In Farm Bureau Freeze inducted into Hall of Fame Arkansas Farm Bureau state board member Mike Freeze of Keo has been inducted into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame. In addition to his work as a Farm Bureau leader, Freeze has been a fisheries biologist, an Arkansas Game and Fish commissioner, a partner in one of the nation’s major aquaculture Freeze operations (Keo Fish Farms) and president of the National Aquaculture Association. The Outdoor Hall of Fame began in 1992 as a project of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation to recognize Arkansans’ achievements in outdoor fields. My American Farm app The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has released a tablet
Cross County farmer Mike Wood (left) hosted National Resources Conservation Service Chief Jason Weller (right) on Aug. 28 at his rice and soybean farm near Cherry Valley. Weller spent three days touring Arkansas projects that are part of the federal agency’s Mississippi River Basin Initiative. Wood’s farm is one of six Arkansas Discovery Farms, where water-quality research is being conducted to determine the effectiveness of conservation practices at each site. app modeled after the popular agricultural game site, “My American Farm.” The app is now available for free download on iTunes and Google Play. The app features five games from My American Farm: In My Barn, My Little Ag Me, Equipment Engineer, Farmer’s Market Challenge and Ag Across America. App users are rewarded with a virtual sticker after successfully completing each game. Stickers can be dragged and dropped Jeffery Hall (left), ArFB’s associate director of governmental affairs, spoke on immigration reform in Arkansas during an Aug. 28 program at the Clinton School of Public Service. Hall discussed ArFB policy related to immigration and noted, “We’re closer than we have been in the past decade to passing meaningful immigration reform.”
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onto a virtual passport, allowing users to track their progress. New resources also have been developed to provide guidance for using the app in a traditional or non-traditional setting. A formal lesson plan for classroom instruction, as well as tips and tricks for suggested integration in a variety of settings are available at www.myamericanfarm.org/ games. For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A Publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation
September 13, 2013 • Vol. 16, No. 18
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State Reps. David Branscum of Marshall (left) and Michael Lamoureux of Russellville (far right) recognized Amber Campbell (fourth from left) and Jeremiah Smith (fourth from right) as Newton Co. FB’s Outstanding Young Farmers on Aug. 30 in Jasper. Posing with them are Campbell’s parents, Mary Lou and Richard, and Smith’s parents, Farren and Deloris.
Arkansas Farm Bureau helped sponsor “Foodie Friday” activities at the recent Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Conference. The conference took place at the Ferncliff Conference Center, Sept. 6-8, just outside of Little Rock. ArFB’s Susan Anglin (second from right) participated with her team in the cooking competition.
bassador team. Those selected as ambassadors were chosen in early July after submitting an application to the program and participating in an interview process. Each ambassador will serve a year in their role and receive a $1,000 scholarship for their efforts.
Agribusinesses that reserve an exhibit table ($50) will have the opportunity to meet with graduating students who are looking to enter the job market. A registration form can be downloaded at www. atu.edu/career/pdf/AgRegistrationForm1. pdf. For more information, contact Jayne Sewell at 479-968-0278 or email@example.com.
ATU to host ag career fair On Oct. 16, Arkansas Tech University in Russellville will host an Agriculture Career Fair from 9-11 a.m. in the W.O. Young Ballroom.
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Arkansans to serve as FFA ambassadors Twenty FFA members from throughout the country, including two from Arkansas, have been selected to serve on the National FFA Organization’s 2013-14 National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador team. Ashton Dawson of Bentonville and L. Jade Halliburton of Crossett, along with 18 teammates, underwent specialized training Aug. 5-9 in Greensboro, N.C., to learn how to best advocate for agriculture and agricultural education throughout the nation. Each ambassador must complete a minimum of 30 hours of presentations to businesses, schools, community groups and more. They also will conduct seminars and workshops to audiences of all ages interested in learning more about the agriculture industry. Together, this group of ambassadors help increase public understanding of the food, fiber and natural resources industry; promote awareness of the scientific, economical and mechanical resources needed to produce a safe and reliable food source; increase awareness of career opportunities in the agriculture industry for collegiate students and the general public; and help provide growth opportunities in leadership, facilitation and the agricultural industry for the collegiate agriculture am-
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Crawford Co. FB held a legislative appreciation dinner Sept. 3 in Van Buren to recognize local officials for their support of agriculture. County President Randy Arnold (left) presented a certificate of appreciation and watermelon to (left to right) Rep. Charlotte Vining Douglas, Rep. Charlene Fite, Rep. Bill Gossage, Sen. Bryan King and Sen. Bruce Holland.
