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Commodity Communicator Weekly

August 3, 2012

NRCS ANNOUNCES DROUGHT HELP FOR FARMERS. . . . .Mike Sullivan, Arkansas state conservationist for the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, announced on Thursday that financial assistance is available through a special initiative for Arkansas agricultural producers impacted by the exceptional drought the state is experiencing. Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, NRCS is addressing emergency issues associated with livestock production and recovery efforts aimed at restoration of pasture lands within the state's exceptional and extreme drought areas. Additional funding has been approved for the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program to mitigate the effects of the drought on wildlife within forests and pastures. While landowners statewide can apply for financial assistance, priority is given to those who have been in the exceptional drought area, defined by the National Drought Mitigation Center, the longest. A map of the areas in Arkansas is located at: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu. Applications are being taken at county USDA service centers through Tuesday, August 14.

SOYBEAN RUST CONFIRMED IN DESHA COUNTY
. . . . .Soybean Rust has  been confirmed this week in a field near Rohwer, Arkansas.  However, the University of Arkansas is not recommending fungicide applications at this time.  Disease incidence and severity were low in the field, and there is a low risk of disease progression due to drought conditions.  Plot monitoring will continue.  For more information, contact your county Extension office.

DAIRY SUPPORT
. . . . .please see attached letter.   Dairy Support Letter.pdf


FARM BUREAU HELPS SPONSOR 2ND ANNUAL ANIMAL WELL-BEING SYMPOSIUM
. . . . . On August 9, the University of Arkansas’ Center for Food Animal Well-Being will stage its 2nd annual symposium at the Poultry Center of Excellence building on the Fayetteville campus.  An exciting array of presentations is scheduled and there is no registration fee; but reservations can be made online at: www.arkansasalumni.org/CFAWSymposium2012.

COALITION URGES WAIVER OF RFS BECAUSE OF DROUGHT
. . . . .July 30, 2012 – As drought conditions become the worst in 50 years and corn yields are expected to drop significantly, a coalition of meat and poultry organizations today asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to waive the federal mandate for the production of corn ethanol.  For more information, click on the following link: NPPC - RFS Waiver.

JOHANNS INTRODUCES BILL TO BAN EPA AERIAL SURVEILLANCE . . . U.S. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today introduced legislation which would ban the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from conducting aerial surveillance for one year. The bill comes after EPA failed to fully respond to multiple requests for a clear, complete account of the size and scope of its surveillance program. For more information, click on the following link: Johanns - EPA Flyovers.

AUGUST MARKET UPDATE WEBINAR. . . . .The August Market Update Webinar will be Friday, August 10 at 8:30 a.m. This report will likely be a market mover, so plan to join us from your cell phone, computer, or smartphone to hear all the latest news. Instructions to connect are listed below:

You have 3 options to join:
Option 1:  Download Webex Ap and Join from Smartphone or Tablet
             Click the link: https://arfb.webex.com/arfb/j.php?ED=198665967&UID=0&PW=NZjZhYjk3YmQ0&RT=MiM3
            OR
            Open the Ap: Enter Meeting Number:  575 205 684  and Password: Arfb@1
Option 2:  Call 1-408-792-6300
            enter Meeting Number/Access Code:  575 205 684  
            when asked for attendee Id press #
Option 3:  Join from Computer  
            Click the link: https://arfb.webex.com/arfb/j.php?ED=198665967&UID=0&PW=NZjZhYjk3YmQ0&RT=MiM3
            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

HOUSE PASSES SPCC LEGISLATION . . .Thursday night, the House passed, on suspension, H.R. 3158, the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act, to ease spill prevention, control, and countermeasure (SPCC) compliance requirements for farmers.  Under the legislation, certification of compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule by a professional engineer would only be required if the farm has an individual tank with a storage capacity greater than 10,000 gallons, has an aggregate storage capacity greater than or equal to 42,000 gallons, or has previously experienced a spill.  However, an owner or operator of a farm could provide self-certification with the SPCC rule if the farm has an aggregate storage capacity greater than 10,000 gallons, but less than 42,000 gallons, and has no history of spills.  Farms with an aggregate capacity of less than or equal to 10,000 gallons and no history of a spill would be exempt from all requirements of the SPCC rule. The legislation directs the administrator of the EPA to change the SPCC rule with respect to agriculture.

COMMITTEE VOTES ON CLEAN WATER AND PESTICIDE USE
. . . Thursday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed H.R. 4278, the Preserving Rural Resources Act of 2012.  H.R. 4278 seeks to reaffirm important Clean Water Act (CWA) protections for farmers and ranchers that are contained in Section 404(f).  Those exemptions are designed to protect normal agricultural and silvicultural activities from regulation but have often been challenged by regulators and environmental activists. H.R. 4278 would clarify Congress’ original intent under Section 404(f)(1) of the CWA that normal agricultural and silvicultural practices are not subject to federal regulation.  Under H.R. 4278, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers cannot take away or narrow those exemptions for planting, constructing or maintaining a farm pond, constructing or maintaining irrigation or drainage ditches, or constructing or maintaining farm roads.

GENERAL MOTORS PRIVATE OFFER. . . Members can save $500 on qualifying 2011/2012 model year Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicles. Complete details at http://www.arfb.com/member_services/gm/.

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