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Commodity Communicator Weekly

April 26, 2013

AMENDMENT IN CR TECHNICALLY POSTPONES SPCC ENFORCEMENT DATE . . . EPA’s Web site still lists the SPCC compliance date as May 10, 2013; however, the recently adopted Continuing Budget Resolution included an amendment by Sens. Mark Pryor and Jim Inhofe prohibiting EPA from using any funds for enforcement activities related to agriculture essentially postponing the SPCC compliance deadline until the end of FY13 or September 30, 2013.

The two senators also have legislation (S. 496) that would increase the threshold capacity for a single tank to 10,000 gallons and the cumulative storage volume to 42,000 gallons. The proposal would also place a greater degree of responsibility on the farmer or rancher to self-certify compliance if it exceeds the exemption level.

As a reminder, the compliance deadline only applies to new farms, i.e. those beginning operations after August 16, 2002. According to EPA, farms operating 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.

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.

PLANT BOARD TO CONSIDER RELAXING 2,4-D REGULATIONS. . . . .The State Plant Board will meet May 3, 2013, for a special called board meeting at 1 p.m. to consider a pesticide committee recommendation.  The Pesticide Committee of the State Plant Board has recommended that the board relax 2,4-D regulations to allow levee spraying without a permit in Cross, Poinsett, Clay, Greene, Craighead, Crittenden, St. Francis, Lee, Phillips and Mississippi counties west of the approximate north-south center line of Crowley’s Ridge.  The recommendation of the committee is that records for each application be maintained by the producer for three years and produced upon request by a Plant Board representative.  The recommendation further states that the application device must 1) generate a spray with a droplet spectrum such that no more than 10% of the spray droplets are smaller than 300 microns, 2) the boom width may not exceed 10 feed, 3) during application the spray nozzle height may not exceed 30 inches above the top of the levee, and 4) the spray vehicle may not exceed 8 miles per hour.  No 2,4-D Esters may be used.

2013 NATIONAL VALUE ADDED AGRICULTURE CONFERENCE MAY 19-21, 2013. . . .In these trying economic times, growers and agribusinesses are actively seeking ways to maintain, increase profits, and/or diversify their operations.  The 2013 National Value Added Conference provides a wonderful opportunity to enhance understanding, identify resources, and to network with other service providers as well as innovative entrepreneurs.  

The theme of the 2013 Conference is "Local Economic Development Through Entrepreneurship".  Please make plans now to attend the 15th Annual National Value Added Conference to be held in Rogers, Arkansas (May 19-21) at the Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas - Hotel, Spa & Convention Center.  Featured conference speakers include Joe Quinn, Wal-Mart Senior Director of Issue Management and Strategic Outreach, and Doug O'Brien, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development USDA.

Conference registration 

Conference Hotel

Conference Agenda

USDA ANNOUNCES SECOND SIGN-UP DEADLINE FOR BAYOU METO (MIDDLE) MISSISSIPPI RIVER BASIN INITIATIVE PROJECT . . . 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

GENERAL MOTORS PRIVATE OFFER. . . Members can save $500 on qualifying 2011/2013 model year Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicles. Complete details at

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