Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday September 12 Ag News

REMINDER: Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Livestock Program by Oct. 1

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible 2012, 2013 and 2014 Livestock Forage Program disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014.  Congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible.

The Budget Control Act passed by Congress in 2011 requires USDA to implement reductions of 7.3 percent to the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) in the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 2014. However, producers seeking LFP support who have scheduled appointments with their local FSA office before Oct. 1, even if the appointment occurs after Oct.1, will not see reductions in the amount of disaster relief they receive.

USDA is encouraging producers to register, request an appointment or begin a Livestock Forage Disaster Program application with their local FSA office before Oct. 1, 2014, to lock in the current zero percent sequestration rate. Producers who have already contacted the local office and have an appointment scheduled need do nothing more.

"In just four months since disaster assistance enrollments began, we've processed 240,000 applications to help farmers and ranchers who suffered losses," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Eligible producers who have not yet contacted their local FSA office should stop by or call their local FSA office or sign up online before Oct. 1 when congressionally mandated payment reductions take effect. This will ensure they receive as much financial assistance as possible."

Nebraska Farm Service Agency State Director Dan Steinkruger noted, “Our state sustained significant drought losses in most of the state the last three years.  With our large livestock industry, we have processed over 22,000 LFP applications across the state and issued over $250 million dollars in disaster assistance.  Ranchers and farmers who have not yet applied need to do so now to avoid the 7.3% reduction.”
The updated Farm Bill Emergency Livestock Programs provide Nebraska livestock producers with additional risk management protection to support and maintain the industry.  Crop producers utilize the crop insurance program to manage their risk needs. The 2014 Farm Bill now provides livestock and crop producers with improved risk management tools.

The Livestock Indemnity Program, the Tree Assistance Program and the Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program Frost Freeze payments will also be cut by 7.3 percent on Oct. 1, 2014. Unlike the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, applications for these programs must be fully completed by Sept. 30. FSA offices will prioritize these applications, but as the full application process can take several days or more to complete, producers are encouraged to begin the application process as soon as possible.

Steinkruger added, “These programs are a great tool for the industry and benefit Nebraska’s economy.  Farmers and ranchers need to contact our office in September if they do not have a current appointment.”

The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) compensates eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire between Oct. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2014. Eligible livestock includes alpacas, beef cattle, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, poultry, reindeer, sheep or swine that have been or would have been grazing the eligible grazing land or pastureland.

Producers forced to liquidate their livestock may also be eligible for program benefits.

To learn more about USDA disaster relief programs, producers can review the 2014 Farm Bill fact sheet at www.fsa.usda.gov/farmbill, the LFP program fact sheet, http://go.usa.gov/5JTk, or contact their local FSA office.



New Director of School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to Start Nov. 1


Dr. Don Reynolds will become the director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on Nov. 1. He also will serve as associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources for the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine.

Reynolds served as dean of Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, PEI, Canada from 2008 to 2014. He also has served as associate dean for research and graduate studies at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University, interim chairman of ISU's Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine and assistant director of ISU's Agricultural Experiment Station.

"We are excited to have Dr. Reynolds join our team and provide leadership for the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, direction to the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine and interaction with Nebraska's livestock industry," said Ronnie Green, Harlan vice chancellor of UNL's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

"Dr. Reynolds' background as an administrator, teacher and scientist offers just the right mix to continue to build UNL's program," Green added.

Reynolds, an Ohio native, received his bachelor's, Ph.D. and DVM from The Ohio State University.  "It's great to return to a major United States land-grant institution that serves such a prominent role in agriculture," said Reynolds.  "It is the perfect fit for me.  This opportunity feels familiar, but with a freshness and newness that is quite exciting."

Reynolds' appointment is pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. He would replace Don Beermann, currently serving as interim director of the school.



UNL Fall Agronomy and Entomology Series Underway


UNL Fall Agronomy Seminar Series starts Sept. 19 with a program by Dr. Robert Wilson, Panhandle REC, on growing chicory in Nebraska as a new alternative crop. On Sept. 26 Dr. Tom Hoegemeyer, Lincoln, will address the evolution of the corn seed industry.  Seminars are held at 3:30 p.m. on Fridays in Keim Hall 150 on UNL’s East Campus throughout the semester. All are preceded by refreshments at 3 p.m. The schedule for the rest of the line-up for this fall includes...

