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News Update

November 1, 2012

Applied Reproduction Strategies in Beef Cattle Symposium Early Registration Deadline Today

Cattlemen planning to attend the Applied Reproduction Strategies in Beef Cattle Symposium should register by the end of the day to take advantage of the early registration discount. Registration is $150 prior to the Nov. 1 early registration deadline, or $200 after Nov. 1. Students may register for $90. A one-day registration is also available for $90. Click here to register online.

Beef cattle producers from across the nation will gather at The Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., Dec. 3-4 for the 2012 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Symposium (ARSBC). The program is sponsored by the Beef Reproductive Task Force, South Dakota State University and iGrow in cooperation with the University of Missouri Conference Office.

The conference will focus on how producers can profit from managing reproduction. Program segments include the importance of estrus, inseminator efficiency and male fertility, genetics, artificial insemination technique, nutrition and fertility, managing stress, determining pregnancy status, and advanced technologies. Click here for the meeting schedule.

Farmers and Ranchers Urged to Record Losses from
Hurricane Sandy

Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia today urged farmers and ranchers affected by Hurricane Sandy to keep thorough records of all losses, including livestock death losses, as well as expenses for such things as feed purchases and extraordinary costs because of lost supplies and or increased transportation costs.
FSA recommends that owners and producers record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including:

Producers with damaged farmland should contact their local FSA office. The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) may be able to assist producer who need to repair farmland or remove debris due to Hurricane Sandy. FSA currently has $15.5 million available for producers in counties that received a major disaster declaration pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. Producers located in counties that have not received a major disaster declaration should visit their local FSA office for information on ECP if funding becomes available in the future.

Producers with private forest land that was damaged should also visit their local FSA office for information on the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP). EFRP provides assistance to landowners of private forest land to help carry out emergency measures to restore land damaged by a natural disaster. Currently no funding is available, however, producers should visit their local FSA office for information if funding becomes available.

USDA's Risk Management Agency reminds producers faced with questions on prevented planting, replant or crop losses to contact their crop insurance agent for more information. Producers who need emergency credit due may receive assistance through the Emergency Loan Program if they need assistance recovering from production and physical losses due to natural disasters. Producers are eligible for these loans as soon as their county is declared a presidential or secretarial disaster county.

For more information and the full release, click here.

MCA Convention Features Cattlemen's College

The Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) will host its 45th annual Missouri Cattlemen's Convention and Trade Show Dec. 11-13. The convention will feature Cattlemen's College, sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, and will begin the second day of the convention.

Given the extreme drought conditions that Missouri farmers and ranchers have faced, MCA's Cattlemen's College will feature Kevin Good, senior market analyst for CattleFax. Good will discuss market trends and signals that will allow cattlemen to make risk management a focus in 2013. Attendees will also hear from National Cattlemen's Beef Association Executive Director of Communications Daren Williams, who will offer insight on what challenges the industry is facing from extremist groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

"We have to get farmers and ranchers engaged and talking about beef production issues," said Williams. "Consumers have questions and they need to get answers from us, not HSUS."

To register, go online or contact MCA Director of Membership Katie Steen for more information, at or call 573-499-9162.

NCGA Applauds Implementation of Panama FTA

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) applauds the Panama Free Trade Agreement (FTA) going into effect today. NCGA testified before the Senate Finance Committee on the importance of the FTA to America's farmers in May 2011 and remains committed to the development and maintenance of fair and open global trade policies. Congress passed the Panama FTA last October.

"We are very pleased to see the Panama FTA go into effect," NCGA President Pam Johnson said. "Every new trade opportunity increases the American farmer's ability to participate in a growing global marketplace. This is vital to producer income and helps our sector continue to be a bright spot in our economy."

Panama is one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America and a crucial building block in a strategy to advance free trade within the Western hemisphere. Upon implementation of the FTA, more than 86% of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial goods to Panama will become duty-free immediately. Nearly half of the tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports will go to zero upon implementation, including on wheat, barley, soybeans and high-quality beef. The majority of the remaining products will have tariffs eliminated within 15 years.

Passage of the free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama represented the largest trade package since Congress passed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. Statistics show full implementation of the agreements will result in an estimated $2.3 billion in additional agricultural trade in 2012 and beyond. In addition, nearly 20,000 domestic jobs will be supported.

ASA Outlines Priorities for Enhanced United States-European Union Trade

As the governments of the United States and the European Union (EU) explore ways to enhance trade between our countries, including through a potential free trade agreement (FTA), the American Soybean Association (ASA) has provided its views to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

As soybeans represent the nation's largest agricultural export, valued at more than $26 billion last year, soybean farmers have a vested interest in seeing barriers to transatlantic trade reduced. Such barriers, like the EU's discriminatory biotech labeling requirements and renewable energy standards, have had a significantly negative impact on soybean exports to the EU in recent years, with a 44% decline in the value of EU-bound exports between 1998 and 2011, and a 70% drop in export volume during the same period.

"Central to our concerns with EU biotech labeling and renewable energy regulations is the fact that they represent discriminatory non-tariff barriers to U.S. access to EU markets for soybeans and soybean products, and have no basis in scientific fact," wrote ASA President Steve Wellman in ASA's comments. "Instead, the EU has invoked the so-called Precautionary Principle, under which unsubstantiated concerns about the safety of biotech products to health and the environment are deemed sufficient to require labeling them.

"Similarly, the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED) establishes arbitrary criteria for the production of soybeans and other commodities in order to meet sustainability requirements and be eligible as feedstocks for biofuels used in EU Member States," added Wellman. "In combination with the EU's biotech labeling regulations, the RED will effectively eliminate imports of U.S. soybeans, since soybean oil will not be used either as an ingredient in food products or as a feedstock for biodiesel production."

Discussing a potential free-trade agreement between the U.S. and the EU, and suggestions by some that agricultural interests may be excluded from any such FTA, Wellman maintained the importance of agriculture to trade issues, saying, "Agriculture is too important as an export industry for the U.S. to not address it in any new FTA negotiations. Moreover, as we have pointed out, U.S. soybean exports to the EU have been severely impacted by its biotech labeling and RED regulations during the last 13 years, and these issues must be addressed in any FTA negotiations."

For more information and the full release, click here.


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