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June 2010

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Envirothon Tests Knowledge of Natural Systems

Volume 14, Issue 4

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New Sawmill Opens in Emmett

Idaho Farm Bureau

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Livestock Outlook Positive


Farmers are Putting the ‘Skinny’ in Production By Bob Stallman AFBF President

Today’s farmers and ranchers grow more food with fewer resources. Conservation tillage is up and soil erosion is declining. As farmers and ranchers, we know this based on our experience. Now, a new report confirms this has occurred nationwide. The 2010 National Resources Inventory (NRI) recently released by the Agriculture Department’s Natu-

Illegal Immigration is Against the Law By Frank Priestley President Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

Pop Quiz: What’s worse, getting a handle on the illegal immigration that costs our government upwards of $20 billion per year, or doing nothing about the problem because someone might get offended?

Your Voice is Sought By Rick Keller CEO Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

A great strength of the Idaho Farm Bureau is its policy. Policy development is a collaborative process in consolidating the numerous ideas and resolutions to what ails a farm and ranch family. Not all can agree, but as research has shows, eighty2

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

The Ag Agenda ral Resources Conservation Service shows that farmers and ranchers are careful and caring stewards of our nation’s natural resources. The massive report, coupled with the latest USDA productivity figures, confirms the shrinking environmental footprint of our efforts to produce food and fiber in the United States. This is good news that should not go unreported. A Lot Can Happen in 60 Years

The NRI is a compilation of a broad range of 50 years of data related to the environment, U.S. land use and productivity, water consumption and many other factors. Careful analysis of the data by AFBF quantifies how farm and ranch productivity has increased over the past two and a half decades, while at the same time environmental performance and water quality have improved. See STALLMAN, page 4

The amount of dissent and liberal media backlash triggered by recent passage of an Arizona law requiring police officers to enforce an already-existing federal immigration law is astounding. Arizona residents lost patience while waiting for the federal government to do its job of enforcing the border. It’s not hard to see why when ranchers and other landowners along the border are being killed, crime and drug activity along the border are rampant and countless other property damage is occurring. Arizonans have

a right to expect some protection from their government.

five (85) percent of Farm Bureau members are in consensus with the outcome.

policy. It is that simple.

A primary key to the development of sound policy is member feedback. The American Farm Bureau Board of Directors is seeking member policy development on six issues for our next Congressional session. Review these topics and reply to your county Farm Bureau. Your input will be combined with that of your friends and neighbors. This will initiate the grassroots process in developing sound Farm Bureau

But after enacting a state law empowering Arizona police officers to check documents of anyone suspected of being there illegally, a mirror of existing federal law, the liberal establishment on both coasts set out to prove that Arizona is full of illiterate redneck racists. This is typical liberal drivel from people who live thousands of miles away from the problem and care more about the chance that someone’s See PRIESTLEY, page 5

The issues are: 2012 Farm Bill: With the 2008 farm bill expiring in September 2012 congressional hearings on the next farm bill have begun. Discussion and debate will be taking place in an environment characterized by tight fiscal constraints, increasing aversion to spending programs, and presidential-election-year dynamics. Thus, configuring the farm inSee KELLER, page 5


Volume 14, Issue 4 IFBF OFFICERS President ....................................Frank Priestley, Franklin Vice President .................................. Mark Trupp, Driggs Executive Vice President ............................... Rick Keller BOARD OF DIRECTORS Bryan Searle ............................................................ Shelley Scott Bird ........................................................... Pocatello Chris Dalley ........................................................Blackfoot Dean Schwendiman ............................................Newdale Danny Ferguson ........................................................ Rigby Scott Steele ..................................................... Idaho Falls Gerald Marchant ................................................... Oakley Rick Pearson .................................................... Hagerman Mike Garner............................................................... Declo Curt Krantz ............................................................ Parma Mike McEvoy..................................................... Middleton Tracy Walton ....................................................... Emmett Marjorie French ............................................... Princeton Bob Callihan . ....................................................... Potlatch Louis Kins ........................................................... Kootenai Carol Guthrie ......................................................... Inkom Austin Tubbs............................................................... Malad STAFF Dir. of Admin. Services ........................ Nancy Shiozawa Dir. of Member Services ................................... Ray Poe Dir. of Commodities ............................. Gary Fuhriman Commodity Assistant .................................. Peggy Pratt Membership Assistant ............................... Peggy Moore Market Information Assistant ................. Dixie Ashton Dist. I Regional Manager ........................ Kendall Keller Dist. II Regional Manager ..................... Dennis Brower Dist. III Regional Manager ................... Charles Garner Dist. IV Regional Manager ................... Russ Hendricks Dist.V Regional Manager ....................... Bob Smathers Director of Governmental Affairs ............ Kent Lauer Asst. Dir. of Governmental Affairs .... Dennis Tanikuni Range/Livestock Specialist........................... Wally Butler Director of Public Relations .............. John Thompson Video Services Manager ............................. Steve Ritter Broadcast Services Manager .................... Jake Putnam Office Manager, Boise ............................ Shawna Yasuda Member Services Manager ........................ Joel Benson Printed by: Owyhee Publishing, Homedale, ID GEM STATE PRODUCER USPS #015-024, is published monthly except February, May, August and November by the IDAHO FARM BUREAU FEDERATION, 275 Tierra Vista Drive, Pocatello, ID 83201. POSTMASTER send changes of address to: GEM STATE PRODUCER P.O. Box 4848, Pocatello, ID 83205-4848. Periodicals postage paid at Pocatello, Idaho, and additional mailing offices. Subscription rate: $6.00 per year included in Farm Bureau dues.

MAGAZINE CONTACTS: Idaho Farm Bureau Federation EDITOR (208) 239-4292 • ADS (208) 239-4279 E-MAIL: dashton@idahofb.org www.idahofb.org

Cover: Students from Challis High School compete in the Envirothon at Living Waters Ranch. Photo by Steve Ritter

Students from all over Idaho competed in early May in the annual Envirothon. The students tested their problem-solving skills related to forestry, wildlife, aquatics and soils.

Contest Trains Future Natural Resource Leaders Story and Photos by John Thompson CHALLIS – Envirothon is a contest for high school students aimed at training and testing them in five different areas related to natural resource conservation. In early May about 75 Idaho high school students traveled to the Living Waters Ranch about seven miles west of Challis to learn and test their understanding of natural systems including soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife and environmental issues. In teams of five the students meet with experts in aquatics, forestry, wildlife and soils and are also presented a scenario of a current environmental issue that they must assess. Kent Foster, former executive director of the Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts, said the contest, sponsored by Canon, began in 1978. There are 43 states and seven Canadian provinces that participate and a winner from each state is invited to an international competition each year. Idaho has participated since 1992. Foster said the contest exposes students to a range of disciplines and possible career paths. The competition can accommodate as many as 25 teams and they would like to see more participation from high schools around the state. “Our main purpose and goal is to educate our young adults on the importance of protecting our environment and natural resources,” he said. “In past years we have had several students take an interest and move into those fields of study. Many of them have gone on to work for various state and federal agencies.” The contest has been moved around the state but for the past eight years it has been held at the Living Waters Ranch, a private, modern facility with a large meeting room See ENVIROTHON page 4 Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

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ENVIROTHON Continued from page 3 / cafeteria, several cabins, a stream and many other accommodations. Foster said the Ranch is an excellent venue because it provides hands-on experience for the students. Experts from the Idaho Fish and Game Department, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service and other state and federal agencies spend time lecturing the students and judging the work turned in. At the soils and land use station students learn about soil structure, how to interpret maps, and how to evaluate land forms and soil characteristics that affect agricultural and development issues. Regarding aquatics, the students work alongside biologists to assess the quality of delicate ecosystems. They also learn to identify aquatic insects, manage watersheds and determine non-point source pollution. In forestry they learn practices for maintaining healthy forest ecosystems through the help of professional foresters. They also learn management approaches, species identification and forest structure dynamics. And in wildlife they learn about animal populations, their dynamics and the importance of habitat conservation. Under environmental issues the students are presented with a difficult problem to solve. They must spend time developing a presentation aimed at solving the problem and

the entire team must take part in the presentation. This year’s topic is “Protection of Groundwater Through Urban, Agricultural and Environmental Planning.”

lot of employees in state and federal agencies from the Baby Boom generation whom are preparing to retire, opening up a lot of good jobs.

Wayne Newbill, interim executive director of the Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts, said teachers in several high schools around the state direct curriculum that helps prepare students for the competition. At some schools they work on it yearround.

“When you look at our natural resource agencies right now and the average age of those individuals, there are a large percentage of individuals eligible to retire in the next few years,” he said. “These agencies are mature and there are tremendous opportunities coming in the natural resource fields. We need some good kids to step in and fill these roles.”

“It allows the kids to come up here in natural habitat and see how natural resources work and how conservation of those natural resources works,” Newbill said. “There are lots of professionals and natural resources conservation experts here working with the kids.”

This year’s international Envirothon Competition takes place at California State University in Fresno, California. For more information on Envirothon and its sponsors check out www.envirothon.org

Newbill discussed the importance of developing the next generation of natural resource conservation leaders. He said The top team from Idaho in the Envirothon Competition will move on to compete there are a in an international competition held this year in California.

STALLMAN Continued from page 2 There are several major points from the survey that I think tell a compelling story about agriculture. First off, today’s farmers produce more food with fewer resources. While farm and ranch productivity has increased dramatically since 1950, the use of resources (labor, seeds, feed, fertilizer, etc.) required for production has declined markedly. For example, in 2008 farmers produced 262 percent more food with 2 percent fewer inputs, compared with 1950. Secondly, farmers can feed more people thanks to the miracle of productivity. Total 4 #

U.S. crop yield has increased more than 360 percent since 1950, helping America’s farmers and ranchers do our part to feed a growing world.

decline. Careful stewardship by America’s food producers spurred a nearly 50 percent decline in erosion of cropland by wind and water since 1982.

What Makes a Happy Cow?

These facts, based on in-the-field science, are worth sharing. Farm and ranch families today are caring for our natural resources while feeding our nation. In fact, we are doing so with greater efficiency than ever before. I guess you could say we are cutting the fat and putting the “skinny” in production. Any way you slice it, that makes sense for people and our planet.

Additional points of importance include how America’s dairy farmers are producing more milk with less feed. It takes 40 percent less feed for a cow to produce 100 pounds of milk than it did 30 years ago. Further, U.S. farm land used for crops has declined by 70 million acres or 15 percent, since 1982. And soil erosion continues to

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010


Priestley Continued from page 2 rights will be violated than in taking care of a problem that is costing billions in taxpayer dollars every year. Where was the outrage when illegal drug runners shot and killed Arizona rancher Robert Krentz in late March? The killing of Krentz, whose family has run cattle along the border in Cochise County for 103 years, pushed Arizona lawmakers to the edge, instigating the passage of SB 1070, which requires people to carry paperwork to verify legal status and allows police to detain anyone they think could be in the country illegally. Arizona is taking a proactive approach at dealing with a serious and costly problem. At the same time they are sending the federal government a strong message to get busy on securing our borders and enforcing the law. In spite of liberal outrage, recent polls have shown that a majority, up to 73 percent of

Americans in one survey, support Arizona’s actions to curb illegal immigration. Yet liberals are calling for boycotts and attempting to punish Arizona. The city of Los Angeles recently adopted language boycotting the state of Arizona. Mayors of St. Paul, Minn., and San Francisco have banned city employees from traveling to Arizona, and the cities of Boston, Austin, Seattle and Washington D.C. are considering economic boycotts. Cancelled conventions and other tourism-related cancellations are estimated to have cost the city of Phoenix $90 million dollars so far. Efforts to pass similar laws are being debated in several states. Here in Idaho a law that would punish employers has been brought up during the last two sessions. While our organization supports enforcement and reform of existing immigration laws, we will continue to oppose any law

that puts the burden of validating citizenship on business owners. This provision is a backdoor attempt to address a much bigger problem and it’s unfair to punish employers who hire workers with fake documentation. We need guest workers and a guest worker program that provides a legal workforce without a lot of burdensome federal red tape. While we sympathize with Arizona’s plight, we believe illegal immigration is a 50-state problem that needs a federal solution. There are an estimated 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. today with an estimated 3,000 to 8,000 crossing the border every day. Regardless of political denomination, it’s time for Congress and President Obama to push this matter to the top of the priority list and get together on a solution.

