook.

For more information click here.


AGRICULTURE HALL OF FAME TO INDUCT SIX NEW MEMBERS
The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame will induct six individuals whose leadership and service have brought distinction to Arkansas agriculture, the state’s largest industry. The group will be honored at the 26th annual induction luncheon, 11:30 a.m., March 7 in the Ambassador Ballroom of Little Rock’s Embassy Suites Hotel. Luncheon tickets are $35 each and are available by calling (501) 228-1470 or email aghalloffame@arfb.com.

The newest class includes:
•    R. Marion Berry of Gillett
•    O.H. “Doogie” Darling of Crossett
•    Leroy Isbell of England
•    Ruben H. Johnson of Magazine
•    Keith Lusby of Fayetteville
•    J. Keith Smith of Hot Springs

The mission of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame is to build public awareness of agriculture and to formally recognize and honor individuals whose selfless efforts have led to significant contributions to agriculture’s impact on the prosperity of local communities and the state. The Agriculture Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas Farm Bureau.
For full article click here.


FARM BUREAU VEHICLE PURCHASE PROGRAM

Members now have a better way to buy a new or used vehicle through this easy to use program.  Benefits include in-depth price reports, target prices, estimated values and certified dealers.  The $500 GM incentive for members is already built into the system for qualifying vehicles.  Complete details at www.FBVerify.com/Drive

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