Dozens of people, including numerous members of Boone Co. FB, were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of the new Boone County Extension and 4-H Center in Harrison on Sept. 5. Boone Co. FB had an extensive role in making this a reality, donating $25,000 to renovate the livestock barn that is part of the new facility.
SAU drops dairy program Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia is eliminating its century-old dairy program. “It was to the point where we had to decide whether to reinvest a lot of money into a whole new facility or shut it down,” said Rusty Hayes, director of the school’s farm operations. “One of the main issues was lack of student interest. None of them wanted to wake up at 4:30 a.m. and come back at 4:30 p.m. to milk.” SAU’s decision to shutter its dairy is emblematic of the shape of that industry in our state. Over the past few decades, the dairy industry in Arkansas has been in major decline. “Twenty years ago, there were more than 800 dairies in the state,” said ArFB dairy expert Bruce Tencleve. “Today, there are only 80. That’s a 90-percent decrease.” According to Tencleve, there are a number of reasons for that enormous drop. First, feed prices have skyrocketed in recent years. Combine that with stagnant milk prices and Arkansas’ humid climate (which typically lowers a cow’s milk
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New fact sheet about raw milk Raw cow’s milk became legal to sell in Arkansas on Aug. 16. Before dairy farmers start selling raw milk or consumers start drinking raw milk, they may want to read a new fact sheet on the subject published by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture’s Public Policy Center. “There are a lot of questions about raw cow’s milk,” said Tom Riley, director of the center. “The center’s fact sheet includes some of the reasons why people want to drink raw cow’s milk and the multiple health risks the unpasteurized dairy product may present.” Arkansas’ new law allows the sale of raw cow’s milk straight from the farm but not anywhere else. Nor is the resale of
ArFB Executive Vice President Ewell Welch, with his wife Deanna, was presented a special plaque by Yell Co. FB members at the organization’s annual meeting Aug. 26 in Havana, Welch’s home town. The plaque recognizes “36 years of service to Arkansas Farm Bureau.” Welch will retire Oct. 31. He has served as Farm Bureau’s executive vice president since 2002.
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output) and, basically, we have a situation where it costs more money to run a dairy than a dairy can make. “Also, there’s been a big shift in how and where milk in this country is being produced,” Tencleve said. “As costs have gone up, the industry’s inclined toward larger, more efficient operations. Most of our dairies are in the cooler, hillier parts of the state. The cows graze on rolling grass hills. That terrain’s more conducive to small farms, not large-scale operations.”
Mississippi Co. FB honored its living past presidents and their spouses at its annual meeting Aug. 26 in Burdette, including (l to r) Mark Bryles, David Wildy, Mr. and Mrs. Justin Wildy, Mr. and Mrs. Randy Veach, Mr. and Mrs. Benton Felts, Mr. and Mrs. Lowry Robinson, Bill Jackson, Mike Overstreet, Randy Reynolds, Mike Sullivan, C.F. Tompkins Jr., Heath Adkisson and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Moore.
raw milk permitted under the law, which requires dairy farmers to display signs at their operation informing consumers the milk isn’t pasteurized or inspected by the state. Dairy farmers are limited to selling 500 gallons of raw milk each month. Prior to Aug. 16, Arkansas law allowed limited sales of raw goat’s milk only. The fact sheet is posted on the Public Policy Center’s website at ppc.uaex.edu. Bean farmer tops 100-bushel mark Nelson Crow, 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,” Crow said. The yield from his 5.4-acre block was certified Aug. 30 at 100.82 bushels per acre as part of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board’s “Race for 100.” “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,” Crow said. “I knew we had a shot at it, but didn’t think we would ever do it.” Crow used the Pioneer 93Y92 soybean variety. 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.