KELLER Continued from page 2 come safety net in a manner that addresses the market realities facing producers in the coming years may call for a fundamental change in program priorities. How do we modify the existing farm income safety net so that it provides meaningful protection from risk in this environment of declining budgets? Commodity Warehouses: There is concern that current bonding and insurance has not provided adequate coverage for commodity producers. While there are federal warehouse oversight programs, these are currently voluntary programs and thus also fail to adequately protect commodity producers. What needs to be changed to ensure producers are protected?  Crop Insurance: In many respects, the federally-supported crop insurance program overlaps with commodity support programs. The growing participation of producers in insurance programs as well as the improved product offerings suggests

at least the potential for these programs to replace current farm safety net provisions in the next Farm Bill. Can crop insurance replace current safety net provisions and if so what would it encompass? Dairy Policy: While, no safety net could adequately compensate for the economic devastation dairy producers faced in 2009, many producers, industry organizations and policy makers believe that the current dairy safety net and milk pricing structures are outdated and do not effectively protect dairy producers. Despite small changes to formulas, data collection and reductions in the number of milk marketing orders USDA sets milk prices in a similar way to how it set prices in the post-Depression era. Is the price support program still relevant to today’s dairy producers?  Food Safety: Since California and Arizona implemented two popular Leafy Green Product agreements, there has been a movement to develop similar programs at

the national level. The Agriculture Departments Agricultural Marketing Service has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to create the National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (NLGMA) with the intent of enhancing food safety within the industry. Should AFBF support the NLGMA? Incremental Beef Trade: Historically, the United States (U.S.) has taken a firm international position that countries should follow sound science and internationally recognized standards in setting trade and import policies. The issue is whether the U.S. should move away from this requirement and instead in some situations consider and “incremental” approach to opening foreign markets to U.S. beef exports. What are the potential opportunities and challenges, both in the short-term and in the long-term to be considered?  

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Neil and Hazel MacMillan visited a few farms and ranchers in eastern Idaho in early May. They are sheep and cattle producers from New Zealand. In this photo they are speaking with sheep and cattle seed stock producers Ken Andrus and his brother Jim in Caribou County. Left to right, Hazel MacMillan, Ken Andrus, Neil MacMillan and Jim Andrus. Photo by Gary Fuhriman

New Zealand Farmers Visit Idaho By John Thompson

son near American Falls.

POCATELLO – First of all, in New Zealand they don’t call it ranching. It’s cattle or sheep farming, or dairying. When comparing agriculture in Idaho to this South Pacific island nation, that’s merely only one of many subtle differences.

Similar to Canada, New Zealand has a comparatively small population of about five million people, yet they produce significant volumes of agricultural commodities which must be exported. Dairy products, beef, lamb, wool and timber are the major commodities under production. The climate is mild and they receive about 60 inches of rain per year. Neil said they have about four “frost events” per year at their farm. Their biggest weather-related concern is flooding that often follows tropical storms. Their farm flooded five times last year.

Neil and Hazel MacMillan farm on the north end of New Zealand’s north island, known as “Northland.” They produce sheep and cattle for export markets, mainly in the United Kingdom and they formerly owned a dairy. The MacMillan’s traveled through eastern Idaho in early May and were able to visit ranches owned by Ken Andrus near Soda Springs, Jim and Carol Guthrie in Inkom and a dairy owned by Greg Ander6

Their two growing seasons are spring and fall. “We grow grass all winter, but just a slower rate,” he said. “The summer can be

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

dry and we have no irrigation on the north island.” The islands are rich in natural resources including rivers that generate hydro power and geothermal sources that together supply most of the country’s energy needs. They produce about 40 percent of their petroleum needs. Both islands are mountainous but the north has more hills and grazing land while many of the south island’s mountains exceed 10,000 feet in elevation. Neil said it’s not a good region for cereal crops due to the wet autumn conditions that cause sprouting. Most of the livestock are finished on grass. A small amount of grain is imported from See NEW ZEALAND page 27


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Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

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New Sawmill Opens in Emmett By Jake Putnam EMMETT - A working sawmill in this historic mill-town is back in operation after a decade of silence and rough economic times. Emerald Forest Products opened its doors to an enthusiastic crowd May 21st. Owner Dick Vinson told Gem County residents at the open house that he thought the timber business has turned around and with a little luck thinks the new mill can make it. The 73-year old mill owner is from Thompson Falls, Montana and will serve as majority owner of the new operation. He told the crowd that modern mills have to produce quality lumber but need to produce green energy to cuts costs and add new revenue to the mix. “Our goal is to have a power plant on a seven-acre site here. We have a permit to build, and we have an inter-connection study done and the feasibility study is almost done with Idaho Power. Our goal is to bring the slash out of the woods to this

mill, grind it then burn it in a controlled environment and make renewable energy out of it,” said Vinson. Vinson thinks the American consumer will buy quality products and sees a growing consumer loyalty that will continue to grow in the coming years. “We named it Emerald Forest and we want to be the greenest mill in the country,” he said. “We want to make it un-American to buy a board from anyone but Emerald Forest.” The mill already has contracts with Home Depot, Lowe’s and several large scale builders. Vinson is no stranger to the lumber business, spending a lifetime running and working mills in Montana.  But he’s also had to shut down his own mill in Trout Creek, Montana because of a dwindling timber supply. For more than a decade investors and community leaders like Morris Huffman tried to put together a package to re-open the old Boise Cascade mill site to no avail. But with the availability of federal stimulus money, their decade of hard work fi-

A worker processes boards at a new sawmill opened recently in Gem County. Photo by Steve Ritter

nally came to fruition. Getting the mill up and running cost more than $11 million to create, investors came up with $7 million. Impact studies show that the Emerald Forest Mill location is strategic because it’s far enough from other mills to have adequate supply, yet close to strategic rail heads and highways to stay profitable. Vinson thinks it’s a solid investment and should be an integral part of the Gem County economy for years to come. “We’re 120 miles from Tamarack, and 170 miles from the mill in Elgin, Ore., Emerald is close to a large local population base with access to other markets in the region,” he said.

Emerald Forest Products Owner Dick Vinson. Photo by Steve Ritter

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Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

When Emerald comes on line the mill will employ 47 workers in one shift, Vinson says he has 44 people working right now, including construction personnel.

For now the mill will run just a single shift and cut as much local timber as they can to keep overhead costs down. The mill will specialize in studs, pine boards, furring strips and laminated beam stock for Boise Cascade’s nearby beam plant. Emerald Mill will also produce 4-by-4’s according to Vinson. Yellowstone Power will operate a 10-megawatt biomass power plant at the site and will use waste heat to dry lumber and shavings instead of sending it through a traditional stack, according to Vinson. Yellowstone hopes to sell surplus energy to Idaho Power. Emerald has landed a few forest-thinning contracts that will supply the renewable-energy operation. They hope to round out their timber supply from state timber sales, and oversized and undersized logs from nearby mills.


DEQ Advises Growers to Heed Burn Restrictions Idaho Department of Environmental Quality People considering open burning of yard waste or farmers planning to burn crop residue in Idaho are reminded by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that burning is restricted by air quality rules and permit requirements. Air quality and smoke impacts must always be considered when burning takes place. Burning may be prohibited because weather conditions are not conducive to smoke dispersion, and permits may be required. No burning of any kind is allowed during a DEQissued burn ban. Open burning of yard waste and crop residues can be dangerous to human health. Burning produces very small and sometimes toxic particles and gases that can penetrate deeply into lungs. Smoke can cause breathing difficulties and serious health problems, especially for older adults and children. Yard waste may be burned if allowed by local ordinance and conducted on property where it is generated. Some combustible materials, such as paper and cardboard, may be burned only when no house-to-house pickup is available. In no case may materials such as food waste, plastics, tires, or treated wood be burned. DEQ encourages residents to use cleaner and safer alternatives to burning whenever possible. Options include composting, mulching, tilling or curbside recycling of yard waste where available. If no alternative to burning is

available, DEQ advises potential burners to check with local fire protection districts to find out if a permit is required and to call DEQ’s Air Quality Advisory Hotline at 1-800-6336247 or log on to the agency’s web site at www.deq.idaho. gov/air/ aqindex.cfm to check whether burning has been restricted. A daily air quality and burn advisory forecast is also available by email. Sign up on DEQ’s Web site at www.deq. idaho.gov. Burning of crop residue may only occur on days when air quality is good, as measured by pollutant levels, and is expected to continue to be good. Burn days are limited to weekdays (non holiday) and during daylight hours only. Proximity to sensitive areas (towns, schools, roads, hospitals, etc.) also must be considered before crop residue burning can take place. Burning of crop residue can only occur in fields in which the crop residue was generated. Before burning crop residue, burners must attend a DEQ required training (once every 5 years) to learn proper burning techniques and about good

smoke management practices. Burners must also register for a burn permit, providing such information as where and when the burn is proposed to take place, pay a fee of $2 per acre to be burned, and receive a permit issued by DEQ on the day the burn is approved. Burners must also obtain any other applicable permits from their local fire district and the Idaho Department of Lands. For more information on open

burning, view DEQ’s open burning brochure online at www.deq.idaho.gov/air/assist_ citizen_ comm/light_it_ right_0309.pdf or contact the DEQ regional office nearest you in Coeur d’Alene, Boise, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Pocatello, or Twin Falls. For more information on crop residue burning do’s and don’ts, call the Crop Residue Burning Hotline at 1-866-224-2456 or visit DEQ’s Web site at www.

If burning is the only option, DEQ advises residents to: •

verify with the local law enforcement agency that burning is allowed

obtain necessary permits

limit burning to materials that are legal to burn, dry, and free of dirt

avoid standing downwind of the fire

never leave any fire unattended

make sure the contents of the burn are well aerated

avoid sending smoke toward a neighbor’s house

burn at least 50 feet away from any structures. You can be held liable for any damages caused by an escaped fire.

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Focus on Agriculture Farmers’ Markets Put a “Face” on Farming By Dal Grooms The number of farmers’ markets in the United States has grown by more than 300 percent in the past 15 years. If you study that trend from an economics standpoint, you have to wonder why. The dollars and cents value of convenience, low prices and access to a variety of products just don’t add up. Online grocers are convenient with 24/7 availability. Farmers’ markets are not. At the local grocery store, comparison shopping to find the lowest price is done quickly as similar items are grouped together. That’s not the case at the farmers’ market. Mega-supermarkets offer food purchases, along with buying your automotive care products and even appliances! Farmers’ markets do not. So what brings consumers at increasing rates to more than 5,200 farmers’ markets around the country? It’s the relationship that consumers can have with farmers. The Agriculture Department calls it ‘food with a face.’ The popularity of farmers’ markets is the anchor of their current “Know Your Farmer” campaign. That “face” reminds us that food is not made in the grocery store basement. It is grown and produced with care by men and women who not only have a passion for working with nature to produce food, but also have knowledge on how to produce it in a way that sustains their business at the market. Much is expected from these farmers. Consumers expect fresh, top quality fruits and vegetables, as well as honey, dairy, meat and grain products. They want these items 10

delivered with a smile and willingness to explain the production methods. If you’ve walked by the vendors’ tables at a market, you know these farmers are delivering on both points. Other farmers are counting on them, too. Only about 4 percent of farmers use direct sales to consumers as part of their marketing plan. That means their “faces” represent the other 96 percent of farmers who use other marketing methods to sell their products. While some may think that’s putting too much on the shoulders of those farmers who are using direct marketing, most of them would just smile, shrug and move on, shaking hands and telling customers about ways to prepare their products and what

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

will be available at the market in the coming weeks. Clearly, the value of a farmers’ market is about relationships and trust, both of which are intangible items that have real value in today’s economy. Economists and marketers have developed any number of models so that relationship value can be measured. They can run their numbers and manipulate their models. Most consumers already know the value of that relationship. Priceless. Dal Grooms, a new contributor to Focus on Agriculture, is a native of the Midwest, where she writes about rural and agricultural issues.


