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In Farm Bureau Dairy Contest finalists named The finalists have been selected for the state Dairy Foods Contest. The 61st Annual Arkansas Dairy Foods Contest will be May 30 in Little Rock. This annual event kicks off June’s National Dairy Month and is sponsored by Arkansas Farm Bureau and the Arkansas Dairy Cooperative Association. The contest is divided into two categories: Main Dish and Party Idea. Each county could enter one recipe in each of the two categories. Finalists in the main dish category are: • Avi Allred – Benton County • Truett Brannon – Stone County • Isaac Overman – Newton County • Abby Frizzell – Johnson County Finalists in the party idea category are: • Keylee Harris – Independence County • Luke Baker – Benton County • Emma Ferren – White County • Maggie Mason – Jackson County

Gardening author Jill McSheehy (left), Pope County Farm Bureau board member Jason Drew (middle) and Pottsville Junior High teacher Tina Taylor pose with students from Taylor’s class by the Victory Garden at Pottsville Junior High. Taylor recently received a $500 grant from ArFB Garden Grant to build a community garden with the help of Pope Co. FB. Taylor began planning the garden last winter to teach her students about growing food, as well as to bring awareness about food insecurities. The contest is for students enrolled in 4-H, ags 9-19 or in the fourth-grade through 12th grades as of Jan. 1 and living in Arkansas. Home-schooled students were also eligible. Entries were approved by the county dairy committee or by the county Extension agent. Each contestant agreed to participate in the state cook-off if his or her recipe was selected for the semifinals.

In Arkansas USDA seeks feedback from Arkansas growers

It’s usually summer before farmers have to start irrigating crops like corn and soybeans, but despite a wetter than normal spring in many parts of Arkansas this year, lack of rainfall and low humidity in the Delta have forced many rowcrop producers to start watering much earlier than normal.

POPE CO. FB photo

During the next several weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct two major mid-year surveys, the June Agricultural Survey and the June Area Survey. The agency will contact nearly 11,000 producers across the Delta Region to determine crop acreage and stock levels as of June 1. “Two of the most important and wellknown surveys NASS conducts are the June Agricultural Survey and June Area Survey, due to the widespread and significant impact of their results,” explained Eugene Young, director delta regional office. “When


A Publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation

May 18, 2018 • Vol. 22, No. 10


CLAY CO. FB photos

Sabrina Woolverton and Debbie Pollard, Clay Co. FB Women’s committee members, presented the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s 2018 Book of the Year to the Piggott Public Library. Each year the foundation chooses one book that portrays agriculture and producers. This year’s book is “John Deere, That’s Who!” by Tracy Nelson Maurer.

Scores of guests attended a retirement reception for member service representative Suzanne Minton (pictured here, fourth from left, with her family) on May 15 at the Pulaski Co. FB office. “When I began, my plan was to work for two years while my husband was attending nursing school,” Suzanne said. “But my two years turned into 25.” She’ll be missed by all.

cooperation”. NASS will analyze the survey information and publish the results in a series of USDA reports, including the annual acreage and quarterly grain stocks reports, both to be released June 29, 2018. Survey data also contribute to NASS’s monthly and annual crop production reports, the annual Small Grains Summary, the annual farms and land in farms and

land values reports, various livestock reports, including Cattle, Sheep and Goats, and Hogs and Pigs, and USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.



growers respond to these surveys, they provide essential information that helps determine the expected acreage and supply of major commodities in the United States for the 2018 crop year. Results of this survey are used by farmers and ranchers, USDA, businesses, exporters, researchers, economists, policymakers and others who use the survey information in making a wide range of decisions that benefit you as a producer.” Data for the June Agricultural Survey is gathered by NASS via the internet, mail, phone or an in-person interview. For the June Area Survey, trained NASDA enumerators representing NASS visit select tracts of land and interview the operators of any farm or ranch within that selected tract. Growers are asked to provide information on planted and harvested acreage – including acreage for biotech crops – and grain stocks. Additionally, the survey collects data on livestock inventory, cash rents, land values and value of sales. “NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only state – and national-data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified,” said Young. “We recognize this is a hectic time for farmers and ranchers, but the information they provide helps U.S. agriculture remain viable and capable. I encourage them to respond to these surveys and thank them in advance for their

The Hempstead Co. FB board of directors presented HAPS with a $500 check from the Arkansas Farm Bureau Foundation. The money will aid in funding Denny’s Place, a Memorial Garden honoring the late Denver Dickinson. Dickinson was a successful farmer and businessman, and also served on the county board of directors for many years, serving several years as president.