September 19 - Chicory — A new crop for Nebraska - Trials and tribulations of developing alternate crops, Robert Wilson – Professor & Extension Weed Specialist, Panhandle Research & Extension Center, 
UNL Agronomy & Horticulture
September 26 - Evolution of the corn seed industry, Tom Hoegemeyer – Professor of Practice, UNL Agronomy & Horticulture
October 3 - The new structure of ConAgra popcorn breeding program at UNL - From traditional breeding to new technologies, Oscar Rodriguez – Research Professor, UNL Agronomy & Horticulture
October 10 - Synteny as a marker for function across the grasses, James Schnable – Assistant Professor, UNL Agronomy & Horticulture
October 17 - Advances in feld scale soil water monitoring using cosmic-ray neutron probes, Trenton Franz – Assistant Professor of Hydrogeophysics, School of Natural Resources, Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute Fellow
October 24 - Connecting with extension to enhance the land grant mission, Jenny Rees – UNL Extension Educator, Southeast Research & Extension Center
October 31 - Haney and PLFA tests and soil health, Raymond Ward – Ward Laboratories Inc., Kearney, Neb.
November 7 - Managing Sandhills rangeland for prairie grouse habitat, Walter Schacht – Professor, UNL Agronomy & Horticulture
November 14 - Learning big science — Problem solving in the palm of your hand: The Journey of a Gene App, Donald Lee – Professor, UNL Agronomy & Horticulture & Grace Troupe – Graduate Research Assistant, UNL Agronomy & Horticulture
November 21 - A molecular genetic approach to understanding iron defciency chlorosis (IDC) in plants, Brian Waters – Assistant Professor, UNL Agronomy & Horticulture
December 5 - Recent advancements in switchgrass for bioenergy, Robert Mitchell – Adjunct Professor, USDA Research Agronomist, UNL Agronomy & Horticulture
December 12 - Soybean genetic improvement — Retrospect and prospect - What we know now — What we want to know next, James Specht – Emeritus Professor, UNL Agronomy & Horticulture

UNL Fall Entomology Seminar Series continues on Tuesdays this fall. On Sept. 16 the topic is Insecticide Resistance Management (IRM): Negative Cross-Resistance in Focus with Matheus Ribeiro, entomology graduate student. On Sept. 23, entomology graduate student Louise Lynch will address Understanding the Improving Educational Impacts and Experiences of Citizen Science Participants. Graduate students will present on a variety of entomology topics at these 4 p.m. Tuesday seminars on East Campus. The schedule includes....

September 2.............Perspectves on Invasive Insect Species in the United States, Karen da Silva, Entomology Graduate Student
September 9 ............Telling Your Story: Understanding the Media and Working with Reporters, Mike Tobias, Senior Producer/Reporter for NET News 
September 16...........Insectcide Resistance Management (IRM): Negatve Cross-Resistance in Focus, Matheus Ribeiro, Entomology Graduate Student
September 23...........Understanding and Improving Educatonal Impacts  and Experiences of Citzen Science Partcipants, Louise Lynch, Entomology Graduate Student                                                                                                 
September 30...........Cofee Pests in Brazil: Large Crop with Big Problems, Adriano Pereira, Entomology Graduate Student        
October 7..................Invasion Biology and Management of the Coconut Leaf Beetle Brontspa, longissima Gestro (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), Jelfna Alouw, Entomology Graduate Student
October 14................Assessing and Mitgatng Lawn Insectcide Hazards to Bees and Other Benefcial Invertebrates, Dr. Jonathan Larson, Extension Educator, Southeast Research and Extension Center
October 28................Integraton of Insect Resistant Genes from Arabidopsis into Rice and Soybean, Kaitlin Chapman, Entomology Graduate Student
November 4 .............Insect-Phloem Interactons: Adaptatons to Evade Plant Defenses, Kyle Koch, Entomology Graduate Student
November 11 ...........Malaria in Colombia, Melina Flor├ęz-Cuadros, Entomology Graduate Student  
November 25 ...........Food Security in Africa: An Entomological Perspectve, David Wangila, Entomology Graduate Student
December 2 ..............Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreaks, Zachary Rystrom, Entomology Graduate Student
December 9 ...............Impacts of Instructonal Methods and Conservaton Awareness on Pollinator - Conservaton Practces to Gain Knowledge of Natve NE Urban Bee Populatons, Natalia Bjorklund, Entomology Graduate Student



New Channel Seedsman Comes to Colfax and Platte Counties


Putting Seedsmanship at Work® into practice, Channel has hired Kaleb Sobota as a Channel Seedsman in Colfax and Platte counties.

