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La. Farm Bureau/Radio Network‏

December 2, 2013

LA Agriculture Hall Of Distinction

Nominations for the 2014 Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction are being accepted through Dec. 15.

Application or nomination forms can be obtained online at or at any LSU AgCenter parish extension office.

The Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction is a joint effort of the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Radio Network and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and is designed to honor the extraordinary contributions of individuals to Louisiana agriculture. Nominees can represent farming, ranching, forestry, aquaculture, fisheries, education or agribusiness.

A committee of five individuals representing commodities, agribusiness and other agriculture-related agencies across the state will review the nominations and select the inductees. The inductees will be recognized at a ceremony at White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge on Feb. 27, 2014.

"This is the golden age of agriculture, and we need to recognize the people who have made Louisiana agriculture so successful," said LSU Vice President for Agriculture Bill Richardson. "Louisiana agriculture continues to play an essential economic role in state and local economies."

This year will be the first for the hall of distinction program, which is replacing the former award known as the Louisiana Farmer of the Year.

"We are happy to expand our marquee event of the year from Farmer of the Year to the more inclusive Agriculture Hall of Distinction," said Louisiana Radio Network President Jim Engster. "This gives us the opportunity to honor so many additional individuals who have contributed to the overall agriculture economy of our state."

"Year after year we have recognized with the Farmer of the Year program many farmers who have demonstrated excellence. Now, we have opened the door to individuals representing all facets of agriculture, and I look forward to honoring these men and women. They are the backbone of Louisiana's economy," said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain.

For more information, contact Don Molino with Louisiana Radio Network at 225-291-2727, ext. 210, or or Bobby Soileau with the LSU AgCenter at 225-578-5670 or

Soybean Meal Consumption

U.S. animal agriculture's consumption of U.S. soybean meal increased by 1 million tons, or the meal from 42 million bushels of soybeans, in the 2011/12 marketing year, according to a soy-checkoff-funded report. This is good news for soybean farmers since domestic animal agriculture uses about 97 percent of the U.S. soybean meal consumed in the United States.

Despite this welcomed increase, the report concluded that U.S. soybean farmers shouldn't let their support for the animal ag industry weaken. Animal ag farmers face pressures like rising feed costs and dwindling U.S.- consumer demand. Because animal ag continues to be U.S. soybean farmers' No. 1 customer, these pressures also threaten the profitability of all soybean farmers, the report said.

The report, titled the National Animal Agriculture Economic Analysis, also outlined the economic benefits the poultry and livestock sectors provide at the state and national levels. In 2012, animal ag provided the following benefits to the national economy:

  • Support for 1.8 million jobs
  • $346 billion in total economic output
  • A $60 billion impact on household incomes
  • $21 billion in income and property taxes paid

According to the study, U.S. poultry, livestock and fish farmers used more than 30 million tons of soybean meal in the time period measured, or the meal from more than 1.26 billion bushels of U.S. soybeans. Broilers and swine continue to be by far the two biggest soybean-meal consumers.


Net Farm Income Increase Forecast

Net farm income is now forecast to be 131-billion dollars in 2013. That's up 15.1-percent from 2012's estimate of 113.8-billion. After adjusting for inflation - net farm income in 2013 is expected to be the highest since 1973. The net cash income forecast is down just over three-percent from 2012 at 129.7-billion dollars. Despite the decline - the 2013 forecast would mark just the fourth time net cash income - after adjusting for inflation - has topped 100-billion dollars since 1973. Total expenses are again expected to increase in 2013 - continuing a string of year-to-year increases that have taken place since 2002 - with the exception of 2009. Expenses are projected up 10.9-billion in 2013 to 352-billion dollars. That would be the highest on record in both nominal and inflation-adjusted dollars. USDA says labor and rent are the expense items expected to increase most in 2013 - with producers expected to pay less for fuel and fertilizer. The debt-to-asset ratio and debt-to-equity ratio are expected to reach historic lows. USDA says this confirms the strength of the farm sector's solvency.

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