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What An Opportunity

Rain, Rain Make My Day by Jeff C. Nauman

Personally, I’m rather fond of rain. After giving up the farming portion of my former lifestyle, I find little more pleasant than a downpour in May.

may be pleased but the banker doesn’t give a damn.

While industry field men offer lip service to the value of “feeding the world” - as if that This more-moisture-is-better somehow helps pay the bills perspective did not come about reality speaks a different lannaturally and probably isn’t guage. Commodity agriculture popular among commodity perpetuates a cycle of psychofarmers – especially in eastern logical abuse among farmers; Idaho this spring – however, one year basking in recordit fits my current mindset just breaking yields or prices, the next despairing over contracts, Instead of being a nuisance, broken disease or weatheran inconvenience or a prof- related production it-robber, timely rainfall ailments.

lowers the pastoralist’s expenses, reduces labor needs and increases both peace of mind and profit. fine. Adapting to Mother Nature’s business plan sure improved my peace of mind. Funny… most folks are sharp enough to stop trying to push a square peg into a round hole, yet they don’t stop writing checks long enough to determine if their crop fits this year’s weather pattern. Certainly, filling the needs of commodity agriculture might give one a sense of Christian accomplishment; however, when the rain slows planting and/or puts a halt to harvest, the preacher 12

As commodity farmers struggle to cut costs and maintain profitability on largescale land-bases, niche marketers on small and mid-sized farms have found success - and greater profits – through diversification and increased involvement in marketing. Anyone can give away a chemically-produced product. A grower who, on the other hand, toils daily to produce herbicide-, pesticideand fertilizer-free crops can name his/her price knowing that educated consumers will financially reward their efforts. Fewer acres, greater care and improved marketing effort equal consistent profits year af-

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ter year. The diversity found in small and mid-sized cropping systems also allows greater flexibility in dealing with Mother Nature’s precipitation whims. When spring comes early increase the acreage of crops needing a long growing season. If cold and rain lasts well into June; switch to shorter season varieties or change crops altogether to accommodate Mother’s fancy. This diversity leads to greater adaptability regarding weather, markets and other external factors beyond the farmer’s control. Agriculturists with the greatest flexibility are those who incorporate pasture and forages into their enterprise mix; however, even they risk suffrage if they maintain overly rigid production models. Regardless of the season, pastures welcome moisture. If rain comes early, planting is not hampered. Harvest continues whether the sun shines or rain pours. Instead of being a nuisance, an inconvenience or a profit-robber, timely rainfall lowers the pastoralist’s expenses, reduces labor needs and increases both peace of mind and profit. Hay producers also benefit

from precipitation; however, they frequently overlook the chance for smaller profits in their quest for a home run. By focusing solely on the dairy hay market, too many producers miss profitable opportunities in other, albeit less lucrative, markets. Seems many would rather watch rained-on windrows rot in the field rather than identify a haylage chopper in the neighborhood that could be rented short-term. These producers would be well served to remember that more games are won courtesy of the timely bunt or sacrifice fly than are won with a bases-loaded grand slam. Given the West’s current weather pattern, coupled with longrange forecasts, farmers might consider alternatives sooner rather than later. Spring plantings have already been delayed throughout the region and odds are one or more hay cuttings this year will mature during a rainy period. A wise coach would be prepared to bunt and get a man on base. Jeff Nauman is a rancher from Firth and part owner of the AJ Kyles Meat Co. The Nauman family produces forage finished beef, chicken, lamb, goat and eggs. Contact Nauman at jcnauman@ ida.net.


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Jefferson County Farm Bureau Woman of the Year

Jefferson County

The Jefferson County Farm Bureau Woman of the Year was presented at the Farmer­Merchant Banquet March 11,2010 to Annette Clark. She is an integral part of the farming operation with her husband, Leon Clark. She is a very skilled machine operator, drives grain truck, changes water, helps with repairs, and runs for parts when needed. They are the parents of six children and Annette is very generous with her service in her church and community. She is a great example of what a Farm Bureau Woman of the Year ought to be.

(left to right) Melissa Cook (3rd Place), Tracy Lundquist (2nd Place) and Joseph Hale (IS! Place) receive checks from Farm Bureau Womens Committee Chair, Sharon Moser. Baby Kaislyn, Jennifer, Corbin, Tory, and Brydon Nicholls. Standing are Sharon Moser, Afton Ellis, and Arlene Cordingley of the Farm Bureau Women’s Committee.

AG Baby of the Year The Jefferson County Farm Bureau Ag Baby of the Year was born on Ag Day-March 20, 2010 at Mountain View Hospital. The happy parents are Tory and Jennifer Nicholls of Rigby. The baby is a girl weighing in at 6lbs. 10 oz., height 19 in., and named Kaislyn. Two older brothers welcome her home-Corbin and Brydon. The baby received a case of diapers, quilt, four outfits, and a night light. This event is sponsored by the Farm Bureau Women’s Committee as an Ag awareness program. Arlene Cordingley was chair. 14

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

Speech Contest The Jefferson County Farm Bureau Speech Contest sponsored by the Women’s Committee was held Monday, January 25, 2010 at Rigby High School Auditorium. Seven contestants gave excellent presentations on the theme “The Influential Voice of Idaho Agriculture”. Those participating were Joseph Hale, Cherokee Carrillo, Tanner and Sawyer Fonnesbeck, Jud Elkington, Tracy Lundquist, and Melissa Cook. The competition was judged by Margo Decker, Ora Lee Bennett, and Phyllis Johnson. Sharon Moser, Farm Bureau Women’s Chair, presented the three finalists with checks. First place, Joseph Hale, received $30; second place, Tracy Lundquist, received $20; and third place, Melissa Cook received $10. Joseph Hale will represent Jefferson County from our district at the State Speech Contest in Boise on Feb. 1,2010.


Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

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Is it a Thinning or Selection Harvest/Regeneration?

By Ron Mahoney On numerous field trips over the last 30 years with forest managers I’ve heard reference to attaining regeneration as a goal of thinning. This erroneous notion has filtered through private forest landowners, professional managers, and many agencies and organizations, until it doesn’t seem to “raise eyebrows” as it once would. This is not the result of a new and better definition and implementation of the practice, it is simply misunderstanding the objectives and practice of thinning. I’ve also discovered that thinning and the selection methods of harvest/regeneration are often confused with each other, and accordingly misapplied to the land. The basic objective of thinning is to regulate growing space in a stand to improve growth, enhance forest health, and recover potential mortality. Consequently, regenerating new seedlings is not an immediate goal of thinning (although trees selected to leave may improve the opportunity for natural regeneration in the future). Regeneration after thinning not 16

only increases competition for growing space, the species of seedlings regenerated are often not desired, as shade-tolerant species will dominate on all but the driest sites. Thinning is an extremely valuable silvicultural tool for managing both even and uneven-aged stands between the regeneration period and harvest. Although thinning is “selective management” in that some trees are cut and some are left, so is basically every other intermediate and regeneration method except for clearcutting. Selective management or selective cutting can imply various things to various audiences and can create confusion and miscommunication. Most people use the terms to distinguish something from a clearcut, but there is too much variation in this usage. Thus, these terms should be avoided and replaced with the specific terms for the management option at hand. Thinning is NOT the same as selection harvest regeneration methods that regenerate and regulate an uneven-aged or allaged forest stand being managed under a selection system. Modern textbooks and definitions use the terms unevenaged methods and systems to avoid confusing the selection method and system with the problematic term selective cutting. Uneven-aged forest management is attractive to many forest owners for a variety of reasons, but primarily because there are always some larger trees in the forest, and it tends to produce more structural di-

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

versity. Uneven-aged forests are never, at least conceptually, starting over but always look like a forest with an abundance of trees of different sizes and often of different species. Developing and maintaining mixed age and species forests is somewhat artificial. Historical records show that such stands were rare in our region prior to European settlement, but became increasingly common as a result of partially cutting only the biggest, best trees along with nearly 100 years of fire suppression. Although ecological evidence continues to unfold in support of a historical preponderance of early-successional even-aged forests, there are ecologically and socially desirable features of forests with greater species and structural diversity that are sustained through uneven-aged silvicultural systems. The most basic requirement of an uneven-aged system is developing and sustaining three or more age-classes that differ by at least 20% of the age of the oldest trees. A stand can be called all-aged when five or more age classes are sustained across the full age spectrum, from seedlings to the oldest trees. The other requirement of an uneven-aged system is that the oldest trees are the ones that are cut in each entry. This does not preclude thinning of younger age classes to improve health, species composition, or growth of the stand, but generally guides the major

commercial harvests necessary to maintain an uneven-aged structure. Unfortunately, this requirement is commonly violated, usually by harvesting the biggest trees, which may not necessarily be the oldest. There are two basic unevenaged regeneration methods, single-tree and group selection. It is difficult to regenerate any but the most shade-tolerant species with single-tree selection. This method also has the greatest risk of residual tree damage, requires the most frequent logging entries, and is associated with a host of other environmental and economic concerns that make it difficult to recommend and apply. Achieving a regulated forest managed under single-tree selection also requires very sophisticated inventory and mathematical calculations. Consequently, most professional educators and published references in the intermountain northwest recommend the group selection method for uneven-aged forest management. Group selection can be much easier to understand and apply, more economical to log, and can result in less residual tree damage and site impact. In this method, clusters of trees are removed with the intent to leave a large enough opening to regenerate the preferred species. These openings can be anywhere from a width equal to the height of the mature trees to as large as 3 acres for shade intolerant species such


This photo shows a silvicultural demonstration area, including thinning (T5), a small group selection(T4) and a large patch group selection (T3). Photo Courtesy of USDA Forest Service

as larch or pines. While group selection still targets the oldest trees, it can also target pockets of insect/disease infestation, poor growth, or less-desired species. This method should be able to develop a variety of current stand conditions into a sustainable uneven-aged system. Usually, a percentage of the stand area is harvested in groups at specific intervals called cutting-cycles. For instance, if the rotation (harvest age) is 75 years, and the cutting cycle is 15 years, 5 age-classes would result, with 20% of the stand area cut at each entry. An 80 year-old stand with a 20year cutting-cycle would have 4 age-classes, and 25% of the total stand area would be cut in

each cycle. Group selection sounds simple, doesn’t it? The only contentious aspect is that some people view any groups cut larger than ½ acre as even-aged clearcuts. Non-industrial private forest owners, as well as citizens that influence public forest management, overwhelmingly favor uneven-aged management over even-aged systems, especially clearcuts. Some building suppliers even go so far as to guarantee that none of their products come from clearcuts. In fact, several major forest products industries with substantial forest lands have recently committed to eliminating clearcuts and going to uneven-aged management. For many forests, the

only way to keep them healthy under an uneven-aged, no clearcut mandate is to implement group selection silviculture. Consequently, I’ve been somewhat astounded to find that during the last 30 years, the group selection method was rarely attempted, and even more rarely correctly applied. In many instances, the groups were simply isolated openings with no real silvicultural objective. In others, several to many residual trees were left in the “openings”, confounding regeneration objectives. Several met the initial criteria, and it was fine that some groups had been planted but NOT that they were grazed by livestock before the seedlings became es-

tablished. I have observed few good examples of forest stands where the group-selection method was correctly applied. This management method needs far greater emphasis by forestry schools, landowners, and forest managers. Group-selection is a harvest/regeneration silvicultural method that meets many of the complex desires of forest owners and concerned citizens for healthy, productive, environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable forest conditions. Ron Mahoney is an extension forester and professor at the University of Idaho in Moscow. He can be reached at rmahoney@uidaho.edu.

