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Commodity Communicator Weekly

April 27, 2012

BSE ANIMAL FOUND IN CALIFORNIA. . . . .The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tues., April 24, 2012, confirmed a case of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in California. The dairy animal was discovered at a rendering facility, was never processed for human consumption and poses zero risk to human health. Under its surveillance program, USDA tests approximately 40,000 high-risk cattle annually. Since the testing program began, USDA has tested more than 1 million cattle. He added that the United States tests at levels that are ten times higher than OIE standards.  There were only 29 cases of BSE worldwide in 2011, which is a 99 percent reduction since the peak in 1992 of more than 37,300 cases.  Most international markets, including those of our largest beef importers, are remaining stable. At this time, Indonesia has suspended imports of boned meat and innards from U.S. beef but boneless meat remained unaffected, authorities have said. Reports of concerns are minimal. The government of South Korea is proceeding with caution while it awaits the outcome of USDA's epidemiological studies on the dairy cow.

ACTIVISTS’ CASE IS TRUE-LIFE THREE RING CIRCUS. . . . . Producers involved in animal agriculture may soon owe Feld Entertainment Inc., the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a deep debt of gratitude.  The parent company of Ringling Bros. has been engaged in its own three ring circus in court with animal activist groups.  Animal rights groups such as Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Animal Welfare Institute and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals used the Endangered Species Act to allege elephant abuse by Ringling Bros Circus.  Ringling Bros. has been engaged nearly 11 years in a legal dispute involving its treatment of elephants. It won the case, and it cost over $20 million to defend.  It turns out the key plaintiff for the animal rights groups was a paid liar! Now Ringling Bros is going after legal fees it incurred over the last 11 years.  In addition, Ringling Bros. has filed a lawsuit against the animal rights groups claiming that HSUS and its lawyers have violated the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act ("RICO") statute and further claims in this case which was filed in 2010 that the animal rights groups and their lawyers engaged in serious activities such as money laundering, illegal witness payments, bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, malicious prosecution, obstruction of justice, abuse of process, and conspiracy to harm a business.   If Ringling Bros. wins, the impact may be much greater than firing one of its entertainers out of a cannon.  (Farm Futures)


Commodity     Date        Place                                                          Time          Coordinator
Dairy             June 05     Conference Call                                            9:00 AM     Bruce Tencleve
Horticulture    June 05     Conference Call                                             8:00 PM     Bruce Tencleve
Forestry        June 06     Baucum Nursery, Little Rock                          10:00 AM     Matt King
Beef Cattle    June 07     Agora Conf. Center – Conway                           9:30 AM     Travis Justice
Equine           June 07    Agora Conf. Center – Conway                            9:30 AM     Travis Justice
Poultry           June 07    Agora Conf. Center – Conway                            9:30 AM     Bruce Tencleve
Swine            June 07     Agora Conf. Center – Conway                            9:30 AM     Evan Teague
Rice              June 18     Rice Research & Ext. Center – Stuttgart           10:00 AM    Brandy Carroll
Soybeans      June 18     Rice Research & Ext. Center – Stuttgart           10:00 AM    Brandy Carroll
WFG             June 18     Rice Research & Ext. Center – Stuttgart           10:00 AM    Matt King
Cotton           June 19     Conference Call                                                8:00 AM    Gene Martin
Aquaculture    June 21    Conference Call                                                1:00 PM    Gene Martin


Weekly Corn Producer Update - The Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Board and Extension Service are teaming up to provide a weekly update to corn producers.  This is designed to give help producers timely information to help maximize yields and provide a forum to ask questions.  The next of these meetings will be Thursday, May 3, 2012, at 11:00 am.  You have 3 options to join:

Option 1:  Click on one of the links below
Option 2:  Open the app, Enter Meeting Number: 572 822 694 and Password: WCPU12
Option 3:  Call 1-877-668-4490 and enter Meeting Number/access code: 572 822 694 when asked for attendee Id press #

To join from your Computer
1. Copy the link below into you web browser
2. Enter your name and email when prompted
3. If you are asked, enter the meeting password: WCPU12
4. Click "Join Now".
5. Say Yes or OK to any boxes which pop up
6. When asked to connect enter your phone number area code first
7. Then you are connected

To join from your iPhone, Ipad, or android device
First download WebEx App to your phone
(Available at the App Store/MarketPlace)
1. Click the link below
2. The program will automatically call you back
- Answer the call and follow the instructions
3. Once connected to the meeting, go back to main screen click the WebEx Ap
4. Now you will be receiving the presentation as well as the audio


1. Open the app
2. Enter Meeting Number: 572 822 694
3. Enter Password: WCPU12
4. Click Join
5. The program will automatically call you back
- Answer the call and follow the instructions
6. Once connected to the meeting, go back to main screen click the WebEx Ap
7. Now you will be receiving the presentation as well as the audio