Sobota’s role will be to work proactively with local farmers to deliver expert advice, customized service and elite seed products to help improve productivity and profitability. Channel Seedsmen focus on getting to know their customers and their farms inside and out, and using that knowledge to provide in-depth, hands-on service and support every step of the way.

Sobota, a graduate of Northeast Community College, interned for two years at Servi-Tech, Inc.

“We are excited to have Kaleb join the Channel team,” said Channel District Sales Manager Doug Vrana. “His knowledge and expertise will be a great fit for our farmer customers in his area looking for the service and support a Channel Seedsman can provide.”

One of Sobota’s primary responsibilities will be implementing the Channel® Field Check Up Series with local farmers. This series allows Channel Seedsmen to work with the farmer throughout the season to observe and monitor crop development.

Walking farmers’ fields allows Channel Seedsmen to diagnose issues and design custom recommendations to increase the farm’s profitability. Year-round farm visits include personal consultations through the four major growth stages: seedling, reproductive, vegetative and maturity.



Iowa DNR Submits Livestock Work Plan Report to EPA


An annual report updating work the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has completed in the last year to improve oversight of livestock operations has been submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Work Plan Agreement between the DNR and EPA Region 7 was created as a means to strengthen DNR's implementation of the federally authorized National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program as it relates to the regulation of livestock facilities.

"This first annual report to EPA represents a year of us 'gearing up' on our efforts to work with livestock facilities," said Bill Ehm, administrator of the DNR's Environmental Services Division.

Ehm said a major accomplishment during the first year of the work plan was hiring additional field staff and conducting training for the inspection of livestock facilities.

The DNR was able to complete an inventory that identified 6,617 total confinements, 1,457 open lots and 508 operations that were a combination of confinement and open lots.

During the first year of the work plan, the DNR was also able to perform 724 on-site inspections and 1,131 desk top assessments.

"The work we have done in the first year through training and doing the inventory sets the stage for us to be able to more efficiently and effectively conduct site visits in future years. The training work we have done ensures that we will have fair and consistent evaluations of facilities across the state," said Ehm.

Under terms of the Work Plan Agreement, the DNR will be inspecting 20 percent of the large and medium sized livestock facilities each year. The inventory completed during the first year enables DNR to prioritize its inspection schedule based on operations that may be closest to surface water or have had previous violations.

"We want on-site visits to be valuable in terms of helping livestock producers identify ways they can improve their operations to avoid having environmental problems," said Ehm.

The Work Plan Agreement between the DNR and EPA Region 7 was created as a means to strengthen DNR's implementation of the federally authorized National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. A petition for withdrawal of the NPDES program authorization was submitted to the EPA in 2007 by Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Integrity Project. As a result of the petition, EPA conducted a formal investigation of the petitioners' allegations. The investigation found deficiencies in Iowa's NPDES program for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The Work Plan was negotiated to address those deficiencies over a five-year period and covers seven specific objectives as described in this report, the first of five scheduled annual reports.

The work plan is available online at: www.iowadnr.gov/.  



Iowa Fish Kill Linked to Dairy Operation


(AP) -- A large fish kill in northwest Iowa was caused by a manure spill from a nearby dairy operation, state officials announced Thursday.  The state Department of Natural Resources said the August discharge killed more than 860,000 fish along 28 miles of stream in O'Brien County.  Most of the dead fish were minnows, shiners, dace and chubs. The DNR said elevated levels of ammonia and low levels of dissolved oxygen were found in the water.  The loss from the fish kill plus investigation costs total more than $160,000.



Did You Know ... Beef Audio Shorts


Did you know ... The beef checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) and the Pennsylvania Beef Council, spoke to participants enrolled in Liberty Lutheran’s Wellness Works program as well as community health and wellness center members, educating them about beef nutrition, the variety of beef cuts and tips on purchasing beef. Approximately 20 attendees joined beef checkoff staff in the educational session on Aug. 26, in Ambler, PA. After viewing a quick tutorial video, the group participated in an interactive cooking demonstration where they learned to make Easy Asian Stir-Fry.  A simple beef stir-fry is a smart and nutritious way to combine all the essential food groups into a single, delicious meal.