Elsewhere Conservation reduces sediment, runoff A new U.S. Dept. of Agriculture report shows farmers have significantly reduced the loss of sediment and nutrients from farm fields through voluntary conservation work in the lower Mississippi River basin. For example, practices such as erosion control and nutrient management have reduced edge-of-field losses of sediment by 35 percent, nitrogen by 21 percent and phosphorous by 52 percent. “Farmers and ranchers work hard to conserve the land and water, and this report shows the tremendous impact they’ve had for the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “We need to keep up the momentum by providing scientific and technical expertise that supports conservation in agriculture. To continue these efforts, we need Congress to act on a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Act as soon as possible.” The report is part of USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project, or CEAP, which uses advanced modeling techniques to assess the effects of conservation practices. Editor Keith Sutton
In the Market As of Sept. 10, 2013
SOYBEAN futures are dependent on the weather right now. The crop ratings showed minor deterioration this week, with 52 percent of the crop now rated good to excellent. That was not as much as traders were expecting, though, and that added pressure early in the week. The November chart is looking toppy, but a close below the bottom of the gap at $13.31½ is needed to confirm that a top has been put in. Traders are expecting USDA to lower their national average soybean yield estimate, with the average trade guess coming in at 41.2 bushels per acre, compared with the August estimate of 42.6 bushels. That results in a total production down 115 million bushels from USDA’s August estimate. However, world carryover stocks are at a record high. That fact, coupled with a price ratio that favors beans over corn and could result in more soybean acres in South America, will likely limit the upside potential of the market. WHEAT futures have been under pressure, mostly from weakness in corn futures. Minor, if any, changes are expected in this week’s USDA reports for wheat. It is likely this market will continue to follow corn. From a technical standpoint, wheat contracts are chopping along just above support at contract lows. For December, that is near $6.35, while overhead trendline resistance is near $6.75. New crop July has support at $6.57 and trendline resistance near $7.20. CORN futures are locked in a downtrend. The trade is expecting USDA to increase their national average corn yield estimate from the initial estimate of 154 bushels per
acre. December corn is holding above support at the contract low of $4.47 for the time being, but that is likely to change when USDA releases their new production estimate at the end of the week. Any strength will be met with downtrending resistance currently near $4.95. Basis levels are weakening in many areas as new crop corn from the South is shipped to the Midwest and old crop, farm-stored corn comes to market to empty the bins as well. COTTON prices began the week on a positive note. The market sold off hard over the past couple of weeks, but found support at the bottom of a trading channel that has held the market for seven months. For December, support is at 81.72 cents. The market had moved into oversold territory, and that has resulted in some buying interest. Huge weekly export sales of 163,300 running bales also added to the bullish undertone in the cotton market. Look for the USDA report to provide additional support, as hot, dry conditions have likely cut into the yield potential of the crop. RICE futures have been under significant pressure in recent days. Harvest is now in full swing, and early yield reports are good. Nationwide, USDA says 24 percent of the crop had been harvested by the end of last week. Arkansas farmers have 11 percent of the crop out, compared with a five-year average of 30 percent. The crop is in good shape, with USDA
reporting that 71 percent of the crop is rated good to excellent. November rice futures have crashed through several layers of chart support in the selloff, but so far have held at trendline support at $15.25. Tough competition on the export front, with U.S. rice prices coming in approximately $200 more per ton than Thai prices, will continue to be a challenge for the U.S. rice industry. CATTLE charts are looking bearish after futures charted a bearish reversal last week. December has trendline support near $128.50. A close below the trendline would likely set the market up for a retest of support just below $127. Futures’ premium-tocash prices are adding to the weaker undertone. HOG futures are moving to new contract highs on a nearly daily basis. Cash hogs are being supported by hot weather, which is keeping hog weights down and in some cases limiting marketings. However, forecasts for warmer-than-average temperatures to continue across the middle of the country through at least September 20 have sparked optimism that grilling season is not over and meat demand will remain solid for a few more weeks. It is unlikely that the upward momentum will be sustained much longer, though, as marketings should begin to increase. Weakness in corn futures is bearish for deferred hogs, as traders worry that it will result in herd expansion.
CONTACT • Brandy Carroll 501-228-1268, firstname.lastname@example.org • Bruce Tencleve 501-228-1856, email@example.com • Matt King 501-228-1297, firstname.lastname@example.org