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

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Report Reaction: A Better Year for Livestock Producers AFBF WASHINGTON, D.C - Following two years of tough economic times for livestock producers, 2010 is shaping up to be a much better year thanks to an improving economy and tighter supplies of beef, pork and poultry. “Livestock producers have seen a return to profitability in the past two months after going through probably the worst economic situation anyone can remember in 2008 and 2009,” said John Anderson, livestock economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation. “This is certainly good news for livestock producers because it provides a good opportunity to rebuild equity.” The Agriculture Department released its initial assessment of the U.S. and world crop and livestock supply and demand estimates today. USDA also released its first calendar-year 2011 projections of U.S. livestock, poultry and dairy products. USDA expects total meat production to be down in 2010, compared to 2009. USDA forecasts a 2 percent increase in broiler production this year, but a 1 percent drop in beef production. USDA estimates a 3.5 percent drop in pork production this year.

producers isn’t quite as long as it is for beef producers.” Anderson said the forecasts for increased meat production in 2011 is a positive sign that shows livestock producers are optimistic enough to increase their herd sizes, following two years of reducing herd sizes. “Meat and poultry producers have just come through a two-year period during which they consistently lost money,” Anderson said. “Beginning in late-2008, weak demand both here at home, as well as in the export markets, drove product prices down. Producers are now finally able to take advantage of higher prices.” An improving demand picture is also welcome news for livestock producers. “Evidence for improving demand has been mounting in recent weeks,” Anderson said. “Department of Commerce data shows consumer spending at food service and accommodations facilities grew at a remarkable 8 percent rate (quarter over quarter) in

the first quarter of 2010. This was the first quarter-over-quarter increase since the second quarter of 2008. The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index for March indicated that the restaurant industry entered an expansionary phase for the first time in 29 months.” As for USDA’s May crop report, Anderson said the forecasts of larger U.S. and global grain stocks is the big news. “The increase in stock levels is due to forecasts for good crop production in 2010 and strong world competition,” Anderson said. “However, USDA’s corn stocks projection fell below many forecasts due in part to better export demand.” Demand for corn and other coarse grains is strong, but production levels are still high. According to Anderson, the corn crop is off to a good start this year. Planting is 81 percent complete, the fastest on record, which gives producers a better chance at achieving good yields, he said.

“Pork producers were the hardest hit during the economic decline in 2008-2009, and the big drop in production this year is evidence of that,” Anderson said. Total U.S. meat production for 2011 is projected to be slightly higher than 2010, as increased pork and poultry production more than offsets a decline in beef production, according to USDA. Beef production for 2011 is forecast to decline due to tighter supplies of cattle. “The reason USDA is showing a decline in beef production is that it takes a cattle producer at least two years from making the decision to increase herd size to having cattle ready for market,” Anderson said. “Poultry producers can turn things around pretty quickly, while the lag time for pork 18

Livestock producers are expected to see a profitable year. Farm Bureau File Photo

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010


Lambs feeding at Ken Andrus’ ranch near Soda Springs Photo by Gary Fuhriman

Wanted: Food Producers

If you or someone you know could benefit from this free service Idaho Farm Bureau members are offered a new way to advertise their products at The concept is pretty simple. The Member please fax, email or mail informaBenefits section of our website will contain tion to: www.idahofb.org. By John Thompson

A growing number of consumers want to know where and how their food is produced. In other words, they want to know their farmer. A website promoting small farms, Know Your Farmer, Know Your www.usda.gov/wps/portal/ Food, usda/knowyourfarmer?navid=KNOW YOURFARMER is generating a lot of interest nationwide, as well as some controversy (see article, page 28). Producers who wish to get out in front of this burgeoning interest in local food and capitalize on the trend are being offered a new service through the Idaho Farm Bureau. The IFBF Farmer’s Market is now available to members who produce beef, poultry, pork, fruit, vegetables or other food products for local markets, or who are interested in developing local markets for their products.

are encouraged to send the information to one of the following email addresses:

a page that lists all Farm Bureau members who sell produce locally. From time to time, we will place this list in Farm Bureau’s publications.

At this point, we will only list produce or meat products that are human edible. Things such as hay, crafts, and tractors will not be listed. 

email:   jbenson@idahofb.org Phone: 208-239-4289 Fax:        208-232-3616 Mailing: IFBF c/o Joel Benson P.O. Box 4848, Pocatello, Idaho 83205

Here is an example of a submission: The following information

John Doe Membership # - 043432-01 (This will not appear on the published list) Sweet Potatoes (July-Aug), Pumpkins (Mid Oct. - Mid Nov.), Jam (Year Round)  Location:  112 S. Baker Street - (Turn south at Baker & Hwy 45 intersection - go 1/2 mile)

Phone: 208-555-4578 johndoefarms.com Special Instructions:  Please only visit between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or call ahead.

should be included: Member’s Name: FB Membership #: List of produce/season when it is available: How to locate the provider: Phone Number of Member: Website (if available) Special Instructions:

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

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Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

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Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

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Ag Groups Unify in Call for Immediate Estate Tax Reform WASHINGTON, D.C.,– The American Farm Bureau Federation has joined with other agricultural groups in a unified call for permanent and meaningful estate tax relief for America’s farm and ranch families. In a letter to Senate leaders, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (RKy.), AFBF and 27 other organizations stated that inaction on fixing the looming estate tax challenge would be disastrous for agriculture.

significant and will cause many viable agricultural operations to disappear. “We support permanently raising the exemption to no less than $5 million per person and reducing the top rate to no more than 35 percent,” the organizations stated. “It is also imperative that the exemption be indexed to inflation, provide for spousal transfers and include the stepped-up basis.

“American agriculture is traditionally a family-owned enterprise, and estate taxes can take a severe toll on family members who wish to carry on the farm and ranch tradition,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Portions of farm and ranch resources frequently have to be sold to pay for the resulting estate tax, and if something is not done soon, the bite of those taxes in 2011 will be even more severe.”

“Family farmers and ranchers are not only the caretakers of our nation’s rural lands but they are small businesses too,” the groups stated. “The 2011 change to the estate tax law does a disservice to agriculture because we are a land-based capitalintensive industry with few options for paying estate taxes when they come due. The current state of our economy, coupled with the uncertain nature of estate tax liabilities make it difficult for family-owned farms and ranches to make sound business decisions.”

If Congress does not act beginning in 2011, the law will call for a $1 million exemption and top rate of 55 percent. The negative impact on farm and ranch families will be

The groups urged Congress to immediately pass permanent estate tax reform, which they stated “provides the greatest relief and certainty for agriculture” and

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Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

helps “strengthen the business climate for family farmers, ranchers and growers while ensuring agricultural businesses are passed to future generations.” In addition to AFBF, the letter was signed by: American Farmland Trust; American Mushroom Institute; American Sheep Industry Association; American Soybean Association; American Sugar Alliance; Farm Credit Council; National Association of Wheat Growers; National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; National Corn Growers Association; National Cotton Council; National Council of Farmer Cooperatives; National Farmers Union; National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry; National Milk Producer Federation; National Pork Producers Council; National Potato Council; National Turkey Federation; Northwest Dairy Association; Public Lands Council; Southeast Dairy Farmers Association; Southeast Milk Inc.; United Egg Producers; United Fresh Produce Association; United Producers; U.S. Apple Association; U.S.A. Rice Federation; Western Growers Association; and Western United Dairymen.


Research Suggests Strategy to Prevent Deadly E coli in Cattle By Bill Loftus MOSCOW – Scientists, including the University of Idaho’s Carolyn Hovde Bohach, Monday reported they have learned how deadly E. coli bacteria sense the cattle gastrointestinal tract. The work may provide “an exciting alternative to diminish contamination of meat products and cross-contamination of produce crops because of cattle shedding this human pathogen,” the scientists reported in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research focused on E coli O157:H7, a serotype of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, which can cause fatal illness when transmitted to people through produce or undercooked meat. An estimated 70 to 80 percent of healthy cattle herds in the United States at least sometimes carry the deadly E. coli with no ill effects, passing it to each other through their environment or by direct contact with each other. E. coli from the farm environment, presumably in feed or water, is ingested by cattle and passes through the rumen, the first and largest compartment in their four-part stomach along the GI tract until it reaches the rectoanal junction mucosa where it attaches and colonizes.

To be successful, E. coli must express or turn on different genes in different conditions such as outside of the animal, in the rumen, or at the end of the GI tract. This publication shows, for the first time, how E. coli O157:H7 uses chemical signaling to sense its environment and turn on different genes when it is in cattle, Hovde Bohach said.

gies to stop E. coli from living in cattle, she said, adding, “We might try to limit production of AHLs or find a feed additive that would block bacterial reception of the AHL signal.”

Through a process known as quorum sensing, the bacterium senses and responds to chemicals known as AHLs or acyl-homserine lactones. The presence of AHL activates genes that help E coli colonize cattles’ GI tract.

Vanessa Sperandio and David T. Hughes of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center reported the team’s findings in the Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences.

Her research includes a focus on the influence of cattle diet on shedding the bacteria and where the bacteria are found within cattle.

Disrupting that signal may prevent the deadly E. coli from taking up residence in cattle. Human health researchers are studying whether disrupting quorum sensing in another bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, can prevent fatal infections in cystic fibrosis patients.

An abstract http://www. p n a s.org /c ont e nt /e a rly/2010/04/30/1002551107.abstract of the team’s report is available on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences website.

Deep Commercial Farming - Ranching Discount of AMSOIL products including synthetic oil.

The main threat for people occurs from cattle shedding the bacteria in feces, which can then contaminate meat or produce. The cattle work was conducted on the University of Idaho campus, where Hovde Bohach’s laboratory has developed expertise in working with the bacteria in its natural silent reservoir, cattle. There may be several strate-

Other authors included Linda Liou of Hovde Bohach’s lab at the University of Idaho, Jason W. Sahl and David A. Rasko of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Arati V. Patankar and Juan E. Gonzalez of the University of Texas at Dallas; Thomas S. Edrington of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Call Tom (509) 979-4419 or (509) 468-0343

Farm Bureau non-agricultural members also receive substantial discount off AMSOIL products.