... On Sept. 8-9, the beef checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative hosted a ‘Raising the Steaks’ at Hedgeapple Farm tour in Buckeystown, MD. Nutrition influencers from across the Northeast joined staff to tour Hedgeapple Farm, listen to the latest beef research and learn how today’s beef gets from pasture to plate. Industry experts engaged with attendees by hosting a panel discussion to wrap up the tour. Sixteen Registered Dieticians, University Professors, dietetic interns, and other key influencers were in attendance for this educational event. To learn more about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.

... The beef checkoff is receiving additional exposure with foodservice audiences through value-added opportunities secured through the 2014 BEEFlexible foodservice ad campaign. In addition to checkoff investment for print and digital exposure, the team negotiated an extra $50,000 value in advertising – at no additional cost. Digital ads are appearing throughout the end of the fiscal year on the web properties for leading foodservice publications Restaurant Business, Flavor & the Menu and FoodArts. These ads will drive foodservice chefs and operators to the checkoff’s new cut utilization tools focused on helping operators make the most out of the beef they are buying. To learn more about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.

... The beef checkoff worked with Ibotta, one of the top consumer apps, to encourage beef sales at WalMart and Target stores (two of the checkoff’s focused accounts) nationwide over the last several weeks. The Ibotta app encouraged consumers to engage with beef by learning freezing and nutrition facts, and watching checkoff-funded videos for the Easy Lean Beef Burger and DIY Tacos to earn a rebate after their purchase of fresh Top Sirloin or Ground Beef. The offer and education were a runaway success with consumers who were able to learn about beef while shopping at major retailers.

To learn more about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.



August Soybean Crush Likely Lower


A monthly report due Monday from the National Oilseed Processors Association is expected to show that the U.S. soybean processing rate declined in August from the previous month. Analysts on average forecast the processing, or crush, rate at 111.2 million bushels, down from July's rate of 119.6 million bushels, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.  Analyst estimates ranged from 108 million bushels to 116.1 million bushels.

Stockpiles of soybean oil may have fallen for a fifth straight month in August, according to the analysts, who projected inventories at 1.326 billion pounds. That compares with July soyoil inventories of 1.589 billion pounds. Analyst estimates ranged from 1.3 billion to 1.371 billion pounds.

NOPA's report, which includes only data from members of the trade group, is expected to be released at 11am on Monday.



Farm Bureau Praises Bi-Partisan Support for Farms, Ranches and Cash Accounting
The American Farm Bureau Federation hailed the strong bi-partisan effort by members of Congress as they urged Senate and House leadership to preserve the cash accounting system farmers and ranchers rely on to grow their businesses.

“We are pleased to see members of Congress reach across party lines and stand together for farmers and ranchers who are working to build their businesses and communities,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said today.

Cash accounting gives farmers and ranchers an important tool to expand their businesses and boost local economies. But a recent proposal by the Senate Finance Committee would put a stop to this by requiring all businesses with annual receipts totaling $10 million to switch to the accrual method. Senators and representatives from both sides of the aisle warned this would “create significant long-term financial hardship.” In letters to both House and Senate leadership, members from all 50 states called the cash accounting system fundamental to the success of small businesses across rural America. The letters were signed by 46 senators and 233 representatives.

Under an accrual accounting system, small businesses would be taxed on non-existent income, thereby reducing their cash flow for operating costs and limiting opportunities for expansion. The added financial burden would require many to take out loans to cover the liquidity problems they would face.

Forcing small businesses to full-accrual accounting will hinder both profits and job creation in regions of the country that are still suffering from the economic downturn. Farm Bureau enthusiastically supports preservation of current cash accounting rules.



Safe Electricity Cautions Farmers to Steer Clear of Overhead Power Lines


National Farm Safety and Health Week is coming up on September 20-27, and draws attention to the importance of safety in such a dangerous occupation as farming. In particular, power lines can pose a major hazard for farmers. Typically, power lines over streets and rural areas have a minimal clearance of 18 feet and 12.5 feet over residential private property.

The simple movement of a portable grain auger from one bin to another can have tragic results if the individuals involved are not extremely careful. Today's farm equipment has a long reach when extended. A daily check of where equipment will be moving should be conducted to ensure that it will clear power lines. If you cannot safely pass under a power line, choose a different path.