Gracen McRae (middle), a senior at Bentonville High School, is one of Benton Co. FB’s scholarship recipients. She will attend the University of Arkansas in the fall and plans to major in elementary education. McRae is pictured here with her parents, Chad and Marla McRae. Chad is the manager of the Northwest Arkansas Claims Center.

Volunteers sought for Bayou Bartholomew cleanup The world’s longest bayou could use a little help May 26 from litter-removing volunteers to help keep the waterway from suffering a similar fate as that part of the Pacific Ocean known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Bayou Bartholomew Cleanup and Discovery Day is a watershed stewardship event designed to immerse participants in nature, remove litter from the environment and teach a little bit about one of Arkansas’ natural wonders. The event runs 9 a.m. until noon and begins at the Dr. Curtis Merrell Access to the Bayou Bartholomew Water Trail located at 5401 S. Olive St. in Pine Bluff. Partners in the event include Keep Arkansas Beautiful, the City of Pine Bluff, Jefferson County and the Jefferson County Solid Waste District. Bayou Bartholomew winds nearly 400 miles through Arkansas into Louisiana before it empties into the Ouachita River. “According to Scientific Reports, an international science journal, the size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has increased to twice the size of Texas and

Elsewhere AFBF urges House members to oppose harmful farm bill amendments As farmers and ranchers suffer under an agriculture recession entering its fifth year, the American Farm Bureau Federation and more than 300 other organizations are calling on House members to stand firmly against amendments to the farm bill (H.R. 2) that would hurt farm and ranch families. “A core purpose of a farm bill at any time is to help the country’s farmers and ranchers weather factors beyond their control, including natural disasters, disease, and high and rising foreign subsidies, tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers. This is especially true during


is composed of mostly plastic; with large amounts of glass, metal, paper and cloth also present,” said John Pennington, extension stormwater educator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, most of this marine debris comes directly from littering or poor solid waste management practices, such as continuing to pile trash on an already overfilled waste receptacle.” Pennington said that “in most urbanized watersheds, pollutants — such as litter — get washed into storm drains by rain water and carried directly into creeks, bayous and lakes untreated. “Once trash ends up in these waterways, it causes negative economic impacts by lowering recreational quality, causing harm to wildlife, endangering water quality and marine food supplies and diminishing overall quality of life,” he said. “Fortunately, individuals and groups wanting to improve their community, water and wildlife habitat quality, and quality of life from the bayou to the ocean can make a positive impact by joining in the effort to remove litter from both their communities and the wild places that they like to visit,” Pennington said. To learn more about participating in the Bayou Bartholomew Cleanup and Watershed Discovery Day or about protecting water quality, contact Jefferson County Urban Stormwater Agent John Pennington at or visit

A group of ArFB leaders — including President Randy Veach, Vice President Rich Hillman, Treasurer Joe Christian and state board member Dan Wright — visited Washington, D.C. this week to discuss the 2018 farm bill with Arkansas’ congressional delegation. The group met with Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Representatives Rick Crawford and French Hill. hard economic times,” the groups wrote in a May 9 letter. While several potentially harmful proposals have surfaced in recent weeks, three possible amendments most frequently reported on by the media propose to gut crop insurance, undermine sugar policy and impose unworkable payment limits. “We oppose these and any other

amendments to H.R. 2 that would harm American farmers and ranchers and jeopardize passage of the bill on the House floor. During a prolonged recession in agriculture, failure to pass a farm bill on time would undermine the financial security of America’s food, fuel, crop and fiber producers,” the groups said. The letter can be found at Editor Maddison Stewart

