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Commodity Communicator Weekly

July 13, 2012

The Washington Post

Listed below is information on a webinar entitled "The Clean Water Act, EPA Regulation, and the Future of Farming" that is being produced by the National Ag Law Center at Fayetteville.  I feel this is an extremely important topic for Arkansas Agriculture in light of the lawsuit that has been filed against EPA over the Gulf of Mexico hypoxia issue. Please feel free to pass this on to others.

Topic: The federal government has long played a significant role in the agricultural sector. And, in recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency has played an increasingly significant role in agriculture, particularly under the regulation of water quality under the Clean Water Act. The current and future role of EPA regulation is extremely significant to the agricultural sector. It is imperative that producers, landowners, and others have a basic understanding of the role that EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has in the future of American agriculture and especially throughout the entire Mississippi River Basin. This webinar will provide that understanding with a focus on the recent lawsuit filed by environmental groups against the EPA.

This free webinar is part of a series of educational webinars provided by the National Agricultural Law Center with generous support from the Banks Law Firm, PLLC. The gift was given in order to provide a legal education series focused on southern agricultural producers and to help publicize the 25th Anniversary of the National Agricultural Law Center, the nation's leading source of agricultural and food law research and information. For more information about the gift and the educational series, click here and here.

Brief Background

On March 13, 2012, the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and other environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the EPA seeking to force EPA to establish numeric standards for at least 31 states in the Mississippi River Basin. That case, Gulf Restoration Network, et. al., Case No. 12-cv-677, filed in federal district court in Louisiana could have very significant impacts on farming in the southern United States and throughout the Mississippi River Basin. The outcome of the case will be very significant for farmers, municipalities, fertilizer companies, and others operating throughout the Mississippi River Basin.
The lawsuit could ultimately impact the use of fertilizer and other farming practices used in the targeted areas, and has drawn significant opposition from agricultural groups. For example, the American Farm Bureau Federation, Arkansas Farm Bureau, Louisiana Farm Bureau, Mississippi Farm Bureau, the National Pork Producers Council, along with nearly a dozen other state Farm Bureau organizations, and many other national and regional agricultural organizations, filed a motion to intervene and defeat the lawsuit filed by environmental groups against EPA.

The lawsuit follows a similar legal action brought in Florida that resulted in EPA moving forward with the establishment of numeric nutrient criteria in that state, which has also been opposed by many in the agricultural community. Similar to the current legal action, the Florida lawsuit has drawn criticism and concern from many in the agricultural community.

This free webinar is designed for anyone - producers, landowners, extension personnel, and others - interested in updated information on the Clean Water Act and discussion of the possible pending regulatory and litigious changes. If interested, please help publicize this webinar to your networks via listserves, twitter, Facebook, or other avenues.

Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Time: 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (EDT) / 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (CDT)
Cost: Free of Charge

To participate in the webinar:

Participating in the webinar is very easy, even if this is the first webinar in which you have participated. At 12 EDT, simply click here: and sign in as a guest. Before viewing the webinar, please visit the following URL to confirm your ability to connect to the server:

More Information can be found at:


The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) gave notice this week that it plans to file lawsuits against 51 large-scale pork producers in North Carolina, Iowa and Oklahoma for unreported ammonia releases into the environment. HSUS said it identified the alleged offenders “after months of research” and said the companies emit “hundreds of pounds” of ammonia per day, endangering farm animals, wildlife, the environment and rural communities.  The National Pork Producers Council responded by stating, “It is important to point out that HSUS is not alleging environmental harm but rather paperwork violations of EPA’s emissions reporting rule. Additionally, it is worth noting that when the reporting rule went into effect in 2009 there was widespread confusion about it ….”

Today,, a project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), petitioned Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel to investigate the deceptive fundraising practices of the animal rights group Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). released a full report today exposing HSUS’s misleading telemarketing, direct mail, and television appeals. The new analysis reveals that the animal rights group’s fundraising activities might be more than just dishonest, speculating that these tactics could violate some charitable solicitation or consumer protection laws in the Natural State.

Recordings of the weekly corn producer webinars are available online at  The first two webinars covered fertilizer timing, nutrient deficiencies, insect threats and more.  The series will continue throughout the growing season on Thursdays at 11a.m.  To join the conference, follow the instructions below:

You have 3 options to join:
Option 1:  Download WebEx Ap and Join from Smartphone or Tablet
             Click the link:
            Open the Ap: Enter Meeting Number: 572 822 694 and Password: WCPU12
Option 2:  Call 1-877-668-4490
            enter Meeting Number/Access Code: 572 822 694
            when asked for attendee ID press #

Option 3:  Join from Computer  
            Click the link:
            Enter your name and email when prompted and click "Join Now".
            Say Yes or OK to any boxes which pop up
            Click Join using computer or enter your phone number area code first to have WebEx call you back.


Members can save $500 on qualifying 2011/2012 model year Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicles. Complete details at http:

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