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

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2010 Crop Outlook American Farm Bureau Federation

By Stefphanie Gambrell, Domestic Policy Economist and Megan Provost, Trade and Southern Crops Economist The General Economy To say the last few weeks have been interesting is a bit of an understatement. Between Greece, the stock market and the U.S. economic recovery, it has been an eventful time. The activities with Greece’s debt situation have shown us how vulnerable countries can be when overloaded with debt. This is definitely a moment in which the citizens and leaders of the United States have the opportunity to think, “Could that could happen to us?” Obviously, the answer is yes. And it would be worse. The U.S. debt will be hovering close to the same level as GDP in the next few of years, which is quite similar to the current Greek situation. However, U.S. debt is far greater in absolute terms – over $12 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2009. The EU and IMF are coming to Greece’s rescue with about $1 trillion to help the country’s debt situation and defend the Euro currency. Who will (or can) rush to help the United States if we are faced with a similar situation? The angst with Greece has definitely contributed to the volatility in the stock market. Topics involving debt restructuring and debt default are likely to remain a concern in financial markets for a while. But on Thursday, May 6, the market experienced a glitch, resulting in a moment of panic and a 1,000 point drop in the Dow over 16 minutes. This was the largest intraday decrease on record. While some of the decline was worsened due to the trepidation surrounding events in Greece, the 24

major culprit was related to a problem with computer trading. A typo or some other error on a specific trade caused the initial decline, but the reaction was certainly amplified by the current nature of trading. As computers have replaced floor traders matching buyers and sellers, a system called high-frequency trading has become the prominent method of trading. Automated trades take place in a matter of milliseconds with little human intervention and now account for 50-75 percent of trading volume in any given day. These computer systems reacted very quickly to the initial trading error on May 6, and the rapid decline was under way. While there are some backstops in place to control trading errors, none applied to this situation. This is an area that will have to be reviewed given the many changes to the trading procedures as technology has changed. Finally, it is important to comment on the economic recovery and the current jobs situation. The employment situation summary released last week showed that the economy added 290,000 jobs in April. In addition, there were upward revisions for February and March. February saw an increase from -14,000 jobs to +39,000 jobs and March rose from +162,000 to +230,000. This means that nonfarm employment has expanded by 573,000 jobs since December. For April, job gains continued in the health care sector, manufacturing, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and temporary help. Two areas we saw struggling in April’s report were transportation/warehousing and the information sector. Although the job gains are a continued bright spot, there is a clear point that reminds us we are in recovery – the

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

unemployment rate edged up from 9.7 to 9.9 percent in April. The depth of this recession and some of the structural changes in employment over time have lead to job losses we have not seen in other recessions. It would not be surprising to see continued softness in the jobs numbers over the next few months. Ultimately, it is important to remember the economy is still in recovery mode, and this is to be expected. Corn Update In its first look at the 2010/11 crop, USDA projected U.S. corn production at 13.4 billion bushels, up 260 million from 2009/10. The anticipated 2.3 million acre in intended plantings more than offset the projected drop from last year’s record corn yields. Corn use for 2010/11 was projected to be up 2 percent from this year, with higher FSI use and exports. Corn ethanol use, projected at 4.6 billion bushels, accounted for the largest increase in FSI use. Changes to the 2009/10 corn balance sheet were limited, with some small adjustments made to FSI use and exports, which combined to reduce ending stocks of 161 million bushels in 2009/10. Higher than expected corn area and rising yields combined to boost global corn production to a record 835 million tons, up 26.5 million tons from 2009/10. Corn production was projected higher in China, Mexico, India, Russia, EU-27, Ukraine, and Canada, but lower in Brazil and South Africa in 2010/11 than in 2009/10. Global corn consumption was forecasted at 827.9 million tons, up 19 million from this year and setting a new record. China has purchased 369,000 metric tons


of U.S. corn, according to USDA. China, which was last a net importer of corn 14 years ago, will take delivery of 239,000 tons before August 31 and 130,000 tons in the marketing year that starts September 1, according to USDA. A drought has cut the Chinese corn crop severely, and domestic prices there have risen to $7 per bushel. California officials are proposing a new subsidy for corn-based ethanol production in the state by using money currently earmarked for the advancement of alternative fuels and vehicles. Under the proposed Producer Incentive Program (PIP), the state would provide payments to California ethanol producers under specific, unfavorable market conditions. If favorable market conditions later occur, the facilities that received the subsidies would be required to reimburse most of the money to the state. California ethanol producers enrolled in the program could receive up to 25 cents per gallon of all ethanol production on a monthly basis, not to exceed $3 million per year. Soybean Update USDA projected soybean production at 3.3 billion bushels in 2010/11, a 49 million bushel decline from the record crop produced in 2009/10. The decline was due to lower yields in 2010/11, which were estimated at 42.9 bushels per acre. A rebound in South American supplies, as the region recovers from last year’s drought, limited U.S. soybean exports to 1.35 billion bushels in 2010/11, down from 1.455 billion in 2009/10. Ending stocks for beans were projected at 365 million bushels. The 2009/10 bean balance sheet remained largely unchanged, with ending stocks remaining at 190 million bushels. Global soybean production was projected to decline by 3 percent in 2010/11, as the Argentina crop is projected to be down by 50 million tons and the Brazilian crop down by 3 million tons from 2009/10. Global soybean exports were estimated at 87.9 million tons in 2010/11, up 2.5 million tons from 2009/10. Chinese soybean imports were projected at 49 million tons, accounting for more than half of world soybean trade.

China’s Ministry of Commerce reportedly will meet with state-owned soybean oil importers to discuss the possibility of importing U.S. soybean oil. Currently, the United States exports very little soybean oil to China exporters do not provide the official quality certificates China requires. While there is speculation that the Ministry may consider easing the technical requirements, few U.S. soybean oil exports are expected, due to higher prices than other origins. Wheat Update The 8 percent reduction in the 2010/11 wheat crop forecasted by USDA was more than offset by the highest beginning stocks, carried over from 2009/10, in a decade. Total wheat production was projected at 2.043 billion bushels, down 173 million from last year. Both domestic demand (milling and feeding/residual) and exports were raised for the 2010/11 crop year, with total use estimated at 2.106 billion bushels. Even with lower production and increased use, wheat ending stocks were projected at nearly 1 billion bushels at the end of 2010/11, the highest since 1987/88. Global wheat production was projected at 672.2 million tons, which was down 1 percent from last year but still the third largest production level on record. Global wheat consumption was raised 2 percent for 2010/2011, with larger global supplies supporting growth in wheat demand. India has partially lifted a ban on wheat exports, which is expected to facilitate its supply to Bangladesh. The Indian commerce ministry relaxed the three-year-old prohibition on overseas shipment of wheat to allow export of some 400,000 tons to Bangladesh. India, which is the second largest producer of wheat in the world, banned all exports of the grain in 2007. The prohibition was briefly lifted in July 2009, before being re-imposed. Rice Update While most of the 2009/10 estimates remained unchanged, the exciting news on the rice front was in USDA’s long grain rice estimates for 2010/11. USDA projected a long grain harvest of 2010/11 at 210.3

million cwt – nearly a 20 million cwt increase from 2009/10. While most analysts were expecting the long grain harvest to be up, no one was expecting this large of an increase. Long grain exports for 2010/11 were also increased, up by 4 million cwt to 76 million cwt. The big surprise in USDA’s 2010/11 long grain estimates was the large jump in estimated carryover. USDA projected long grain carryover at 28.3 million cwt, which would nearly double the estimated carryover from the 2009/10 crop year. Estimates for medium and short grain rice were less interesting, with estimates remaining near their 2009/10 levels. Looking globally, USDA projected that world rice production in 2010/11 would increase to a record level. USDA estimated world rice production at 459.7 million tons, which is an increase of 17.6 million tons over 2009/10 global production. Large rice crops were predicted for most of Asia, including a record or near-record crop in Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. World consumption and residual was projected at a record 453.4 million tons, up 2 percent from 2009/10. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released their annual report on who gets farm subsidies. The group said that, despite pledges, the 2008 Farm Bill would close some loopholes that allowed larger farmers to get government payments; the largest farms still receive the most government program dollars. EWG said 10 percent of farmers got 62 percent of farm subsidy payments in 2009, about the same as in 2007 and 2008. Cotton Update U.S. cotton plantings were increased by 1.4 million acres, raising 2010/11 cotton production to 16.7 million bales. However, USDA projected an increase of U.S. cotton exports of 1.5 million bales over last year, resulting in total exports of 13.5 million bales. So the increased production was offset by increased exports, which lowered ending stocks even more to just 3 million bales in 2010/11. This is the lowest ending stocks value

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

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since the 1995/96 crop year. There were limited adjustments made to the 2009/10 cotton crop, with the exception of slightly lower usage and increased ending stocks. Global cotton production was raised by nearly 11 million bales in 2010/11, but total supplies increased by less than 1 percent due to sharply reduced beginning stocks. The United States, India, Brazil, and Pakistan account for about 70 percent of the increased global production. Global cotton consumption was projected to increase by 2.8 percent, due to the continuing economic recovery and an increase in Chinese imports to 11.5 million bales. Senator Richard Lugar (RInd.) has raised objections to the Obama administration’s agreement to avert retaliation by Brazil over U.S. cotton subsidies, in particular to the $147 million payment to the Brazilian cotton industry. In a letter to the White House, Lugar said the money should come out of the U.S. cotton program, since that was the source of the trade dispute. “I do not be-

lieve U.S. taxpayers should be expected to provide an additional $147.3 million in federal outlays when other cost-saving options exist,” Lugar wrote, adding that Congress should overhaul the U.S. cotton program now rather than waiting for the next farm bill. “I am prepared to introduce legislation to achieve these immediate reforms. But absent that direct approach, our government must tailor our trade and agriculture policies…in a way to protect the American taxpayer and our domestic export opportunities,” he said. General Issues Update Conservation Stewardship Program Enrollment Announced – USDA announced that farmers and ranchers wanting to enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) have until June 11 to get applications filed at their local USDA office. In the last farm bill, Congress limited enrollment for CSP nationally at 12.7 million acres per year. Applicants will compete within state-

identified ranking pools. CSP is offered in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through continuous signups with announced cutoff application dates for ranking periods. Ranking, and then field visits and contract signing, will occur over the summer. The first CSP payments for the 2009 and 2010 enrollees will occur in October 2010. USDA’s announcement comes in advance of the issuance of the final rule for the CSP. The program operated under an interim final rule in 2009. Important changes to the rule are expected, so, therefore, farmers will be granted an opportunity to re-assess whether to keep their application pending once the final rule is issued. Currently, USDA expects the final rule to be issued prior to the June 11 application cut-off point, though guessing the timing of federal rulemakings is always somewhat precarious. A revised CMT also will be issued in the near future.

Farm Bureau members pay 20% less off of “Best Available Rate”. Farm Bureau Discount ID# 61810

26

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

Call Toll-Free: 877-670-7088 For Super 8 call 800-889-9706


New Zealand Continued from page 6 the U.S. and Canada for livestock feeding, he said. The MacMillan’s raise about 400 head of cattle per year and they have 170 ewes. They operate on 700 acres and have no outside employees. They lamb in July and August which is early spring in the southern hemisphere. Their lambs are then finished in time to make the Christmas market in England. Their lambs come from Romney ewes and black-faced rams. They are slightly smaller than American grown lamb. Neil said the target weight is a 44 pound carcass for which they receive between $80 and $90 for. New Zealand’s dollar is currently worth about .72 cents American. After slaughter the lambs are chilled and shipped. Romney ewes are known as good mothers that lamb without much help. A big difference in lamb production in New Zealand is they have no predators to worry about. There are no land mammals native to the country. Neil said he checks on his flock every day during lambing but it’s all done outside. During the rest of the year he only checks them about twice per week. An unfortunate similarity is they don’t get much for wool. “What we get for our wool, we just hope it pays for the drenches, shearing and some of the medication,” he said. “My father basically farmed for wool. That’s where they made their money and the sheep were the sideline. But now we focus on the meat production. The wool is there so you’ve got to deal with it but it’s really not an income.” Their cows are mainly Hereford and Hereford crosses. They buy Holsteins crossed with either an Angus or Hereford bull for feeders. Because 95 percent of the milk produced in New Zealand ends up as an export product, only a few dairies need to stay in continuous milk production all year long. Neil explained the majority of dairy farmers dry up their herds in May with calving and milk production cranking back up again in July. The dairies need about 20 percent herd replacement per year which is accomplished mainly through artificial

insemination. The remainder of the dairy cows are cross-bred with beef bulls and the calves are sold for meat production. “Our cattle finish on an all-grass system in less than two years and our heifers generally weigh about 600 pounds dressed out on the hook,” he said. The average dairy in New Zealand milks 350 cows. Their dairy products are exported primarily to Europe and the Middle East. A significant percentage of that production is made into milk powder. They also export butter, cheese, whey and caseinates. Dairy products account for 27 percent of New Zealand’s export earnings, he said. The country’s dairy industry is governed by a large marketing cooperative called Fonterra. Over 90 percent of the dairy producers are members. Neil is a former director for the organization. Another unfortunate similarity to American agriculture is the increasing age of the average farmer and lack of interest from the succeeding generation. The average age of New Zealand’s farmers is 68. In the U.S., it’s 57.

