Farm Bureau Press - September 27, 2013
President’s Leadership Council; New $1,000 truck incentive; Award nominations sought; AFBF Photo Contest; Moms on the Farm Tour; Water Plan meetings; Affordable Care Act notice; Rice lands important for birds; In the Market
A Publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation September 27, 2013 • Vol. 16, No. 19 www.arfb.com On Sept. 11 and 12, three judges visited the farms of this year’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award finalists: poultry and cattle farmers Chris and Alechia Meador of Green Forest (pictured here); row-crop farmers Kris and Meredith Baker of Sherrill; and dairy operators Scott and Cassie Davis of Prairie Grove. The winning couple will be announced at Arkansas Farm Bureau’s annual convention on Dec. 5 in Little Rock. bers an additional $1,000 incentive on the acquisition of any new 2013 or 2014 regular cab, heavy duty (2500/3500 series) truck. This is in addition to the standard $500 Farm Bureau incentive, which brings the total Farm Bureau incentive on Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra HD models to $1,500. The $1,500 Farm Bureau discount can be added to Chevrolet and GMC retail and Business Choice incentives that are availOn Sept. 11, L.D. Brantley Jr. (left) of England, a longtime member of Lonoke Co. FB, was filmed on his rice farm near England by a crew from Mindful Media Productions in Little Rock. The resulting video program will be used as part of a new Farm Bureau training video that will soon be released. able at time of purchase. “The end of one year and the beginning of the next is when farmers, ranchers and other business owners are managing their taxes,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. “The timing of new equipment purchases, including trucks, can be an important tool in an effective tax management strategy.” Arkansas Farm Bureau members are eligible for the added discount if they have In Farm Bureau President’s Leadership Council Oct. 31 is the deadline for receipt of President’s Leadership Council applications in the Little Rock office of Arkansas Farm Bureau. The council is a developmental program for men and women ages 25-45 who stand out from their peers and have a desire to grow and strengthen their leadership skills. Those accepted into the program — no more than 20 individuals — will attend three two-day seminars designed to broaden their knowledge of Farm Bureau and enhance their leadership abilities. The dates for those 2014 sessions have now been set for Feb. 28-March 1, May 30-31 and Aug. 22-23. All expenses, including travel, will be covered by ArFB. Applications are available at each county Farm Bureau office. New $1,000 truck incentive Effective immediately and continuing through April 1, Chevrolet and GMC are offering Arkansas Farm Bureau mem- KEITH SUTTON photo KEITH SUTTON photo been members for at least 60 consecutive days. To take advantage of the discount, members log onto fbverify.com/gm and enter their membership number and zip code. If eligible, the information will be verified and a certificate will appear that must be printed and taken to the dealership of choice for presentation to the sales person. There is no limit to the number of certificates a member may print or use, although certificates expire after 60 days. Award nominations sought The third recipient of Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Stanley E. Reed Leadership Award will be named during a general session at ArFB’s 79th annual convention in Little Rock Dec. 5. The award honors a Farm Bureau board member between the ages of 36-45 for outstanding leadership within their county Farm Bureau and their community. ArFB is seeking nominations of bright young farm leaders for this year’s award. The nomination should be limited to 300 words or less describing the impact the nominee has made on his/her county Farm Bureau and the community. Submissions must be postmarked no later than Nov. 18. AFBF Photo Contest Submissions to the 2013 American Farm Bureau Photo Contest will be accepted until Oct. 15. The contest is open to KEITH SUTTON photo On Sept. 6, just-harvested corn poured into a transport truck on the farm of ArFB state board member Jon Carroll of Moro. According to USDA’s Arkansas Crop Progress and Condition Report released Sept. 16, 70 percent of the state’s corn crop had been harvested by the end of the first week in September. That’s just 3 percent below the five-year average. all county and state Farm Bureau members and staff. Contest categories are Sharing the Story, Working on the Farm or Ranch, and My Scenic Farm or Ranch. Special awards will be presented for Animal Care, Safety and Farm Bureau Proud. Three “Best in Show” awards also will be selected. In addition to monetary prizes, all winning photos will be featured on AFBF websites, via social media and during the AFBF Annual Convention in January 2014. For full contest details and to enter, visit http://bit.ly/11C9QMN. KEN MOORE photo On Sept. 3, Garland Co. FB President Tommy Sorrells (right) directed discussion of local issues at the county organization’s policy development meeting in the Lake Hamilton High School cafeteria. More than two dozen county Farm Bureau leaders and local officials participated in the meeting, where resolutions were developed on a variety of agricultural and local issues. In Arkansas Moms on the Farm Tour A group of female faculty and staff across the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences and others involved with agriculture will host the third-annual Moms on the Farm tour Oct. 7, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The deadline to register is Sept. 30. The tour will include trips to beef, poultry and dairy farms. Lunch will be provided, followed by cooking demonstrations. The tour begins at the Pauline Whitaker Arena, approximately two miles north of the UofA campus. Participants will be transported by bus to tour locations. The Moms on the Farm tour is free, but seats are limited. Non-farm moms planning to attend the event are registered on a first-come first-served basis. The goal is to help mothers understand more about agricultural production, food safety and nutrition and experience northwest Arkansas agriculture first-hand. “We are really excited to share agriculture with the women of northwest Arkansas,” said Janeal Yancey, event organizer and UofA meat scientist. The Arkansas Cattlewomen will conclude the tour with beef and dairy food cooking demonstrations. “Typically, people feel more knowledgeable about doing their taxes than about making healthy food decisions for their families,” said Yancey. ROBERT POTTER photo Workers with Kinder Brothers Excavating removed debris from the Cache River logjam near Grubbs (Jackson Co.) earlier this month. The logjam drift there has contributed to flooding along the Cache River since the 1930s, causing many area farmers to lose crops. Work was scheduled to be completed on Sept. 10. SCOTT CO FB photo Scott County Farm Bureau hosted an educational booth at the local county fair on Sept. 5 and 6. County President Dan Wright of Waldron participated with other county leaders in manning the booth and took time to share fun facts about agriculture with students from Waldron Elementary School. “The cooking demonstrations will provide an opportunity for moms to ask healthoriented questions, and the tours will help them better understand where their food comes from.” For more information or to register, contact Janeal Yancey at 870-688-4247. Additional information about the Moms on the Farm tour can be found on Facebook. Water Plan meetings The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission will hold a third round of public meetings on the state Water Plan in October. Places, dates and times are as follows: • Heber Springs: Oct. 1, 3 pm; Community Center, 201 Bobbie Jean Ln. • Batesville: Oct. 7, 3 pm; Citizens Bank Meeting Room, 285 East College St. • Mt. Ida: Oct. 8, 3 pm; Civic Center, 145 Wittington St. • Fayetteville: Oct. 8, 3 pm; UofA, Pauline Whitaker Center, 1335 West Knapp St. • Harrison: Oct. 9, 3 pm; North Arkansas College, Durand Center, 303 North Main St. • Texarkana: Oct. 10, 1:30 pm; Southwest Community Punishment Center, 506 Walnut St. In honor of National Rice Month, the Arkansas rice industry donated more than 120,000 pounds of rice to the Arkansas Rice Depot on Sept. 12. Pictured at the ceremony, from left: Ark. Rice Depot President and CEO Laura Rhea, Ark. Rice Council Vice President Kyle Baltz, USA Rice Field Director Chuck Wilson, Ark. Rice Depot Chairman Neal Wimberley and ArFB’s Brandy Carroll. • Monticello: Oct. 11, 3 pm; UofA-Monticello, Gibson University Center, Caucus Room. Rice lands important for birds Privately owned rice lands in the United States “support approximately 45 percent of the North American wintering duck population and provide an estimated 60 percent of all dabbling duck foods in the Central Valley of California, 35 percent of all food along the Gulf Coast and 70 percent of food in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley,” according to a U.S. North American Bird Conservation Initiative report entitled, The State of the Birds 2013 Report on Private Lands United States of America. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the release of the 2013 report last month. The publication is part of the U.S. North American Bird Conservation Initiative and is a collaborative effort involving federal and state wildlife agencies, scientific groups and conservation organizations The report’s foreword says, “Private lands have critical conservation value, and landowners can measure their yield not only in bushels, but also in bluebirds, hawks and canvasbacks.” The contributions of rice lands to bird habitat are elaborated on in the report’s article entitled, “Private Lands Conservation Spotlight: Rice Farm Habitat for Waterbirds,” saying, “... these same habitats are also extremely important to shorebirds and other wetland-dependent birds ...” Editor Keith Sutton Elsewhere Affordable Care Act notice The Affordable Care Act requires all employers with more than $500,000 in annual gross receipts to provide their employees with an “Exchange Notice” by Oct. 1. The notice must be provided to all current and new full-time and parttime employees, including H2A workers and seasonal employees. This notice is required regardless of whether or not an employer offers health insurance to their employee(s). With the pending deadline quickly approaching, Arkansas Farm Bureau wanted to remind members of this requirement. ArFB’s rural health programs coordinator is staying on top of this issue, as is the governmental affairs department. A fact sheet offering guidance on how to comply with this new and ongoing requirement is available at www.arfb.com/ legislation-regulations/issue_update/default. aspx, along with sample forms employers can use to provide the required notification. KEITH SUTTON photo Allan Hudson with Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue-Shield was guest speaker at Prairie Co. FB’s annual meeting Sept. 17 at St. Peter’s on the Prairie Church in Tollville. Those in attendance enjoyed a home-cooked meal of chicken, rice and all the fixings prepared by church members. Afterward, county President Luke Hooks presided over the annual business meeting. email@example.com USA RICE photo In the Market As of Sept. 25, 2013 Grain Market Awaits Harvest, Livestock Market Searches for Cattle Volatility continues to be the central theme of the grain markets as we head into harvest. When the USDA released its monthly supply and demand estimates in September, drought in the Midwest forced a reduction in soybean yields and stocks to just 150 million bushels for 2013. A week later, most of the soybean crop received beneficial rains, and it now looks like yields will be stronger than expected. Corn that many thought earlier would yield around 150 bushels per acre nationally now looks as though it will push 160 bushels per acre. While yields appear to be improving for both crops, uncertainty remains around how many acres were planted. Following the supply and demand estimates in September, the USDA Farm Service Agency released their updated certified acreage numbers, which showed some 3.57 million acres of corn and 1.69 million acres of soybeans as prevented plantings. While little of these numbers have been incorporated into the USDA official estimate, historically the USDA will make major acreage revisions in October. While these numbers are likely to provide some support to the market, their impact will be far less today than they would have been four months ago as these numbers are in line with what the market expected from the Acreage Report earlier this year. As the expectations for a record corn crop and big soybean crop grow, the impact of the acreage adjustments are likely to be offset by improvements in the yield. If these changes had been made earlier, they would have extended the opportunity for producers to market corn above $5 and soybeans above $13. As we stand now, December corn prices continue to test contract lows at $4.47. As harvest pressure increases and more corn becomes available, corn prices are likely to move lower and put in seasonal lows between $4.25 and $4. While the USDA is likely to drop harvested acreage in October by between 2 million and 2.5 million acres, they also will likely adjust demand and leave ending stocks at around 1.8 billion bushels or more than three times this yearâ€™s level. Soybeans continue to trade the weather, and beneficial rains last week are expected to help carry the crop across the finish line. However, there is still a long time between now and harvest and anything could happen. Watch for prices to react sharply in the coming weeks if forecasters begin talking about freezing temperatures. These types of situations can offer southern producers an excellent opportunity to sell remaining production. For the time being, November soybeans have managed to hold support above the $13 level. If prices fail to hold this support and conditions continue to improve, expect prices to move lower and test support at $12.50. While there is still a lot of uncertainty about the U.S. soybean crop, the market is expecting South America to step in and fill any supply shortfalls that may occur, evident in the fact that May soybeans are trading at a 37-cent discount to November. Reports out of Brazil indicate producers are planning to plant another record soybean crop and acreage in Argentina and Paraguay also will remain strong. Over the last week, shortages in the global market of quality wheat have led to near-record weekly U.S. wheat exports this fall, allowing wheat prices to temporarily break from following corn and soybeans. Producers looking to plant winter wheat should look for opportunities now to price their wheat. Remember wheat is a product that is planted year-round and around the world, which allows it to respond quickly to market signals. Over the last two months, July 2014 wheat has traded in a sideways pattern between $6.90 and contract lows of $6.50, with current prices around $6.70. This is likely a good time to price wheat. The upside potential for wheat is limited, with the reality being, July wheat will be closer to $6 than $7 next spring. On Sept. 20, the USDA released its Cattle-on-Feed report, which showed only 1.788 million head on feed as of Sept. 1. These were the lowest placements since the USDA began recording these inventories in 1996. The number provided a much-needed boost in the market and pushed prices more than 2 cents higher in the days following the report. The low placement numbers are the result of producers holding cattle on grass for a longer period as drought conditions recede. The low placements and the smaller overall cattle herd compared to a year ago are expected to support this market through the end of the year and likely into the first part of 2014. With the expectation for lower corn prices, the margins on fed cattle are expected to improve, which also will help support live cattle prices in the near to medium term. CONTACT Brandy Carroll 501-228-1268, firstname.lastname@example.org Bruce Tencleve 501-228-1856, email@example.com Matt King 501-228-1297, matt. firstname.lastname@example.org Farm Bureau Press will be taking a short fall break. The next issue of Farm Bureau Press will come out on Oct. 25. Watch for the insert on events at the 2013 Arkansas State Fair and Livestock Show.