Safe Electricity advises farm operators and workers to:
-    Always use a spotter when operating large machinery near lines.
-    Use care when raising augers or the bed of grain trucks around power lines.
-    Keep equipment at least 10 feet from lines-at all times, in all directions.
-    Inspect the height of the farm equipment to determine clearance.
-    Always remember to lower extensions to the lowest setting when moving loads.
-    Never attempt to move a power line out of the way or raise it for clearance.
-    If a power line is sagging or low, call the local utility immediately.

If contact is made with a power line, remember, it is almost always safest to stay on the equipment. Make sure to warn others to stay away, and call the local utility provider immediately. The only reason to exit is if the equipment is on fire. If this is the case, jump off the equipment with your feet together and without touching the ground and vehicle at the same time. Then, still keeping your feet together, "bunny hop" away.

If you see someone's equipment in contact with a power line, the best help you can give is at a safe distance. During one of these situations, make sure to yell out to, signal, or call the equipment operator to make sure he remains in the vehicle, and notify the local utility.

Always keep in mind that electricity does not allow mistakes, and neither should you. For more information on electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.



Cargill sues Syngenta over unapproved corn trait


Cargill filed a lawsuit today against Syngenta Seeds, Inc. in Louisiana state court, seeking damages from Syngenta for commercializing its Agrisure Viptera® (MIR 162) corn seed before the product obtained import approval from China. Cargill’s grain export facilities in Reserve and Westwego, Louisiana loaded the vessels that were destined for and rejected by China.

“Unlike other seed companies, Syngenta has not practiced responsible stewardship by broadly commercializing a new product before receiving approval from a key export market like China,” said Mark Stonacek, president of Cargill Grain & Oilseed Supply Chain North America. “Syngenta also put the ability of U.S. agriculture to serve global markets at risk, costing both Cargill and the entire U.S. agricultural industry significant damages.”

Since mid-November 2013, China has rejected imports of U.S. corn due to the presence of Syngenta’s MIR 162 trait because of its lack of approval for import, virtually halting U.S. corn trade with China. A study by the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) estimated that U.S. exporters and farmers lost up to $2.9 billion because of the uncertain trade environment. 

Stonacek said that seed companies, farmers, grain handlers, exporters and others have a shared responsibility to maintain and preserve market access when introducing new technology. “The risks – as well as the rewards – need to be shared across the marketplace by all of the stakeholders,” Stonacek said. “Syngenta has not accepted its share of the risks associated with MIR 162.”

Dave Baudler, president of Cargill AgHorizons U.S., said Cargill is an advocate for new technology including new GMO seed products, noting that the innovations in seeds are tools that can allow U.S. agriculture to meet the growing demand for food, feed and fuel.  AgHorizons U.S. is Cargill’s network of grain storage and farm service centers and purchases corn from farmer customers.

“Responsible stewardship of agricultural innovation – from creation through its development and marketing – requires everyone’s cooperation and allows everyone to benefit,” Baudler said. “I want to be clear about this: Cargill is a supporter of innovation and the development of new GMO seed products. But we take exception to Syngenta’s actions in launching the sale of new products like MIR 162 before obtaining import approval in key export markets for U.S. crops. Syngenta’s actions are inconsistent with industry standards and the conduct of other biotechnology seed companies.”

Stonacek said that filing the lawsuit came only after talks with Syngenta proved unproductive. “This issue is important to U.S. agriculture,” Stonacek said. “Marketing MIR 162 before receiving approval from China closed off that significant export market to U.S. farmers and exporters. Cargill believes that Syngenta continues to not accept its role in shared responsibility by moving ahead this year with the commercialization of Duracade, which also is not approved in China and other key export markets.”



Syngenta response to Cargill lawsuit


Syngenta today responded to the lawsuit filed against Syngenta Seeds, Inc. in Louisiana state court by Cargill.

Syngenta believes that the lawsuit is without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies that can increase both their productivity and their profitability.

The Agrisure Viptera® trait (MIR162) was approved for cultivation in the U.S. in 2010. Syngenta commercialized the trait in full compliance with regulatory and legal requirements. Syngenta also obtained import approval from major corn importing countries. Syngenta has been fully transparent in commercializing the trait over the last four years. During this time Agrisure Viptera has demonstrated major benefits for growers, preventing significant yield and grain quality losses resulting from damage by a broad spectrum of lepidopteran pests.



Idaho Dairy Group Rrges Farmers to Deny Media Tours


(AP) -- An Idaho dairy industry group has sent a letter to its members urging them to deny media requests for tours and on-farm interviews in the wake of a new law that makes it illegal to secretly videotape animal abuse at agricultural facilities.