“There hasn’t been the transfer of land to the next generation in the last 30 years that there was prior to that,” he said. “A lot of farmers’ sons don’t want to be farmers. When I was young everybody had at least a relative who farmed and everybody had a connection to the land. But now we have a whole generation of people growing up who have no connection to farming.” Fonterra has a program that helps dairy farmers get a start. Neil said “share milkers” own dairy cattle and contract with a landowner for pasture. They split the milk checks evenly until the share milker can build his herd big enough to trade off or sell enough cattle to make money to buy land. “It’s an opportunity for someone with a cold start to get into dairying, but it’s difficult,” Neil said. The MacMillan’s typically travel in May and June when their farm is basically shut down for winter. They have friends in British Columbia, the Yukon Territory and now, Idaho.

Hazel MacMillan of Northland, New Zealand discusses sheep production with State Representative Ken Andrus. Photo by Gary Fuhriman

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

27


Know Your Farmer Website Generates Controversy USDA spending of $65 million to support small farms has provoked the ire U.S. senators from Kansas, Arizona and Georgia. Senators Pat Roberts of Kansas, John McCain of Arizona and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia complained in a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that the spending program and creation of Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food website is “aimed at small, hobbyist and organic producers whose customers generally consist of affluent patrons at urban farmers markets.” The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program has no dedicated funds, according to the Associated Press. The money was diverted from other farm bill funding and was used to aid locally grown food projects

including grants to farmers in Kansas and California and research conducted in Missouri, Alaska, North Carolina and Washington. Critics of the program told the Associated Press that spreading the word about the economic value of local food production will help preserve America’s rural heritage. “Cultivating these new markets - not replacing old ones - is critical to revitalizing rural America,” Vilsack wrote to Roberts, McCain and Chambliss. About 40,000 mid-sized farms disappeared between 2002 and 2007, according to the U.S. Census. For many, it’s too costly to compete. They’re too big to market their own goods directly, but often not big

enough to use wholesale. “The more people that go to the farmers markets, the more people understand agriculture and they eat a better diet,” Roberts said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. As a matter of fact, it ought to be encouraged. ... But you can’t go back to Walden Pond agriculture and expect to feed America.” Diana Endicott, who runs a 400-acre naturally raised cattle ranch with her husband, Gary, near Fort Scott, Kan., said she doesn’t expect to feed America, nor do the 100 or so other organic farmers in a local growers’ alliance she helped organize. But what’s wrong, she asked, with giving a boost to farmers who aren’t interested in tilling 10,000 acres?

Farm Bureau members travel for less Driving To & From Salt Lake City

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16 Times a Day

So You Don’t Have To... Farm Bureau Discount Codes (Online Only)

Farm Bureau members save $4 on round trips and $2 on one-way reservations

Southeast/East Idaho Route - FB1006 Twin Falls Route - FB1106 Boise Route - FB1206 28

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

* Reservation must be made online and must be between an Idaho location and Salt Lake City.


Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

29


A Message For Our Dairy Farm Customers

At Idaho Power, our goal is to provide you with fair-priced electricity safely, reliably and responsibly. We work hard to resolve electric service issues for the benefit of our customers and communities. Stray voltage may be one of these issues. If you are concerned about neutral-to-earth voltage levels on or near your property, please contact your Idaho Power agricultural representative to arrange a free on-site investigation. Blackfoot & American Falls Area Dennis Elison 208-236-7744 delison@idahopower.com Mini-Cassia Area Daniel Moore 208-736-3215 dmoore@idahopower.com Twin Falls, Jerome & Gooding Area Gerald Orthel 208-736-3430 gorthel@idahopower.com

30

All Idaho Farm Bureau members are eligible for discounts given to Shamu Club members.

Save $6-$10 on admission

Mountain Home & Boise Area Tim Fenwick 208-388-6366 tfenwick@idahopower.com Nampa & Caldwell Area Mike Liechty 208-465-8626 mliechty@idahopower.com Payette & Ontario Area Cortney Forsberg 208-642-6546 cforsberg@idahopower.com

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

For member coupons to SeaWorld in San Diego or Orlando contact Joel at 208-239-4289.


Idaho Prospective Plantings for 2010

All wheat planted in Idaho is expected to total 1.38 million acres, up 5 percent from last year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Spring wheat plantings are expected to be 580,000 acres, 5 percent more than last year. Winter wheat seedings, at 780,000 acres, increased 5 percent from the 2009 crop. Durum wheat seedings are expected to total 20,000 acres, unchanged from 2009. Idaho farmers intend to seed 300,000 acres of field corn in 2010, unchanged from last year. Barley seedings are expected to total 530,000 acres, unchanged from last season. Oat seedings are expected to be 70,000 acres, down 12 percent from last year. Dry bean planting intentions increased 25 percent from last year to 125,000 acres. Dry bean estimates include chickpeas, which are grown primarily in North Idaho. Chickpea planting intentions totaled 43,000 acres, up 32 percent from 2009. All hay expected to be harvested, at 1.48 million acres, is down 2 percent from 2009. Sugarbeet plantings are expected to total 169,000 acres, up 3 percent from last year. Lentil acreage is expected to be 50,000 acres, down 6 percent from 2009. Dry edible pea acreage, at 30,000 acres, is expected to be down 29 percent from last year. Aus-

trian winter pea acres are expected to total 13,000 acres, up 63 percent from 2009. Canola acres are expected to total 18,000 acres, up 20 percent from 2009. Nationally, growers intend to plant 88.8 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2010, up 3 percent from both last year and 2008. Oat growers intend to plant an estimated 3.36 million acres, down 1 percent from the 3.40 million acres planted in 2009. Barley producers intend to plant 3.27 million acres for the 2010 crop year, down 8 percent from the previous year. If realized, this will be the lowest barley planted acreage on record, well below the previous record low of 3.45 million acres established in 2006. All wheat producers intend to plant 53.8 million acres for the 2010 crop year, down 9 percent from the previous year. The 2010 winter wheat planted area is estimated at 37.7 million acres, down 13 percent from 2009 but up 2 percent from the Winter Wheat Seedings report. Area seeded to Durum wheat is estimated at 2.22 million acres, down 13 percent from 2009. Spring wheat growers intend to plant 13.9 million acres this year, up 5 percent from 2009. Hay producers expect to harvest 60.5 million acres of all hay in 2010, up 1 percent from 2009. Canola producers intend to plant 1.23

million acres in 2010, up 49 percent from 2009. Sugarbeets area planted for the 2010 crop year is expected to total 1.17 million acres, down 1 percent from the previous year. Dry beans growers intend to plant 1.77 million acres in 2010, up 15 percent from last year. Expected area planted for all chickpeas is 130,600 acres, up 36 percent from last year and 56 percent higher than 2008. Lentils area planted for the 2010 crop year is expected to total 510,000 acres,

up 23 percent from 2009 and 88 percent above two years ago. Dry edible peas growers intend to plant 837,000 acres, down 3 percent from 2009. Austrian winter peas area planted for the 2010 crop year is expected to total 29,500 acres, up 44 percent from a year ago. Acreage actually planted may vary from those indicated as a result of weather, economic conditions, availability of production inputs and the effect of this report itself.

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31

5/7/2010 8:52:36 AM


Idaho Winter Wheat Production Up 11 Percent from Last Year

Idaho’s 2010 winter wheat production is forecast at 62.9 million bushels, 11 percent higher than last year, and 5 percent above the 2008 crop, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Based on May 1 conditions, yield is estimated at 85.0 bushels per acre, up 4 bushels from last year. Acres expected to be harvested are set at 740,000 acres, an increase of 40,000 acres from 2009. Idaho’s May 1 hay stocks totaled 775,000 tons, up 72 percent from May 1, 2009. Hay production during 2009 was down 1 percent from the previous year. Nationally, winter wheat production is forecast at 1.46 billion bushels, down 4 percent from 2009. Based on May 1 conditions, the United States yield is forecast at 45.9 bushels per acre, up 1.7 bushels from the previous year. Expected grain area totals 31.8 million acres, down 8 percent from last year. As of May 2, sixty-eight percent of the United States winter wheat crop was rated in good to excellent condition, 21 points above the same week in 2009, and heading had reached 27 percent in the 18 major producing States, 4 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Hard Red Winter, at 960 million bushels, is up 5 percent from 2009. Soft Red Winter, at 283 million bushels, is down 30 percent from last year. White Winter is up 7 percent from last year and now totals 215 million bushels. Of this total, 32

17.0 million bushels are Hard White and 198 million bushels are Soft White. All hay stored on farms May 1, 2010 totaled 20.9 million tons, down 5 percent from a year ago. Disappearance from December 1, 2009-May 1, 2010 totaled 86.3 million tons, compared with 81.6 million tons for the same period a year ago.

Idaho Potato Stocks Up 12 percent from Last Year

Potato stocks held by growers, dealers, and processors in Idaho on May 1 totaled 36.5 million cwt, 4.0 million cwt more than on hand May 1, 2009. Disappearance, at 94.5 million cwt is up from last year’s 84.0 million cwt. Disappearance during April, at 14.5 million cwt, is the largest April disappearance since April 2003. Stocks in the 10 Southwest counties totaled 1.7 million cwt, up from last year’s 1.2 million cwt. The Other counties’ stocks, at 34.8 million cwt, were up from the 31.3 million cwt stored on May 1, 2009. Processors in Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon used 6.90 million cwt of 2009 crop raw potatoes during April, up 5.5 percent from April 2009. Processors in Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon have used 56.1 million cwt of 2009 crop raw potatoes to May 1, up 1.0 percent from last year. Idaho potatoes accounted for 49.6 million cwt of the total processed. The remaining 6.46 million cwt were produced in other states. Nationally, the 13 major potato States held 87.0 million cwt of potatoes in storage May 1, 2010, up 11 percent from a year ago. Potatoes in storage

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

accounted for 23 percent of the 2009 fall storage States’ production, 2 percentage points above May 1, 2009. Potato disappearance, at 297 million cwt, was 2 percent above May 1, 2009. Season-to-date shrink and loss, at 26.6 million cwt, was up 19 percent from the same date in 2009. Processors in the 9 major States have used 142 million cwt of potatoes this season, down 5 percent from the same period last year. Dehydrating usage accounted for 26.6 million cwt of the total processing, down 6 percent from last year.

Alfalfa Seed Acres Down 8 Percent

Producers in Idaho harvested 11,000 acres of alfalfa seed in 2009, down 8 percent from the 2008 crop, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average yield, on a clean basis, was 740 pounds per harvested acre in 2009, up 4 percent from the previous year. Production for 2009 totaled 8.14 million pounds, 4 percent below the 2008 crop. The average price received by growers for the 2009 crop increased $7 per hundredweight from the previous year to $207 per hundredweight, resulting in a farm level value of production of $16.9 million. Harvested acreage of red clover seed in Idaho totaled 1,000 acres during 2009, up 300 acres from 2008. Average clean yield was 550 pounds per acre, unchanged changed from the previous year. Production for 2009 totaled 550,000 pounds, up 43 percent from 2008. The average price received by growers for the 2009 crop was $191 per hundredweight, up $4

per hundredweight from 2008. This resulted in a farm level value of production of $1.05 million. This survey was completed in cooperation with the Idaho Alfalfa and Clover Seed Commission.