In the Market As of May 15, 2018

Argentine peso hits record low Argentina’s peso has fallen to a record low, tumbling almost 7 percent. The International Monetary Fund said it won’t set any exchange-rate targets for a stand-by arrangement. That pushes the currency’s decline this year to 26 percent, the worst in emerging markets. Argentina President Mauricio Macri spoke by phone with U.S. President Donald Trump and said the U.S. supported his discussions with the IMF. U.S. and Japan trade deal Japan and the U.S. are moving toward an agreement on bilateral trade, U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty said at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council meeting in Tokyo, noting an American trade delegation visited Tokyo this week. Hagerty provided no details or a timeframe for a deal, but said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s economy minister, were making “great advances.” Food labeling USDA recently proposed new guidelines for labeling foods that contain bioengineered (BE) ingredients. Food makers will be required by federal law to use the labels, starting in 2020. The public has until July 3 to comment on the proposed guidelines. U.S. and China trade talks The Trump administration is working to protect the agricultural industry regarding trade issues with China both via direct talks with Beijing and the use of government support, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week. Ross told members of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that agriculture

“featured quite prominently” in recent trade discussions with the Chinese delegation in Beijing. Sec. Perdue may back export RINs Trump directed USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to review an option that would allow exported ethanol to qualify for biofuel credits/RINs. Perdue said he could support the option if EPA offsets the impact of waivers from the RFS that increasingly have been provided to refiners. “We are fine with that as long as the previously waived gallons that took us down below 14 billion gallons be reallocated” in future mandates to get domestic ethanol usage to the 15 billion gallons required by law, he said. Refiners, meanwhile, could head to the courts to block the vapor pressure waiver necessary to allow year-around sales of E15. China’s soybean imports China’s ag ministry says that 201819 will mark the first time in 15 years that China will cut its soybean imports. It calls for soybean imports to fall 0.3 percent to 95.65 MMT. Rising soymeal prices in the midst of a U.S. and China trade dispute has the nation’s pig farmers on the hunt for cheaper proteins, especially since hog prices are at multi-year lows. Also playing into this, the country is working to boost its ethanol production and use, which is in turn increasing supplies of dried distillers grain (DDGs). The ministry also expects a 4.9 percent rise in Chinese bean production to 15.27 MMT in 2018-19, with the launch of an “emergency” campaign helping to prop up plantings. USDA halts organic checkoff The U.S. Department of Agriculture, citing lack of interest from growers, has put an end to a campaign for a national research and promotion program for organic produce and other products. The measure, backed by the Organic Trade Association, would have assessed producers to

pay for the program, raising at least $30 million a year. When the OTA officially petitioned the USDA three years ago for the program, it cited a survey showing a 2-to-1 margin of support for the issue. USDA forecast for rice and cotton The 2018-19 outlook for U.S. rice is for higher supplies, exports, domestic use, and ending stocks. All rice production in the U.S. is projected at 203.2 million cwt, up 14 percent from the previous year, primarily on a larger expected long-grain crop. U.S. 2018-19 total use is projected at 223.0 million cwt, up 3 percent from 2017-18 with both domestic and residual use and exports higher. Long-grain exports are projected up 4 percent to 72 million cwt on improved price competitiveness with increased exportable supplies. All rice ending stocks are projected at 40.5 million cwt, up 18 percent from 2017-18 with most of the increase for long-grain. The 2018-19 global rice outlook is for record-high production, consumption, and trade. World 201819 ending stocks are projected at 144.7 million tons, up marginally from 2017-18. China is projected to hold the majority of stocks at 67 percent of the total. The 2018-19 outlook for U.S. cotton is for smaller production, unchanged exports, and slightly higher ending stocks. Domestic mill use in 201819 is projected slightly higher at 3.4 million bales, while exports are expected to remain unchanged at 15.5 million. At 5.2 million bales, 2018-19 ending stocks are projected 500,000 bales higher than the year before, and equivalent to 28 percent of total use. The world 2018-19 cotton projections show a decline in stocks of 4.5 million bales, as consumption once again exceeds production.


Matt King 501-228-1297,

Farm Bureau Press for May 18  

Read the latest edition of the Farm Bureau Press!

Farm Bureau Press for May 18  

Read the latest edition of the Farm Bureau Press!