Every county is encouraged to participate in this activity and have a local contest winner to represent their county in the state contest in August.  The purpose of the Miss Arkansas Rice Contest is to promote interest in rice cookery and rice promotion among the youth in Arkansas and to focus attention of the general public of Arkansas on the importance of the rice industry to the economy of the state.  The purpose of awards in the contest is to recognize superior achievement in rice cookery, rice promotion and basic knowledge about the rice industry.  Details of this contest are available in booklet form that can be downloaded from the Farm Bureau Web site.  Entries for the state contest must be in to the Rice Council office by April 30, 2012.  Arkansas Rice Council, P.O. Box 786, Stuttgart, Ark. 72160.   ENTRIES MUST BE SENT BY REGISTERED OR CERTIFIED MAIL.

2012 STATE DAIRY FOODS CONTEST DEADLINE MAY 11, 2012. . . . . The 55th Annual Arkansas Dairy Foods Contest will be June 6, 2012 in Little Rock.  This annual event is sponsored during June Dairy Month by Arkansas Farm Bureau, Southwest Dairy Museum and Arkansas Dairy Cooperative Association.  The Dairy Foods Contest booklet can be downloaded from the Farm Bureau Web site for more information.   All recipes should be sent to: Dairy Foods Contest, P.O. Box 31, Little Rock, AR  72203-0031.  Recipes must be received no later than May 11, 2012 for selection of state finalists.

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE PASSES FY 2013. . . . .This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 agriculture appropriations bill, which will fund programs within the Department of Agriculture and related agencies. The bill provides $20.785 billion in FY 2013 discretionary spending authority.   There was limited discussion on the bill and no amendments were offered.  The bill’s text has not been released, but the committee’s summary can be viewed here.  The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture has yet to schedule its mark-up.  The agriculture appropriations bill provides funding for a wide array of federal agricultural programs, mostly within USDA.  These programs include: agricultural research; education and extension activities; natural resources conservation programs; food safety, marketing and inspection activities; rural economic and community development activities; telecommunications and electrification assistance; and various export and international activities of the USDA.

FORAGE AND GRASSLAND TOUR SET FOR MAY 17-18 IN NW ARKANSAS. . . . .The Arkansas Forage and Grasslands Council will host their spring forage tour May 17-18.  The tour headquarters is the Embassy Suites Hotel in Rogers.  This activity will be conducted jointly with the American Forage and Grasslands Council and will include:  insightful tours of area forage production practices, viewing of the National Hay Show, and networking with producers professionals and vendors from the region.  You can register online and get more details at           

SENATE COMMITTEE ADVANCES FARM BILL. . . . .The Senate version of the farm bill advanced out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry by a vote of 16 to 5. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will reduce by spending by $24.7 billion over the 2013-2022 period. "We examined every agriculture program to see what was working and what wasn't," said Stabenow.  "This Farm Bill ends unnecessary direct payment subsidies, consolidates programs and cracks down on fraud and abuse.  With these reforms we saved billions that allowed us to strengthen initiatives that are effectively helping farmers and businesses create new agriculture jobs." "Congress needs to put down the partisanship and work across the aisle to help spur job creation and reduce the deficit.  I'm proud that the Agriculture Committee was able to accomplish that," Stabenow said. Although the bill was approved by a wide bi-partisan margin, not everyone involved was supportive of the bill. The four southern Senators on the Committee, Sens. Saxby Chambliss, (R-GA), Thad Cochran,(R-MS), Mitch McConnell, (R-KY)., and John Boozman, (R-AR)., voted against the legislation as did Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-N.Y.) who objected to the cuts in nutrition programs. Sen. Chambliss was quoted in the National Journal saying, “The farm bill in front of us attempts to shoehorn all producers into a one-size-fits-all policy. Producer choice is a better course to follow and I regret the commodity title does not recognize its power.” Sen. Grassley (R-IA) was successful in attaching his amendment that limits the number of managers a farming operation can have for purposes of receiving farm payments. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says the Senate will take up the bill soon. The committee hearings in D.C. will be the final step before the House begins their markup of the House draft.  

SPRING LIVESTOCK SHOW SET FOR MAY 3-5. . . . .Arkansas Farm Bureau will again serve as the overall sponsor of the Spring Junior Livestock Show held on the State Fairgrounds in Little Rock.  Junior exhibitors from across the state will compete in shows for: prospect lambs and steers; commercial heifers and breeding cattle; dairy goats, and various poultry and rabbit classes.

GENERAL MOTORS PRIVATE OFFER. . . Members can save $500 on qualifying 2011/2012 model year Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicles. Complete details at

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