April Farm Labor

For the Mountain I Region of the U.S. (Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming), there were 25,000 hired workers on farms and ranches during the week of April 11-17, 2010, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Hired workers worked an average of 44.0 hours during the survey week at an average wage of $10.14 per hour. There were 997,000 hired workers on the Nation’s farms and ranches during the week of April 11-17, 2010, up 10 percent from a year ago. Of these hired workers, 737,000 were hired directly by farm operators. Agricultural service employees on farms and ranches made up the remaining 260,000 workers. Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $10.83 per hour during the April 2010 reference week, down 1 cent from a year earlier. Field workers received an average of $10.04 per hour, up 5 cents from last April, while livestock workers earned $10.31 per hour compared with $10.25 a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $10.13 per hour, was up 6 cents from last year. The number of hours worked averaged 39.8 for hired workers during the survey week, down 1 percent from a year ago.

‘Rural Community


Building” Blog

AFBF has launched a new blog, http://ruralcommunitybuilding.fb.org/, that offers resource ideas to help county and state Farm Bureau leaders improve the quality of life in rural communities. Topics on the website “Rural Community Building” include agritourism, broadband, education, energy, entrepreneurship, funding opportunities, local food systems, wealth transfer and USDA news. The site is intended to be an easy-to-use tool for rural community building and is accessible to all. The site is searchable by subject category and comments are welcome. The blog also offers the opportunity for dialog and sharing ideas. Users may subscribe to daily posts or a weekly digest of items posted.

Ag Productivity and Improved Environment by Farmers

The Agriculture Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service released a major report recently that illustrates how agricultural productivity has increased while farming’s impact on the environment has shrunk. USDA released the 2007 National Resources Inventory

(NRI) for Non-Federal Lands at an event marking the 75th Anniversary of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The report is sciencebased and relies on actual farm surveys.

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is surveying hundreds of farmers across Idaho to get a clearer indication of the production and supply of major commodities for 2010.

“The NRI results are significant because they provide a scientifically based snapshot of the nation’s natural resources and the ability to track trends in natural resource use and condition,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

“With the 2010 growing season now in full swing, we can start to get a fuller picture of how things are shaping up for the agricultural sector. We‟ll be looking at what crops have been planted, what commodities are in storage and how much livestock is in inventory,” said Vince Matthews, Director of the NASS Idaho Field Office.

“After scanning the massive NRI survey results, another very clear message has emerged: American agriculture is producing more with less,” said American Farm Bureau Federation Bob Stallman. “After looking over the NRI and the latest USDA productivity figures it becomes apparent that the shrinking environmental footprint of food and fiber production in the United States is the envy of the world.” One key finding of the NRI: soil erosion on cropland declined by more than 40 percent during the past 25 years, while more than one-third of all development of U.S. land occurred during the same period. The NRI can be accessed at www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/nri.

USDA Surveys To Provide Vital Data

Matthews explained that NASS will gather this information through two major mid-year surveys: the June Area Survey and the June Agricultural Survey. “For the area survey, we visit randomly selected tracts of land and interview the operators of any farm or ranch on that land. We collect information on crop acreage – including biotech crops, as well as grain stocks, livestock inventory, cash rents, land values, and value of sales,” he said. “For the agricultural survey, which we also call the „crop/ stocks survey,‟ we contact producers by mail, phone or personal visit. We ask them to provide information on their total acreage, acres planted to

specific commodities – including biotech varieties, and quantities of grains and oilseeds stored on-farm.” This information will be a critical component of several key national reports, including the annual Acreage report and the quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released on June 30. Survey data also contribute to NASS‟s monthly and annual Crop Production reports and various other crop and livestock-related publications, all of which are available online at www.nass.usda.gov. “Especially in these uncertain economic times, farmers and the rest of the agricultural industry need timely, accurate data on the current state of U.S. agriculture,” Matthews said. “The information collected through our mid-year surveys can help producers, suppliers, traders, buyers, export customers and others to make sound and informed business decisions.”

EPA Climate Regulations Will Hit Poor Hardest

The Affordable Power Alliance released a report this week that shows EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions will hit minorities, middle-income families and the working poor the hardest.

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

33


The report, Potential Impact of the EPA Endangerment Finding on Low Income Groups and Minorities, reveals that proposed EPA greenhouse regulations will increase poverty among African Americans by 20 percent and among Hispanics by 22 percent. In addition, the report shows EPA regulation would reduce African American median family income by $550 annually by 2015 and Hispanic median family income by $630 by 2015. A total of 4.9 million African American jobs and 6.5 million Hispanic jobs would be lost by 2030, the study shows. By 2030, energy costs would increase for African Americans by 33 percent and 35 percent for Hispanics, according to the study. According to the report, gasoline and home electricity prices would increase by 50 percent by 2030. Residential gas prices would increase 75 percent and the price of coal used for electricity would increase 600 percent.

Fighting HSUS Animal Welfare Claims

Steve Baccus, Kansas Farm Bureau President, is fighting back claims made by the Humane Society of the United States that farmers and ranchers don’t care for their animals. “HSUS seeks to remove meat 34

from our dinner tables, leather goods from our closets, animals from zoos and circuses and, eventually, pets from our families,” Baccus wrote in a letter to Bank of America Corp. posted on the Kansas Farm Bureau Web site. The Humane Society, he wrote, is “a powerful, well-funded activist organization pursuing what most reasonable observers would consider an extreme anti-animal agenda.” The Los Angeles Times reports that HSUS has released undercover video footage shot at two of the nation’s largest egg farms showing workers slamming chickens into metal bins and dead birds littering cages— the latest salvo in an escalating war between the food sector and the country’s leading animal rights organizations. At stake, both sides said, is regulating how livestock are treated and how Americans’ food is produced, according to the Los Angeles Times. Since California voters passed Proposition 2 in 2008, HSUS officials have ramped up their campaigns to alter state laws regarding animal welfare. HSUS is reaching out to young people, including a presentation at a recent National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C., where they encouraged teenage members to treat livestock with respect.

Remove ‘Milk’ From Soy Milk

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010


Milk producers want the government to stop allowing soy milk to be called by that name. Milk comes from cows, not from soybeans, according to the National Milk Producers Federation. NMPF has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to stop soy milk and other items, such as yogurt, from being labeled using names borrowed from dairy products. In a letter sent last week to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, NMPF wrote, “The filtered extract of a homogenized plant substance does not meet the standard of identity for milk, does not provide the source for any ingredients that may collectively be called milk, and is not an optional ingredient that may be added to milk. Therefore, these foods should not be permitted to be labeled as such.”

The Agriculture Department and the Environmental Protection Agency announced an interagency agreement recently that seeks to promote renewable energy generation while slashing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock operations. USDA and EPA agreed to expand the existing AgStar program by providing up to $3.9 million over the next five years to help farmers overcome obstacles to biogas recovery and use. The funds will be used to expand technical assistance, improve technical standards and guidance for constructing and evaluating biogas recovery systems, and expand outreach to livestock producers and assist them with pre-feasibility studies.

Renewable Energy Generation

Cattle Outlook May 21, 2010 The average price of choice beef at retail during April was $4.44 per pound. That was up 13.2 cents from March and 16.7 cents higher than April 2009. Adjusted for inflation, retail beef prices were up 1.6% from April 2009. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, estimated per capita domestic beef usage in April was down 4% compared to a year earlier. That was a bigger decline in consumption than is typical from a 1.6% price hike, thus our calculated beef demand index was down 4% compared to April 2009. The 5 market average live price of slaughter steers in April was $98.70/cwt, up $3.70 from March and $12.00 higher than April 2009. Packer margins were wider this April than last, but the distribution-retailing margin was smaller. The World Trade Organization has agreed to Canada and Mexico’s request to investigate the legality of the U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL) law for certain foods. As of May 16, USDA/NASS estimates 87% of U.S. corn acreage and 38% of soybean acres were planted. Corn plantings were up from 81% the week before and 61% at this time last year. The 5-area daily weighted average price for slaughter steers sold through Thursday of this week on a live weight basis was $97.05/cwt, down $2.93 from a week earlier but $11.96 higher than a year ago. Steers sold on a dressed basis this week averaged $154.70/cwt, $7.60 lower than the week before but $18.49 higher than last year.

On Friday morning, the choice boxed beef carcass cutout value was $1.6748/ pound, down 2.45 cents for the week, but 21.76 cents higher than last year. The select cutout was down 3.48 cents from the previous Friday to $1.6112 per pound. This week’s cattle slaughter equaled 681,000 head, up 1.5% from the previous week but down 0.6% compared to the same week last year. Steer carcass weights averaged 806 pounds during the week ending May 8. That was up 2 pounds from the week before but 16 pounds lighter than a year ago. This was the 24th consecutive week with steer weights below year earlier levels. Cash bids for feeder cattle this week were mostly in the range of steady to $3 lower. A few Missouri auctions reported higher prices. The price ranges at Oklahoma City for medium and large frame steers were: 500-550# $128-$138, 550-600# $125.50-$135, 600-650# $120.50-$125, 650-700# $116.75-$122.75, 700-750# $115-$117.25, 750-800# $111-$115.25, and 800-1000# $95-$109/cwt. The June live cattle futures contract ended the week at $91.37/cwt, down $1.88 for the week. August settled at $90.62, down $1.38 from the week before. October settled at $91.87/cwt and December live cattle contract ended the week at $93.30/ cwt. Feeder cattle futures were also lower this week. The August feeder contract lost $2.82 this week, ending at $110.15/cwt. October closed the week at $110, down $2.50 from last Friday. The number of cattle on feed May 1 was down 3.4% compared to a year ago. Source: University of Missouri - Columbia Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

35


Farm Bureau Members Pay Less To See Clearly

FARM BUREAU COMMODITY REPORT GRAIN PRICES

04/23/2010

05/24/2010

Trend

4.83 5.19-5.33 6.88 N/A 165.50-166.00

4.70 4.98-5.06 6.40 N/A 169.75-170.25

- .13 - .21 to - .27 - .48 N/A + 4.25

White Wheat 11% Winter

4.20 4.20

4.07 3.89

14% Spring

5.72

5.14

Barley

5.93

6.14

4.00 4.03 5.79 6.00

3.85 3.69 5.25 6.35

4.00 4.03 5.40 5.25

3.94 3.72 5.01 5.25

6.67 4.00

6.33 3.80

4.50 111.50

4.50 111.50

- .34 - .20   Steady Steady

N/A 30.00-31.00 30.00

30.00 N/A N/A 30.00 30.00

Steady to -.100 N/A N/A Steady to - 1.00 Steady

04/23/10

05/24/10

Trend

113-148 94-132 87-116 91-98

115-141 97-139 90-114 85-101

+ 2 to - 7 + 3 to + 7 + 3 to - 2 - 6 to + 3

97-130 90-122 81-107 88-95

95-133 87-124 75-106 80-93

-

65-91 55-85

74-101 64-87

+ 9 to + 10 + 9 to + 2

41-76 35-62

41-75 35-64

Steady to - 1 Steady to + 2

600-1125

650-975

+ 50 to - 150

53-77

53-88

steady to + 11

Portland:

White Wheat 11% Winter 14% Spring Barley (export barges) Corn

Ogden:

Pocatello:

White Wheat 11% Winter 14% Spring Barley

Burley:

White Wheat 11% Winter 14% Spring Barley

Nampa:

White Wheat (cwt) (Bushel)

Lewiston:

White Wheat Barley

+ .21   - .15 - .34 - .54 + .35   - .06 - .31 - .39 Steady  

BEAN PRICES:

Pinto 30.00-31.00 Great Northern N/A Small White Pink Small Red

- .13 - .31 - .58

LIVESTOCK PRICES Feeder Steers

Under 500 lbs 500-700 lbs 700-900 lbs Over 900 lbs

Feeder Heifers Under 500 lbs 500-700 lbs 700-900 lbs Over 900 lbs

For information go to www.idahofb.org and click on member benefits or call Joel at (208) 239-4289. 36

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

Holstein Steers Under 700 lbs Over 700 lbs

Cows

Utility/Commercial Canner & Cutter

Stock Cows Bulls

Slaughter

Compiled by the Idaho Farm Bureau Commodity Division

2 3 6 8

to to to to

+3 +2 -1 -2


IDaho Hay Report May 21, 2010 USDA Market News All classes of hay traded firm. Buyer demand moderate to good for all classes on light hay supplies. The first hay of the season in Idaho has been swathed in the Western sector of the state. Tons Price Wtd Avg Alfalfa (Organic) Domestic Cattle Mid/Ton-3x3x8,3x4x8,4x4x8 Supreme 70 160.00-160.00 160.00 Alfalfa Domestic Cattle Mid/Ton-3x3x8,3x4x8,4x4x8 Good 105 85.00-100.00 Fair 970 60.00-80.00

95.00 68.25

Supreme Premium Good Fair Utility

ADF <27 27-29 29-32 32-35 >35

NDF <34 34-36 36-40 40-44 >44

RFV TDN-100% TDN-90% CP-100% >185 >62 >55.9 >22 170-185 60.5-62 54.5-55.9 20-22 150-170 58-60 52.5-54.5 18-20 130-150 56-58 50.5-52.5 16-18 <130 <56 <50.5 <16

RFV calculated using the Wis/Minn formula. TDN calculated using the western formula.Values based on 100% dry matter, TDN both 90% and 100%.

