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Commodity Communicator Weekly

August 16, 2013


ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT THREATENS FORESTRY
On August 14, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a 12-month finding in the Federal Register on a petition to list the rattlesnake-master borer moth (Papaipema eryngii) as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  The Service has determined the rattlesnake-master borer moth, a species associated with prairie habitats, warrants listing under the Endangered Species Act. However, the Service will not immediately propose the species as endangered or threatened due to species with higher priority for listing.

The rattlesnake-master borer moth occurs in 16 populations in five states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina and Oklahoma.  In Arkansas, the moth is known from two localities, Little Rock Air Force Base and Pine Bluff Arsenal.  

For more information on the rattlesnake-master borer moth and the Endangered Species Act, go to www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered.


COMMENTS TO EPA ON THE REGISTRATION REVIEW OF THE TRIAZINE HERBICIDES

Currently there is a Registration Review of the Triazine herbicides atrazine and simazine being conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency. Registration reviews are conducted for pesticides registered by EPA every 15 years. A comment period on this registration review is currently open and EPA is accepting comments until August 26. We are asking Triazine Network members to submit comments on the Triazine Registration Review before the August 26 deadline.

Post your public comment at www.regulations.gov. EPA has opened individual electronic dockets for public comment due by August 26, 2013. Here are docket numbers for atrazine and simazine.

Atrazine-- Electronic docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266
Simazine-- Electronic docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0251
(aametryn and prometryn are two other triaizine herbicides that are also under registration review.)

To post your public comment:

Go to http://www.regulations.gov and enter the appropriate docket number in the large blue search box near the top of the web page. Press the Search button and a new page will open with docket information. Click the Comment Now button to add your comments.


GENETIC ENGINEERING PRODUCES A GENUINE MONSTROSITY
Activists have warned for decades that genetic engineering would create some sort of monstrosity like Dr. Frankenstein’s creature.  It turns out they were right: Government regulation has run amok and threatens advances in agriculture. USDA’s existing regulatory policy harms researchers, farmers and consumers alike, but there is little interest in taking up sticks and pitchforks (metaphorically speaking) to resist the bureaucrats.  Read more of the Forbes Article.


PROPOSED FDA RULES SEEK TO BOOST OVERSIGHT OF IMPORTED FOODS
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued two proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act aimed at strengthening assurances that imported food meets the same safety standards as food produced domestically.  These new measures respond to the challenges of food safety in today's global food system, in which imported food comes into the United States from some 150 different countries and accounts for about 15 percent of the U.S. food supply.  They are part of the effort mandated by Congress to modernize the food safety system and focus on preventing food safety problems, rather than relying primarily on responding to problems after they have occurred.

Under the proposed rule for Foreign Supplier Verification Programs, importers would need to verify that their suppliers are meeting the same U.S. safety standards required of domestic producers. Requirements for verification activities would be primarily based on the type of food, nature of the hazard identified and on who - such as the foreign supplier, the importer, or the importer's customer - is best able to control the hazard.

Under the proposed rule for Accreditation of Third Party Auditors, FDA would recognize accreditation bodies based on certain criteria such as competency and impartiality. The accreditation bodies, which could be foreign government agencies or private companies, would in turn accredit third party auditors to audit and issue certifications for foreign food facilities.

The two proposed rules work together with the standards proposed in January 2013 for produce safety and preventive controls in facilities that produce food for humans. The two proposed rules will be published in the Federal Register on July 29. Comments on the two new proposed rules on the safety of imported food are due by 120 days from the publication date.  


ANOTHER RECORD CORN CROP IN ARKANSAS
Arkansas corn farmers are forecast to harvest their largest crop ever 164.9 million bushels.  With the largest acreage in more than 50-years, Arkansas farmers are forecast to produce their second highest yielding corn crop ever.  In 2012, Arkansas farmers hit a homerun with corn yields of 178 bushels, the USDA’s first estimate of the 2013 crop is at 170 bushels/acre.  With corn prices on the decline Arkansas farmers need yields to remain strong to keep net returns positive as corn is a high input crop.

FSA RELEASES PREVENTED PLANTING DATA
The initial forecast by the Farm Service Agency shows 7.711 million acres as prevented planting for the 2013 crop season. As of Aug. 1, 7.711 million acres have been reported to FSA as prevented planting for 2013. That’s a sharp rise from the 1.238 million acres the agency said were unplanted in 2012.  It’s important to note these numbers were released after the USDA Crop Report on Monday, so these numbers will not be factored in to supply and demand estimates until the September report.

Here’s the commodity breakdown for prevented acres reported to FSA:
Corn: 3.411 million
Wheat: 1.743 million
Soybeans: 1.619 million
Rice: 408,737
Cotton (ELS and upland): 218,714
Sorghum: 173,258
Other 126,340


BUFFALO RIVER NPS WWTP PERMITS AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
The Buffalo River National Parks Service (NPS) has two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) that discharge into the Buffalo River, one directly and the other via Panther Creek. These permits were published for public on Thursday, July 18, for 30-days in the Flippin newspaper, The Mountaineer Echo. For those wanting to review these permits and submit comments, the deadline is 4 p.m. on Monday, August 19, 2013.

To view the public notice and permit renewals, click on the following links:

Permit AR0034941 – ADEQ - BR NPS WWTP NPDES Permit AR0034941.

Permit AR0034959 – ADEQ - BR NPS WWTP NPDES Permit AR0034959.

The public notice and permit renewals can also be viewed by copying and pasting the following web addresses into your browser.

Permit AR0034941 – http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/ftproot/Pub/WebDatabases/PermitsOnline/NPDES/PN/AR0034941_PN%20of%20Renewal%20Permit_20130718.pdf

Permit AR0034959 – http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/ftproot/Pub/WebDatabases/PermitsOnline/NPDES/PN/AR0034959_PN%20of%20Renewal%20Permit_20130718.pdf


BEAVER LAKE WATERSHED SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULED
The Beaver Lake and Watershed Symposium is a program designed for anyone with an interest in learning more about the water quality of Beaver Lake, the outreach programs taking place and best management practices that are being applied within the watershed. The symposium is being held on Friday September, 27 from  9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This program is being organized by the Beaver Watershed Alliance and the Arkansas Water Resource Center. It will showcase work being conducted by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Ozarks Water Watch, Watershed Conservation Resource Center, and University of Arkansas Faculty and Students. This program is free, but requires an RSVP to participate. For more information contact John Pennington at john@beaverwatershedalliance.org or 479-970-3550.


CASE IH EQUIPMENT DISCOUNTS
Members can receive an incentive discount from $300 to $500 when purchasing qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealerships.  This discount is stackable, meaning it can be used with other discounts, promotions, rebates or offers that may be provided by Case IH or a Case IH dealership. Complete details at www.fbverify.com/case.

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