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News Update

March 12, 2013

Georgia Producer is Third Winner of HD 50K and GeneMax™ Sweepstakes

Bob Seaton of Seaton Farm in Cohutta, Ga., is the third grand-prize winner in the HD 50K and GeneMax™ Sweepstakes from Zoetis, formerly Pfizer Animal Health. Seaton was pleased to hear this news because he’s in the market for new Angus bulls.

“I enter sweepstakes from time to time but have never won, so I was very surprised and excited,” Seaton says. “This win really fell into our plans and is great timing because we are starting to look around for replacement bulls.”

As a grand-prize winner, Seaton was randomly selected to win $1,000 to use either toward a registered-Angus bull with genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs) powered by HD 50K or GeneMax testing. Seaton elected to use his grand prize toward the purchase of an HD 50K-tested bull.

“A bull tested with HD 50K will give me and my business partner, Dale Bridges, a lot more information to consider before purchasing,” Seaton says. “Our goal is to wean the heaviest calves we can, so having more information about the sire and genetics will be extremely helpful in this respect.”

The sweepstakes ends March 31, 2013; click here to register. Angus animals with GE-EPDs powered by HD 50K are eligible for purchase with this grand prize. Or, if producers choose to apply the grand prize toward GeneMax testing, those tests can be used on any high-percentage black Angus animal.

Southern Plains Drought Summit Planned March 27

Recent snows and rain showers may have provided moisture to the surface of Southern Plains soils, but the persistent drought conditions of the past two years will continue to affect agriculture for the foreseeable future. To aid those involved in agriculture who must make decisions about how to survive this historic drought, Kansas State University (K-State) Research & Extension will host the Southern Plains Drought Summit Wednesday, March 27, at the Pratt Area 4-H Center on the Pratt County Fairgrounds.

Registration for the full day conference is $10 with an RSVP due by 5 p.m. March 22 or $20 per person after that time and at the door. The price includes refreshments, lunch and a proceedings booklet. For more information or to RSVP, contact the Barber County Extension Office at 620-886-3971 or

The day begins with registration at 9:30 a.m., and the program starting at 10 a.m. Presentation topics and speakers include:

NFU Supports Raising Fuel Storage Level Permit Requirements

National Farmers Union (NFU) sent a letter March 8 commending Sens. Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Roberts, R-Kan., and Reps. Neugebauer, R-Texas, and Peterson, D-Minn., for their bicameral legislation that would increase the allowable exemption for transporting fuel to 1,000 gallons.

“National Farmers Union delegates recently adopted policy during the organization’s annual convention in Springfield, Mass., that supports raising the current full HAZMAT-protocol requirements threshold for portable fuel to 1,000 gallons,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “This is a perfect example of NFU’s grassroots membership engagement levels on today’s issues.”

Current law requires agriculture producers to obtain a permit for transporting diesel fuel in excess of 119 gallons.

“This law is overly burdensome to our producers, and only increases costs and red tape,” Johnson said. “NFU supports commonsense environmental and agriculture policy that balances environmental stewardship without placing extra costs on producers.”

Women in Agriculture Conference: Denim & Diamonds is April 5 at Sidney, Neb.

Information, inspiration, humor and advice are on tap at the Women In Agriculture Conference: Denim & Diamonds , scheduled for April 5 at Sidney, Neb. The event will run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 664 Chase Blvd., Sidney.

The conference is intended for women who are involved in day-to-day farm and ranch business decisions; who want to learn more about farm and ranch management; who are landowners; or who want to broaden their knowledge of agribusiness.

The $30 registration fee covers conference materials, breaks and lunch. Advance registration is due by March 28, after which the fee is $40. Registration forms and more information are available at the UNL Extension office at 920 Jackson Street in Sidney, and the phone number is 308-254-4455. You can also email Extension Educator Karen DeBoer at

Mo. Fescue School to Show Novel Endophyte Benefits March 21

North Missouri beef producers have extra reasons to plant a new novel-endophyte fescue variety, say University of Missouri (MU) forage specialists.

The toxin-free fescues make higher grass yields north of Interstate 70 than in the Ozarks, says Craig Roberts, MU Extension specialist.

“High yields mean more opportunity for better livestock gains,” he adds.

Producers can learn more on planting and maintaining novel endophytes at a special fescue school March 21 at the MU Forage Systems Research Center, Linneus, Mo.

The schools are copied after grazing schools held statewide. Their aim is to replace toxic stands of Kentucky 31 tall fescue with a new fescue.

Five seed companies offering new novel-endophyte fescues formed an alliance to teach producers new management practices. Specialists from MU and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provide instruction.

Producers must manage the toxic fescue to reduce damage to livestock. The old fescue cuts daily gains, harms reproduction, and adds heat stress in summer and fescue-foot in winter.

The new fescues require management, as well, Roberts said. “Cattle like the new fescue so much they will graze it into the ground.”

MU has side-by-side plots of the new fescues being grazed at Linneus and at the MU Southwest Center, Mount Vernon, Mo.

The new varieties gain added value in northern Missouri for herd owners who stockpile fescue grass for winter grazing.

For more information and the full release, click here.

New CAST Report Examines Food, Fuel and Plant Nutrient Use

Research, planning and implementation of the proper use of nutrients could shape food production and yields in the years ahead. A new paper from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) examines the process shaping the current nutrient situation and the resulting requirements as world food production evolves during the next 40 years.

Two of the authors of the report, Food, Fuel and Plant Nutrient Use in the Future, will discuss their findings at a 3 p.m. briefing Monday, March 18. This briefing will be in the State Room of the DoubleTree Hotel, 1515 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. There is no charge to attend and registration is not required.

Presenters will be David Zilberman of the University of California–Berkeley, and Bruce Dale of Michigan State University. Opening remarks will be made by Neil Conklin, president of Farm Foundation NFP, and Linda Chimenti, executive vice president of CAST.

Future food, fiber and fuel demands will not be met by expanding cropland area, according to the report. Continued advances in nutrient use efficiency will moderate increased nutrient demand. With growing populations, dwindling arable land and greater demand for biofuels, the world cannot count on an expansion of harvested area to meet food demands. Genetics will be needed to improve crop productivity, promote soil conservation and management, and maximize nutrient efficiency.

The authors stress the interrelated nature of food, fuel and nutrients, and emphasize the need to support research and development in these areas.

In addition to Zilberman and Dale, authors of the paper were Paul Fixen of the International Plant Nutrition Institute, and John Havlin of North Carolina State University. Beginning March 18, the report, CAST Issue Paper 51, will be available as a free download from the CAST website.


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