March 25, 2010 IDAHO---Open-market trading by processors with growers was inactive.

POTATOES FOR PROCESSING 5 Year Grain Comparison Grain Prices................05/23/2006...................05/23/2007...................05/21/2008...............05/22/2009................05/24/2010 Portland: White Wheat..................... 3.85...............................5.62................................7.75 ............................5.90 ........................... 4.70 11% Winter...................5.49-5.63.......................5.43-5.53...........................9.71 ..............6.61-6.71 ........4.98-5.06 14% Spring........................ 5.88...............................5.93.................................N/A ............................8.40 .......................... 6.40 Barley (ton)........................N/A ............. 160.00-175 ....................N/A ................. N/A .......................N/A Corn.....................................N/A...........................167.25-171....................256-259.75..................184.75-185...........169.75-170.25 Ogden: White Wheat..................... 3.53...............................5.07................................8.85 ............................4.74............................. 4.07 11% Winter....................... 3.57...............................4.58................................8.25 ............................5.70 ........................... 3.89 14 % Spring...................... 4.82...............................4.98................................9.78 ............................7.25 ............................ 5.14 Barley.................................4.80...............................7.30................................9.80 ............................6.64 ........................... 6.14 Pocatello: White Wheat..................... 3.20...............................4.80................................8.15 ............................4.60............................. 11% Winter....................... 4.35...............................4.37................................8.10 ............................5.35 .......................... 14% Spring........................ 4.76................................4.86...............................10.35..............................7.00 ........................... Barley................................. 4.05...............................6.80..............................10.00 ...........................6.40 ..........................

Alfalfa hay test guidelines, (for domestic livestock use and not more than 10% grass), used with visual appearance and intent of sale Quantitative factors are approximate and many factors can affect feeding value.

3.85 3.69 5.25 6.35

Burley: White Wheat......................N/A .............................4.77................................7.88 ............................4.42............................. 11% Winter........................N/A .............................4.33................................7.37 ............................5.47 ........................... 14% Spring.........................N/A .............................4.72.................................N/A ............................6.98 .......................... Barley..................................N/A .............................6.50................................9.50 ..........................6.00 ..........................

3.94 3.72 5.01 5.25

Nampa: White Wheat (cwt).......... 5.07............................... 7.13...............................11.58..............................8.08............................. 6.33 (bushel)..... 3.04...............................4.28................................6.95 ............................4.85............................ 3.80 Lewiston: White Wheat..................... 3.58...............................5.25................................7.35 ............................5.65............................ 4.50 Barley................................ 89.50 ..........................150.50 ..........................186.50...........................106.50......................... 111.50 Bean Prices: Pintos................................18.00 .....23.00-24.00.................. 32.00-33.00 ................. N/A Great Northerns.................N/A ..................N/A.................................N/A ........................ N/A Small Whites......................N/A .............................N/A .................N/A ............... N/A Pinks............................19.00-20.00...................21.00-22.00........................32.00 .................. N/A Small Reds...................19.00-20.00...................22.00-23.00..........................N/A ........ N/A ***

........... 30.00 ................N/A ................N/A ....... 30.00 ....... 30.00

IDAHO MILK PRODUCTION UP 3.3% May 18, 2010

Idaho milk production during April 2010 totaled 1.03 billion pounds, a 3.3 percent increase from the same month last year, but down 1.6 percent from March 2010, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average milk production per cow in April 2010 was 1,850 pounds, up 50 pounds from April 2009. The average number of milk cows during April was 554,000 head, up 3,000 from April 2009, but unchanged from March 2010.

Milk production in the 23 major States during April totaled 15.2 billion pounds, up 1.7 percent from April 2009. March revised production at 15.4 billion pounds, was up 0.9 percent from March 2009. The March revision represented an increase of 9 million pounds or 0.1 percent from last monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s preliminary production estimate. Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 1,823 pounds for April, 63 pounds above April 2009. The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.33 million head, 155,000 head less than April 2009, but 3,000 head more than March 2010. Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

37


5 Year livestock comparison .....................................05/23/2006...................05/23/2007...................05/21/2008.................05/22/2009.................05/24/2010 Under 400 lbs.................119-151 ........................105-131..........................100-125 .....................102-127 .....................115-141 400-600 lbs...................108-140 .......................100-130..........................98-131 .........................92-128 ....................... 97-139 600-800 lbs....................94-123 .........................95-120 ..........................85-121 ......................82-117 ........................ 90-114 Over 800 lbs....................78-98 ..........................80-104...........................72-102........................... 75-93 ........................85-101 Feeder Heifers Under 400 lbs................ 114-138.........................100-125..........................96-118 ....................94-121 ....................... 95-133 400-600 lbs................... 101-126..........................97-131 ..........................94-124 ..................... 88-109 ....................... 87-124 600-800 lbs.................... 88-119...........................91-107............................83-109...........................71-106..........................75-106 Over 800 lbs..................78-95...........................85-99 ..........................77-99 .......................... 85-90 .........................80-93 Holstein Steers Under 700 lbs................. 75-110...........................73-103............................50-75 .......................... 48-72 ........................ 74-101 Over 700 lbs....................65-80 ..........................52-82 ...........................48-72 ...........................52-69 .........................64-87 Cows Utility/Commercial...........40-58.............................41-70..............................34-60........................... 40-59............................ 41-75 Canner & Cutter..............32-47.............................29-57.............................21-53.............................31-52............................35-64 Stock Cows......................675-910 .....................525-875 .......................550-870 .................... 650-1010.......................650-975 Bulls â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Slaughter............44-69.............................56-79.............................48-76............................ 46-67 ..........................53-88

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Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

Idaho Cattle on Feed Unchanged From Previous Year May 21, 2010

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Idaho from feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head on May 1, 2010 totaled 210,000 head, the same as May 1, 2009, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The cattle on feed inventory is up 5,000 head from the April 1, 2010 inventory of 205,000 head. Placements of cattle in state feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during April totaled 27,000 head, down 3,000 head from April 2009 placements. Marketings of cattle from feedlots with 1,000 head or more during April totaled 21,000 head, down 8,000 head from the same month a year ago. Other disappearance totaled 1,000 during April. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.5 million head on May 1, 2010. The inventory was 3 percent below May 1, 2009. Placements in feedlots during April totaled 1.63 million, 2 percent above 2009. Net placements were 1.54 million head. During April, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 365,000, 600-699 pounds were 300,000, 700-799 pounds were 469,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 495,000. Marketings of fed cattle during April totaled 1.85 million, 1 percent below 2009. Other disappearance totaled 89,000 during April, 29 percent above 2009.


Classifieds Animals

Hay and Feed

Real Estate/Acreage

Wanted

Llamas for pets, packers, 4-H, and lovable grass eaters! Easy to keep on small acreage. Pleas com visit Llamas near Sandpoint Idaho. 208-610-4027

150 ton. 1 ton bales. 1st crop alfalfa, some 2nd crop, and meadow grass hay. Montpelier, Id. Hay ground for lease and Pasture for rent. Check out the real estate section. 208847-2748

Hay ground for lease - 110 acres, handline and sub-irrigated. Pasture for rent - 35 acres good sub-irrigated grass, good creek. Montpelier, ID. 208-847-2748

Want to buy old firearms, working or not working, reasonably priced for decorating my cabin. Please call 208-251-1523.

Morgan horses for sale. Western Working champion stock since 1982.  208476-7221 or www.creamridgemorgans.com Lowline Angus for sale. Meridian, Id 208869-8006 or www.boguscreeklowlines.com

Farm Equipment ‘Miskin’ Scraper, SP-9, excellent condition, 9 yard capacity. Purchased brand new now 150 later we are finished with the job. Would consider trading for a 16’ to 20’ disc. Bret Armacost 208-469-0467 For Sale, 500 gallon fuel tank with pump, never had fuel in so can use for gas or diesel fuels. Call for more information. Ashton, Id2 208-652-7559 Balewagons: New Holland self-propelled or pull-type models. Also interested in buying balewagons. Will consider any model. Call Jim Wilhite at 208-880-2889 anytime.

Help Wanted

Appraisal Career Opportunity - Recession proof business. Our top appraisers earn over $100,000/year appraising livestock and equipment. Agricultural background required. Classroom or Home Study courses available. (800) 488-7570. www.amagappraisers.com

Household Assorted sheets of stained glass, various sizes and new oak frames for stained glass. Filer, ID 208-326-5616 evenings.

Miscellaneous Water shares on Island Canel. Best Offer. Rigby, ID 208-745-6455 Flag poles by Old Sarge. Custom made from 2” galvanized poles. Any length, 16-30 ft. Check us out. Call Wilford. Inkom, Id 208775-3490

Free Classified ads online for Farm Bureau members.

www.idahofbclassifieds.com

15 acres prime pasture, irrigation concrete ditch, fenced for cattle, DLB gate, power 120/240 100 amp, has building permit per county. 973 County Rd 70 Weiser ID. asking $115,000 will pay 3% brokerage fee ($111,550W/0, $7436.66 per acre) 208 549-1551

Wanted Paying cash for German & Japanese war relics/souvenirs! Pistols, rifles, swords, daggers, flags, scopes, optical equipment, uniforms, helmets, machine guns (ATF rules apply) medals, flags, etc. 549-3841 (evenings) or 405-9338 Old License Plates Wanted: Also key chain license plates, old signs, light fixtures. Will pay cash. Please email, call or write. Gary Peterson, 130 E Pecan, Genesee, Id 83832. gearlep@gmail.com 285-1258

DEADLINE DATES: ADS MUST BE RECEIVED BY JUNE 20 FOR NEXT ISSUE.

FREE CLASSIFIEDS Non commercial classified ads are free to Idaho Farm Bureau members. Must include membership number for free ad. Forty (40) words maximum. Non-member cost- 50 cents per word. You may advertise your own crops, livestock, used machinery, household items, vehicles, etc. Ads will not be accepted by phone. Ads run one time only and must be re-submitted in each subsequent issue. We reserve the right to refuse to run any ad. Please type or print clearly. Proof-read your ad.

Mail ad copy to: GEM STATE PRODUCER P.O. Box 4848, Pocatello, ID 83205-4848 or email Dixie at DASHTON@IDAHOFB.ORG Name: __________________________________________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________________________________ City / State / Zip: __________________________________________________________________ Phone: _____________________________________ Membership No. ___________________ Ad Copy: ________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JUNE 2010

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June 2010 Volume 14, Issue 4  

Envirothon Tests Knowledge of Natural Systems; New Sawmill Opens in Emmett; Livestock Outlook Positive.

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