USDA Strives To Expand Support Of
Small, Mid-Sized Farmers U.S.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced new
and expanded efforts to connect small and mid-sized farmers and
ranchers with USDA resources that can help them build stronger
businesses, expand to reach new and larger markets and grow their
operations. Vilsack says the recent Census of Agriculture shows there
is tremendous growth potential for small and mid-sized producers in
the American agricultural landscape. He says USDA is taking a hard
look at existing resources to ensure they work for producers of all
sizes. Vilsack says policies have been adjusted, programs
strengthened and outreach intensified to meet the needs of small and
mid-sized producers. He says these producers are critical to the
country's agricultural and economic future. Efforts include improved
access to USDA resources, revised risk management tools that better
fit the needs of smaller producers, additional support for hoop
houses and expanded collection of valuable market news information.
USDA is also introducing a series of education tools focusing on
opportunities for farmers engaged in local and regional food systems.
USDA will roll out additional information about tools and resources
available to small and mid-sized farmers in the coming months.
ASA Comments On Reducing Trans
In a submission to the Food and Drug Administration
today, the American Soybean Association (ASA) officially submitted
its comments on the FDA's proposal to further reduce trans fat
consumption by rescinding the generally regarded as safe (GRAS)
status for partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), including partially
hydrogenated soybean oil.
While urging FDA not to withdraw GRAS status for partially
hydrogenated oils, ASA noted the almost 70 percent reduction and
continued downward trend in consumption of trans fats over the last
decade, and touted the work of the soybean industry to develop high
oleic soybean varieties. These varieties can replace the
functionality of partially hydrogenated soybean oil in certain
applications like baking, frying, and other food processing without
the addition of trans fats.
Current projections from QUALISOY indicate that approximately 1.3
billion pounds of high oleic soybean oil will be extracted from the
2016 crop of high oleic soybeans and available for use by the food
industry in 2017, with increasing quantities available in subsequent
"We are confident that high oleic soybean oil can replace a
substantial portion of the between 2 and 2.5 billion pounds of
partially hydrogenated oils that are still in the market," wrote
ASA in its comments. "But that cannot happen without FDA's
recognition of the importance of ensuring a sustainable
domestically-produced food supply."
ASA further encouraged the agency to take into account the time
needed to ramp-up domestic high oleic soybean oil production; and
urged FDA to pursue alternative strategies that have already aided in
the dramatic reductions in trans fat consumption over the last
decade. These include education, revisions to the nutrition fact
panel, and limits on the amount of trans fats that food products can
contain to be labeled free of trans fats.
The association also registered serious concerns that FDA's proposal
would have the unintended consequence of raising saturated fat
consumption as a result of manufacturers opting to substitute higher
saturated fat palm oil for PHOs as it waits for high oleic soybean
production capacity to catch up with current demand.
Export Estimates Rise Again for
2013 Record U.S. Corn Crop
U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates
released Monday lowered ending
stocks estimates on increased export estimates for the record 2013
corn crop for the second consecutive month. Despite the overall
demand increase demonstrated by this revision, the season average
farm price remained stable.
"America's farmers have produced an abundance
that is meeting meet all needs," said National Corn Growers
Association President Martin Barbre, a farmer from Carmi, Ill.
"Given the record-setting crop, it is imperative that we
maximize all markets for this essential national resource."
Projected corn exports were raised 25 million bushels
from the previous month to a new total of 1.625 billion bushels in
2013. This followed an upward export totals revision of 150 million
bushels in the February report. At the same time, projected ending
stocks declined by the same amount. The season-average farm price
held at $4.50 per bushel, still sharply down from the record $6.70 to
$7.10 the prior year.
1176.4 up 10.6
7978 up 46
North & South
8831 up 29
478 down 6.6
1408.5 up 1.5
654.2 down 12
Sugar May 1822