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Commodity Communicator Weekly

March 28, 2013

COMMERCE DEPT. WILL ENFORCE ANTIDUMPING ON VIETNAMESE CATFISH. . . .The U.S. Commerce Department issued its final results of a catfish industry review, showing Vietnam catfish will face fair antidumping duties when imported into the domestic U.S. market. The U.S. catfish industry, along with Southern legislators, welcomed the move following years of the Commerce Department assigning a near-zero antidumping duty on Vietnamese Catfish.

Over the past decade, Arkansas has seen more than half of catfish farming water acres disappear, partly because of competition with Vietnam - among other non-market economies. The U.S. catfish industry largely exists in the Mississippi Delta region. Ag Watch Network
Click here for full article

. . . .A proposal from federal animal health officials would have states develop swine health plans as part of a national program to combat brucellosis and pseudorabies. Officials with the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are seeking comments on the document, which proposes combining the federal swine pseudorabies and brucellosis programs.

. . . .Slightly more than 60 percent of the nation’s stocker cattle inventory in 2013 (steers and non-replacement heifers weighing more than 500 lbs.) were located in the key states that are included in USDA’s monthly Cattle on Feed report. This includes Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Iowa, California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Washington, and Arizona.

Meanwhile, a full one-fourth of the nation’s 2013 stocker cattle inventory (just slightly over 3 million head) could be isolated to 10 states outside the key cattle-feeding areas. These 10 states include Missouri, North Dakota, Montana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Virginia, Wyoming, Tennessee, Oregon and Arkansas.

. . . .Farmers and landowners in portions of Arkansas, Jefferson, Lonoke and Prairie counties in Arkansas have until May 17, 2013, to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation practices through the Bayou Meto (Middle) Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI) project.  The ranking process will be completed by May 31, 2013.
A complete list of approved practices, information about the project, and the project area map is available at

FARM BUREAU SUPPORTS OWNERS OF C&H HOG FARM . . . A new hog farm proposed in Newton County has caused much concern for the environmental community because it is located within the Buffalo River watershed. One of its owners is a Newton County Farm Bureau board member.

Environmental stakeholders attended the March 22 Arkansas Pollution Control & Ecology Commission’s monthly meeting to speak against the hog farm and ADEQ. Their main complaint was they were not made aware of the application for the CAFO permit and believe adequate notice was not given. Several also called for a moratorium on CAFO permits being issued in watersheds such as the Buffalo River.

Farm Bureau staff, the Arkansas Pork Producers Association and one of the owners of C&H Hog Farm also made public comments in support C&H Hog Farm as well as ADEQ for their efforts in reviewing and approving the general CAFO permit application. ADEQ followed the letter of the law regarding the notification process and its review and approval of the permit. In response to a question from one of the commissioners, ADEQ replied that changing the notification process would not have changed their approval because there was nothing legally in the permit application on which to base a denial.

HOUSE ENERGY COMMITTEE LAUNCHES REVIEW OF RFS. . . .The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is issuing a series of white papers as the first step in reviewing the renewable fuel standard (RFS). Given that several implementation challenges have emerged that received little if any consideration prior to passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the committee has decided it is time to undertake an assessment of the RFS. In addition to the white papers they are also soliciting input from stakeholders.

. . . . .On March 20, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a May 2011 ruling from the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (NEDC v. Brown) that forest roads used for timber harvest require Clean Water Act (CWA) industrial stormwater discharge permits typically applied to factories and other facilities.

Although the decision overturns the Ninth Circuit ruling, federal, state, county, tribal and private forest owners nationwide remain vulnerable to new litigation, such as a recently filed case in the Ninth Circuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) December 2012 amendment to its stormwater discharge rule clarifying that forestry operations do not require CWA permits.

– The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission (APC&EC) will hold four public hearings during April of 2013 to receive comments on proposed changes to Commission Regulation 2 (Arkansas Water Quality Standards) developed through the Triennial Review process. The schedule for the public hearings on Regulation 2 is as follows:

  •     April 15, Jonesboro: Allen Park Community Center, 3609 Race Street, 6 p.m.
  •    April 18, Fayetteville: Room 219, Fayetteville City Administration Building, 113 W. Mountain Street, 6 p.m.
  •    April 22, El Dorado: South Arkansas Community College, East Campus, Workforce Development Building, 3696 E. Main Street, 6 p.m.
  •    April 24, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Headquarters Building Commission Room, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, 2 p.m.
A copy of the draft regulation showing the proposed changes, along with related support documents, is available for viewing or downloading at the ADEQ’s Internet web site located at:

Oral and written statements will be accepted at the hearings, but written comments are preferred in the interest of accuracy. In addition, written and electronic mail comments will be accepted if received no later than 4:30 p.m. May 8, 2013. Written comments should be mailed to Doug Szenher, Public Outreach and Assistance Division, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118, or sent by electronic mail to:

. . . The deadline for complying with requirements of the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) rule is rapidly approaching. The compliance deadline is May 10, 2013.

As a reminder, the compliance deadline only applies to new farms, i.e. those coming into existence after August 16, 2002. According to EPA, farms in existence on or before August 16, 2002, should have already had an SPCC plan in place and should be updating their plans to conform with the new requirements.

Note: There is an ongoing legislative effort that would increase the SPCC Planning thresholds to 10,000 gallons for a single tank and 42,000 gallons total cumulative storage.

For those Farm Bureau members who do not want to run the risk of a legislative solution failing, SPCC planning services can be arranged by contacting ECCI at 501-975-8100.

For more information, go to: EPA - SPCC for Agriculture.

. . . . .FREE osteoporosis screening and 4 ultrasound screenings only $135 for members.  Screen for stroke, aneurysm and heart disease.  Call 1-866-204-9860 or visit to make an appointment.  Priority Code: BLMA012

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