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Commodity Communicator Weekly

August 31, 2012

THE ARKANSAS AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT EXTENDS LIVESTOCK GRANT PROGRAM DEADLINE. . . . .The Arkansas Agriculture Department today announced that they have extended the deadline for Livestock Assistance Grant Program applications until close of business on Tuesday, September 4. Governor Mike Beebe set aside $2,000,000 from the Governor’s Disaster Fund to help Arkansas ranchers during the recent persistent drought conditions.  The Livestock Assistance Grant Program will help cattle, sheep and goat producers, many of whom are finding it difficult to locate, grow or afford hay and other forage for their animals.
The program is administered by the Arkansas Agriculture Department, and payments will be made on a per-head basis for qualifying livestock producers. Applications must be filed online, delivered to the Arkansas Agriculture Department by 4:30 p.m. or postmarked by Tuesday, September 4, 2012.
Applications are available through the Arkansas Agriculture Department ( or 501-683-4851), University of Arkansas’s Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service county offices (, the Arkansas Cattleman’s Association (, the Agricultural Council of Arkansas (, Farm Service Agency county offices, Natural Resource Conservation Service district offices, Conservation District offices and Arkansas Farm Bureau county offices (

. . . . . Comment periods are open until September 11, 2012, on three new herbicide tolerant soybean varieties.  Monsanto is seeking deregulation of Dicamba tolerant soybeans, and Dow is seeking deregulation of two different 2,4-D tolerant soybean varieties, one of which is a stacked trait with Round-up Ready 2 technology.  Arkansas Farm Bureau is submitting comments in support of the release of these technologies, based upon policy that states:

We believe that our competitive advantage in world markets will be maintained only by the continued support and encouragement of technological advancements. We encourage USDA to take a lead in coordinating efforts to evaluate and move approved products and technologies to the marketplace in a timely manner.

Farmer comments are also needed, and due by September 11, 2012.  It is important that farmers participate in the regulatory comment process. Usage instructions and release of the soybean seeds will be based in part on comments received from farmers and industry experts. Farm Bureau recognizes that we will have farmer members with different viewpoints on this issue. Our competitive advantage in the world market is dependent of the development and proper use of cutting edge technology. We encourage all to comment and give constructive feedback on these varieties.

To submit comments on all three releases, please follow these instructions.

1.    Visit 
2.    Do a search for the docket number on the variety you would like to comment on. You will have to comment separately on all three dockets.
       a.    APHIS-2012-0047 – Monsanto’s Dicamba tolerant soybean
       b.    APHIS-2012-0019 – Dow’s 2,4-D tolerant soybean
       c.    APHIS-2012-0032 – Dow’s phenoxy auxin group, glyphosate and glufosinate tolerant soybean
3.    Just typing in the first few letters of the APHIS will bring up a list of docket numbers. Be sure to select the proper number.
4.    After you have located the correct docket number, click on the link to the notice of comment. The notice of comment will have more information on each variety.  
5.    In the upper right hand corner will be a blue button that says Comment Now! A click on that button will take you to the comment form which is easy to operate
6.    Remember that comments are public record so viewable by the public. You will be required to include your name, city and state in comments but no other personal information is required.

We have prepared comments you can submit for these dockets. Unfortunately, the website does not allow a direct connection for us. However, these comments can be copy and pasted in the form on  The comments, more information and further instruction on submitting comments is available in the Legislative Action Center on  The comments are also attached below.  If you would like to submit comments, and have difficulty, call Michelle Kitchens at 501-228-1324.


LAWSUIT BLAMES DAIRY’S HAY FIRE FOR AUTO ACCIDENTS. . . . .A hay fire at an Indiana dairy earlier this month is at the center of a lawsuit filed by two women blaming the blaze for contributing to chain-reaction collisions involving 13 vehicles.  The Aug. 18 pile-up left one person dead and many others injured. Lawyer Walter Alvarez filed the litigation this week on behalf of clients Nancy Gresham and her daughter, Judy Abernathy, the Times Media Company reports.  Alvarez alleges that Gresham and Abernathy were traveling on Indiana interstate I-65 when the combination of smoke from a burning hay field and early-morning fog reduced visibility to 30 feet, causing drivers to crash into each other.  According to Alvarez, the smoke originated from a fire at the Bos Dairy LLC of Fair Oaks in Jasper County, Ind.  He is also investigating if other drivers contributed to the cause of the accidents, which left his clients with broken bones and other injuries.

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

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