The letter from the United Dairymen of Idaho recently was sent anonymously to The Associated Press.

In it, co-chairmen Tom Dorsey and Tony Vanderhulst advise dairy producers there’s been an increase in requests from media groups seeking to film on-farm footage since the law was passed earlier this year.

Several groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho are suing the state over the law, which they contend curtails free-speech. Ag groups say the law is needed to prevent animal-rights groups from unfairly targeting certain businesses and to protect private property rights.

The letter was dated Aug. 13 and labeled confidential.

“We are working to confine and contain the nature of the requests, but encourage you to remain alert for unexpected visits to your farms,” the letter stated.

The letter also provided four suggested responses if dairy farmers are contacted by the news media, including three ways to turn down requests and one way to refer reporters to the industry groups.

“Animal hygiene and farm safety are critical to my operation. We simply don’t conduct tours like the one you’re requesting,” reads one response.

Cindy Miller, the spokeswoman for United Dairymen of Idaho, confirmed Aug. 25 the letter was sent to about 500 dairy families statewide.

“We had some requests for dairy tours by some groups, and we just wanted to let our farm producers know what we could do to help them,” Miller said.

Bob Naerebout, director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association (IDA), said the letter wasn’t intended to block news media from covering the industry. Rather, he said, the industry groups wanted to let members know they had options.

“Our dairymen need to focus and want to focus on what they do best: producing a high-quality work product,” Naerebout said. “And, they’re not, shall we say, comfortable with the media.”

Ritchie Eppink, an attorney for ACLU-Idaho, said the agriculture groups that pushed for the law frequently told lawmakers the dairy industry has nothing to hide.

Eppink hasn’t seen the letter but was read portions of the letter during an interview with the AP.

Eppink said the suggested responses are troubling because many dairies offer tours to school children or other groups, and the letter appeared to encourage dairy farmers to misrepresent whether they give tours when speaking to the press.

“If there’s really a problem with the press and others visiting these farms, then the IDA should be figuring out why that’s a problem,” Eppink said. “There shouldn’t be anything that they’re scared to show people - this is our food supply.”



Syngenta and Gavilon enhance grain marketing support for Agrisure Duracade™ in 2015


Syngenta announced today that it has renewed and enhanced its program with Gavilon Grain, LLC, to provide grain marketing opportunities for U.S. farmers who plant Agrisure Duracade™ in 2015. Agrisure Duracade is Syngenta’s cutting-edge corn rootworm (CRW) control technology approved in the U.S.

The “Right to Grow” program offers qualifying farmers a per unit stewardship premium for each bag of Agrisure Duracade corn planted in 2015. In addition, farmers will receive consultative services through Gavilon to help them appropriately steward and market their 2015 Agrisure Duracade grain at harvest through an extensive network of accepting destinations.

“Based on the success of our current program, we are improving it to give Agrisure Duracade growers even more marketing support in 2015,” said Chuck Lee, Syngenta head of corn in North America. “Growers with CRW pressure need this technology and we want to ensure they have access to it along with many options for marketing their grain.”

“We set out this year to demonstrate the supply chain is capable of expanding beyond the basic commodity model in marketing U.S. grains,” said Jim Anderson, chief operating officer at Gavilon. “We are succeeding and plan to grow our network of accepting locations.”

Gavilon will help connect qualifying growers with accepting elevators, feedlots, feed mills and other appropriate destinations. Also, designated Gavilon locations will accept grain containing Agrisure Duracade in 2015; however, farmers are not required to sell their grain to Gavilon. Many growers also have the option of on-farm feeding.

Chip Bowling, first vice president, and incoming president, of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) said, “Growers need access to technology and markets, and Syngenta’s stewardship of Agrisure Duracade for two growing seasons allows that to happen. NCGA worked with Syngenta, Gavilon and growers in 2014 in the ‘Right to Grow’ program and will continue to monitor, educate and preserve the integrity of the U.S. corn industry through the 2015 program and growing season.”

Agrisure Duracade is Syngenta’s next-generation CRW trait, offering the latest corn rootworm technology in the industry in two trait stack options for above- and below-ground insect control. Agrisure Duracade technology features the industry’s first hybrid Bt protein and is only available stacked with a second corn rootworm mode of action for technology preservation.

For more information about Agrisure Duracade and the “Right to Grow” program from Syngenta and Gavilon, visit www.agrisureduracade.com.



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