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Commodity Communicator Weekly

July 19, 2013

. . . . .ARFB app for iPhone, Android
Arkansas Farm Bureau’s mobile app is now available for free in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.  

The app provides tools that help ARFB members stay informed and make the most of their memberships.

Users of the app have quick access to:

•    News: ARFB has expanded the scope of its online news operation to offer more stories and more immediate reporting than ever before. The app is updated daily with local, state, national and international ag stories.

•    Quotes: Commodity futures and cash market prices are updated every 10 minutes. The app’s unique interface is customizable and gives users the opportunity to select which prices they receive. Pick from corn, cotton, rice, grain sorghum, soybeans or wheat ... cattle, Delmarva broilers, eggs, hogs or national turkeys.

•    Member Benefits: The app provides handy access to ID numbers, discount details and everything else members need to take advantage of our ValuePlus savings.

•    Events: Keep your calendar updated with this compilation of ARFB’s most important statewide meetings and events.

•    Weather: Location-specific weather reporting from Telvent DTN contains all the agro-meteorological metrics a farmer could need, plus a five-day forecast and radar.

•    Alerts: Users receive notifications on urgent action items.

If you need more detailed instructions, please open one of the attachments below for a step-by-step guide.
Install ARFB mobile app Android instructions.pdf
Install ARFB mobile app Apple instructions.pdf


Farm Bureau has endorsed legislation to create a new type of charitable, tax-exempt organization to allow private monies to fund agricultural research. Agricultural research organizations would work in conjunction with agricultural and land-grant colleges and universities to conduct agricultural research, complementing existing public and private efforts. The legislation, called the Charitable Agricultural Research Act,was introduced in the House as H.R. 2671 and in the Senate as S. 1280.


The Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service recently released data showing the overwhelming acceptance of biotech crops since 1996. Data showed herbicide-tolerant soybean acreage planted went from 17 percent in 1997 to 93 percent in 2013 and herbicide-tolerant cotton jumped from 10 percent in 1997 to 82 percent this year. Adoption of all biotech corn made up 90 percent of corn acreage in 2013.   

As a result of American Farm Bureau Federation's legal action to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from publicly releasing personal information about thousands of farmers and ranchers and their families, EPA has agreed to hold off on responding to pending Freedom of Information Act requests, and any future FOIA requests seeking the same information, until the legal issues raised by the lawsuit are resolved by a court. Read more on the FBNews website.

Newly licensed horse slaughter plants in Iowa and New Mexico are set to open on Aug. 5, but not if the Humane Society of the United States and other activist groups prevail in court. HSUS and other groups alleged in a lawsuit that the Agriculture Department did not conduct the proper environmental reviews before issuing permits for Valley Meat of Roswell, N.M., and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa. A judge will rule on the request for a temporary restraining order that would stop the plant doors from opening as scheduled.  Click here for full article.


USDA and a Japanese delegation are wrapping up talks geared toward restarting the purchase of U.S. western white wheat. The Japanese banned the purchase of the product in May following the discovery of an unapproved genetically modified strain on an Oregon farm. Japan is requesting that USDA test samples from each shipment as well as provide a letter certifying the shipment is not genetically modified. They would also like samples retested upon arrival in Japan before the bulk of the shipment arrives. Purchases could resume as early as August. Click here for full article.

U.S. pork farmers are expanding herds after a surge in prices and dip in feed costs, triggering the most pork on record. About 5.882 million sows were withheld for breeding by June 1, according to a  Bloomberg article; the highest amount in four years. Record litters were also achieved, with 10.31 pigs being born per litter. It is estimated hog farmers will earn $15 a head until Sept. 30 and pork output will rise 3.1 percent to a record high next year.

Activist group GMO Inside is pressing Greek yogurt maker Chobani to stop marketing its products as “real” and “natural” until it stops using milk from cows that are fed with genetically modified feed. In a statement issued Tuesday, Chobani noted that the company has never claimed its products are GMO-free. Also, according to the statement: “GMO is complex and weighs on the balance of our commitments, particularly affordability, as non-GMO ingredients are fewer and more costly. We are in the infancy of exploring how we as a company, together with our suppliers, will navigate this important issue.”

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus continues to spread, with some experts predicting the number of pigs affected could exceed 1 million. Last week, Mexico restricted live hog imports from the U.S. due to PEDV. Cases have been confirmed in 15 states and scientists are researching the possibility of the disease’s spread to two more states.

LAKE MAUMELLE WATERSHED TASK FORCE. . . . .Cooperative Extension Service
The 31 members of the freshly selected Lake Maumelle Watershed Task Force are being polled to schedule the first meeting of an expected months-long process to review zoning laws affecting the watershed.

The watershed is the primary drinking water source for Central Arkansas and has many other uses, including residential and recreational. The task force will be looking at a Pulaski County zoning law affecting land use and development in the lake’s watershed.

The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and its Public Policy Center are serving as facilitator for this issue.

Meetings will be open to the public and dates and locations will be announced ahead of time. Recommendations from the task force will be forwarded to the county planning board and the Quorum Court.

The 31 task force members are: Kate Althoff, Ruth Bell, Don Castleberry, Dale Charles, Marybeth Curtis, Tim Daters, Chris Dorer, Kristy Eanes, Butch Eggers, Margaret Ellibee, Bob Estes, Jack Gaston, Barry Haas, Earl Hillard, Kenyon Lowe, Jim McKenzie, Debbie Moreland, Chuck Nestrud, Kathleen Oleson, Larry Page, Forrest Payne, Butch Penney, Roger Quaid, Gip Robertson, Mark Robertson, Carolyn Shearman, Darrell Smith, Leland Sykes, John Tynan, Lorie White, Randy Wilbourn.
To learn more about the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Public Policy Center, visit
Click here for full article.

Cooperative Extension Service
Above-average rainfall in January, February and May helped Arkansas livestock producers whose hay and forage was stolen last year by drought, but now Nature’s taps have closed and there’s worry about hay for the rest of the year.

“Most cattle producers have baled more hay their first cutting of hay in 2013 than they did all of last year,” said Tom Troxel, associate head-Animal Science for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “Many cattle producers will get a second cutting of hay but it will probably be less than normal due to the lower June rainfall amounts.”  

Troxel recommends:
•    Check pastures to prevent overgrazing, which can lead to reduced cattle performance.
•    Be ready to cull non-productive or low performance cattle if the dry weather continues. Record high cow selling prices continue to be a bright spot.
•    Plan water supplies for the dry times. Cattle require greater amounts of water during hot weather.
•    Wean spring-born calves early can help reduce a cow’s nutritional demands. Remember it’s cheaper to feed a cow and calf separately than it is to feed the cow, which feeds the calf.
•    Even if the weather turns dry, it’s important to provide free choice salt and mineral.
•    Nutrient needs for phosphorus and other minerals and vitamins should be met especially during periods of drought. Provide a good free-choice mineral-vitamin supplement year-round.
•    Environmental conditions that slow plant growth often cause excessive accumulation in plants of nitrate and prussic acid. If forage is suspect, have it tested for these poisons. Most common accumulators of nitrates ranked from highest to lowest are weeds, corn, sorghums, sudangrass, cereal grains, tame forage and legumes. Nitrate accumulates primarily in lower stems. Prussic acid accumulates primarily in the leaves (See:
•    Continue to follow recommended guidelines for vaccinating cattle, controlling files and other external and internal parasites. Herd heath become more important during times of dry weather.
•    Be careful not to overextend when it comes to feeding during a drought. The price for feed will probably increase as the drought persists.

For additional management strategies for managing beef cattle through dry weather, contact your county extension agent, or visit, or

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