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Commodity Communicator Weekly

October 5, 2012

USDA DROUGHT MEETINGS SCHEDULED. . . . .USDA and other federal agencies will hold four joint regional meetings to discuss federal efforts that can be used to address the drought.  One of the four meeting is scheduled for Pine Bluff, Arkansas on October 17.  Additional details have yet to be released. USDA has made available $11.8 million in additional financial and technical assistance to help crop and livestock producers in 22 drought-stricken states apply conservation practices that improve soil health and productivity.  The assistance is being provided through the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

TEXAS ANIMAL HEALTH COMMISSION ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF NEW CATTLE TRACEABILITY RULE. . . . .A requirement for adult cattle in Texas to have an approved form of permanent identification in place at change of ownership will go into effect January 1, 2013 according to the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC). This action by Texas’ animal health agency is designed to enhance the effective traceability of beef cattle movements in Texas, which is the cornerstone of disease control activities. The amended rules permanently cancel the brucellosis test requirement for adult cattle at change of ownership, which was unofficially suspended in the summer of 2011. Although testing of adult cattle is no longer required with the rule change, all sexually intact cattle, parturient or post parturient, or 18 months of age and older changing ownership must still be officially identified with Commission approved permanent identification.

NEW YORK CITY BIOHEAT REQUIREMENT TAKES EFFECT OCT. 1
. . . . .Starting Oct. 1, every gallon of oilheat in the city will contain at least 2 percent biodiesel.  The blend is known as Bioheat®  fuel, a greener heating oil that is gaining popularity in Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. In 2010 New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed an air quality bill that included the Bioheat provision for heating homes and buildings.  A New York State bill also required a switch to Ultra Low Sulfur Heating Oil, which took place in July. "In passing this legislation, we set the stage to prevent the burning of 20 million gallons of petroleum each year," said City Councilman James F. Gennaro, who sponsored the legislation. "This is the carbon equivalent of taking 30,000 cars off the road in New York City. But it's only the first step. Between the statewide requirement for ultra-low sulfur heating oil and this landmark Bioheat mandate, we are really starting to see the green future of home heating." Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from agricultural byproducts and co-products such as soybean oil, and other fats and oils, including at least one abundant resource in New York City: recycled restaurant grease.  It is the only domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel in the U.S., and supports 39,000 American jobs.  Biodiesel used in Bioheat fuel is eligible to meet the federal Renewable Fuels Standard, which requires 1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel be blended into the fuel supply in 2012.  No other city has a Bioheat requirement in place, but several states have passed requirements that will go into effect when contingent states pass similar laws.

FOREST PRODUCT EXPORT CONFERENCE OCTOBER 30 AND 31
. . . . .The Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation and Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation would like to invite you to participate in our Forest Product Export Conference. With more than 95% of the World’s consumers living outside the borders of the U.S., demand for wood products will grow much faster beyond our borders, which is why it is essential for producers to look beyond our borders and take advantage of the growing international markets. To register or for more information visit our website http://www.arfb.com/ag-markets-statistics/forestry.aspx

FARM LABOR CONFERENCE NOVEMBER 16, 2012. . . . .One day conference seeks to assist those engaged in understanding the increasingly complex issues of hiring agricultural labor. Training will enhance the knowledge and understanding of the agricultural labor markets, policies and regulations.

Sessions include:
•    Nuts and Bolts of Agricultural Labor
•    Local vs. Migrant Labor Issues
•    Grower’s Perspective
•    Agricultural Labor Policy Update
•    Overview of Legal Issues by National Agricultural Law Center

Where: University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service Headquarters, 2301 South University Ave. Little Rock, AR 72204

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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