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Commodity Communicator Weekly

September 6, 2013


FDA RELEASES RICE TESTING RESULTS
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today released from tests conducted on 1,100 samples of rice and rice products for the presence of arsenic. The results confirm those released a year ago, and the agency is once again assuring consumers that rice should be a part of a well-balanced diet. The agency says its scientists “determined that the amount of detectable arsenic is too low in the rice and rice product samples to cause any immediate or short-term adverse health effects.”


MONSANTO FUND OFFERS GRANT TO SCHOOLS FOR MATH AND SCIENCE
America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, a new program offered by the Monsanto Fund, will award rural school districts grants of up to $25,000 to improve math and science curriculums. According to Monsanto’s Deborah Patterson, worthy districts nominated by farmers may apply for the grants. Decisions about the grant recipients will be made by farmers.

Brownfield Ag News article


DUMAS GROWER FIRST IN ARKANSAS TO BREAK 100-BUSHEL PER ACRE MARK—BY A NOSE. . .Cooperative Extension Service
A Dumas soybean grower has become the first Arkansas farmer to break the 100-bushel per acre mark, and it all came down to a fraction of a bushel.
“It was really, really close,” Nelson Crow said Friday morning. Crow’s yield from his 5.433-acre block was certified Friday morning at 100.82 bushels per acre.
“I hadn’t planned to enter this year, but the way the year took off, and when I looked at the crop, it looked really, really good,” he said. “I knew we had a shot at it, but didn’t think we would ever do it.”
For comparison, the statewide average yield in 2012 was 43 bushels per acre, according to USDA figures. That average yield has steadily climbed since 2000, when the average yield for Arkansas was 25.5 bushels per acre.

To read full article click here.


SENIOR FEINSTEIN CALLS ON ICE TO HALT ACTIONS AGAINST FARM WORKERS. . .by Mike Oscar
On Wednesday, September 4, 2013, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to halt enforcement actions against illegal farm workers and their employers, saying continued prosecutions could cripple the agriculture sector.  In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Senator Feinstein noted that ICE had already stopped deporting certain illegal immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.  Senator Feinstein wrote, “I respectfully suggest that you adopt a similar policy of exercising prosecutorial discretion to defer enforcement against agricultural employers and workers, and concentrate instead on removing those who would and have harmed our society, rather than those who contribute to our vital agricultural economy and heritage, and the safe and high-quality food supply that benefits all Americans.”  Senator Feinstein, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, first complained of the impact of worksite audits targeting agricultural workers more than a year ago.


IMMIGRATION REFORM ADVOCATES AIMING AT A NATIONAL AUDIENCE
After a summer of targeting individual House members in their districts, advocates for comprehensive immigration reform say they will escalate their efforts in the fall with larger rallies and demonstrations aimed at a national audience.  The shift in tactics comes as some leaders in the movement are voicing frustration that the more narrowly tailored activities used during the August recess have failed to maximize pressure on House Republican leaders to take up immigration legislation.  Per Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), “we’re buying ads there, and radio ads there, and hiring this lobbyist there.  We need people power, and we need to concentrate.”  A series of demonstrations and rallies are planned for major cities on October 5th, ahead of a march in Washington on October 8th.  Organizers hope to attract 15,000 people in the capitol to pressure Congress.  With budget and debt-ceiling debates expected to dominate an abbreviated legislative calendar in September, immigration reform is not likely to come to the House floor until October at the earliest.  Unfortunately, opponents of comprehensive immigration reform said the relative lack of major activity in August was due to the slim chance that the House would actually consider legislation similar to the bill that passed the Senate in June.  Speaker Boehner has said “the House will not vote on that measure and that any immigration proposal must gain the support of a majority of the Republican conference.  


GAS DRILLING AT PITTSBURGH AIRPORT
Consol Energy released details of its plan to drill for natural gas at the Pittsburgh International Airport; a deal that could yield hundreds of millions of dollars for Allegheny County.  The company said that it hopes to begin constructing well sites and pipelines next spring.  Consol plans to use six well pads to drill a total of 47 Marcellus Shale wells at the airport.  About 17 miles of gas lines will also be constructed to deliver gas to market.  In February, the Allegheny County Airport Authority approved the deal with Consol, which paid a signing bonus of $50 million.  Royalty payments are expected to total $450 million over the next two years.


SEPTEMBER SUPPLY/DEMAND REPORT WEBINAR
. . . . .Thursday, September 12 at 12:30 p.m.
The USDA will release its new U.S. and Global Agriculture Situation and Outlook next week.  Matt King, Farm Bureau  Economist and Scott Stiles, UAEX Economist will break down the report and give insight into how the report will affect the markets.  

You have Three Ways to Participate:

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Conference Call

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SEARS COMMERCIAL PROGRAM
Offers members special pricing on name-brand items like Craftsman garage storage and lawn tractors; Sealy and Sears-O-Pedic mattresses; NordicTrack exercise equipment; Kenmore outdoor grills, televisions and more. For program details, http://www.arfb.com/member_services/sears/

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