Thursday, March 6,2014

Today's Update!


Farm Bureau Supports Move to Strengthen Coexistence Among Farmers


The American Farm Bureau Federation is supporting USDA's decision to move forward with a recommendation from the final report of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and the 21st Century Agriculture regarding biotechnology and coexistence. The recommendation is to foster communication and collaboration to strengthen coexistence among farmers. Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says a hallmark of U.S. agriculture for decades has been the ability of farmers to pursue innovation, utilize diverse cropping systems and respond to consumer demand for high-value, identity-preserved and specialty crops. Contrary to those who say there is widespread disagreement when it comes to coexistence and agricultural biotechnology - Stallman says the diversity and vitality of the industry wouldn't be possible if not for the past success of coexistence or simply being a good neighbor.

While the U.S. regulatory framework is based on a scientific evaluation of safety and risk - Stallman says the emergence of premium markets for crops that exclude the use of approved biotechnology as a method of production are purely market-driven. He says one fundamental principle has applied throughout the history of diverse cropping systems - the farmer who derives value from a premium, differentiated crop accepts responsibility for implementing the production practices necessary to preserve the value of that crop. In all examples of identity-preserved crop production - he says the additional costs of production and the costs associated with accepting additional risk are offset by higher prices. Stallman says the AC21 report didn't identify or find evidence of significant legal disputes among farmers related to coexistence or cases of farmers being threatened legally for unintentional gene flow. He says any purported war in agriculture doesn't reflect facts and is merely the product of an activist agenda that doesn't reflect the best interest of farmers or American agriculture. 



No Funds For Horse Slaughter


Animal protection advocates applauded President Barack Obama for proposing to continue a federal funding ban that's blocking the resumption of commercial horse slaughter in the U.S. The president and Congress agreed earlier this year to withhold money through September for Agriculture Department inspections necessary for slaughterhouses to process horse meat for human consumption. The president's budget calls for the funding prohibition to remain in place through the end of the next budget year in September 2015.

The ban on inspection funding derailed a New Mexico company's plan to slaughter horses to export the meat to overseas consumers. Blair Dunn, a lawyer for Valley Meat in Roswell and Rains Natural Meats in Missouri, said the "president's budget is not law and certainly not the end of the story."

"Amid the other problems with the president's budget and the midterm elections it is unwise to assume that this provision will remain in the budget in its final form," Dunn said in a statement.

After Congress initially eliminated inspection funding, the last U.S. horse slaughterhouses closed in 2007. Plants in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa unsuccessfully sought to resume horse slaughtering when federal money was restored in 2011.


Eric Unkel Elected Louisiana Rice Council President   


Eric Unkel is the new president of the Louisiana Rice Council (LARC).  Unkel, a rice farmer from Kinder and an alumnus of the Rice Leadership Development Program, was elected by the LARC board of directors on February 20.   He also will serve as vice chairman for Louisiana on the USA Rice Council's board of directors.       


Other LARC officers elected are:  Jeff Durand of St. Martinville, first vice president; Charles Precht of Bell City, second vice president; Fred Zaunbrecher of Duson, secretary; and Damian Bollich of Jones, treasurer.  Mark Frey of Morgana was appointed to fill a vacancy on the LARC board.  



Wednesday's Closing Market Prices


Nov  Soybeans                  1179.6 down 1.4

Dec Cotton                         7889 up 8

North & South

   Delta Cotton                    8536 down 61

Sept  Corn                          483.2 down 3.2

Sept   Rice                          1405.5 down 1.5

Sept  Wheat                        653.6 down .6

#16 Sugar Mar                    2205 up 27

April Live Cattle                   143-95 down 167.5

April Feeder Cattle              173-92.5 down 42.5

Don Molino & Neil Melancon 

Please contact us with any questions or feedback regarding information you would like to receive in this e-letter. 


Don Molino

Senior Farm Broadcaster


(225) 291-2727, ext. 210