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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News as heard inside the BARN for February 5th…

Posted by Brian Allmer on February 5, 2013

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“God Made a Farmer Commercial Gets Attention”

USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter has gauged consumer reaction to Super Bowl advertisements for 25 years. This year – adults across the country could pre-register to be part of the panel to rank the ads. The Dodge Ram ad featuring the late radio broadcaster Paul Harvey’s tribute to U.S. farmers came in third. While it may not have found a spot in the newspaper’s top five – another commercial of interest to the ag industry aired at the very beginning of the Super Bowl. The commercial from HumaneWatch dot org highlighted the deceptive fundraising practices of the Humane Society of the United States. It criticized HSUS for primarily using dogs and cats in its commercials while giving less than one-percent of the funds it raises to local, hands-on pet shelters. In the commercial – Max the dog pointed out the “D” charity rating HSUS has received from the American Institute of Philanthropy and advised viewers to give to their local animal shelter to help pet shelters.

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“RFA Says New DOE Research Highlights Economic Success of RFS”

The Renewable Fuels Association notes a recent research article concluded the Renewable Fuel Standard is producing significant positive economic effects in the U.S. The paper is authored by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The study finds that the RFS is reducing crude oil prices, decreasing crude oil imports, increasing gross domestic product and having only minimal impacts on global food markets and land use – and that these economic benefits will be amplified once the advanced biofuel requirements of the RFS are fully implemented. According to RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen – the bottom line is the FRS is an unrivaled American success story.

As Congress returns and hearings are scheduled – Dinneen says Big Oil and Big Food will undoubtedly ramp up their campaign to smear the RFS. Instead of listening to oil lobbyists or giving credence to sham studies funded by grocery manufacturers – he says independently funded, unbiased, third-party research like this study should guide the debate. Dinneen says we can’t allow profit-protecting fear mongers in the oil and snack food industries scare Congress into changing a flexible policy that is making important contributions to the American economy and environment every day.

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“Report Shows Farmer’s Share of Retail Food Dollar”

The latest Farmer’s Share report was released by National Farmers Union Monday. NFU says the report is based on calculations derived from the monthly Agriculture Prices report from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and compared to price points of common grocery food items at a Washington, D.C. Safeway supermarket. Among the statistics in the January report – dairy farmers received $1.72 for a gallon of fat free milk that retailed at $4.19 and wheat farmers netted just 19-cents of the $2.99 retail price of a loaf of bread. NFU President Roger Johnson says the Farmer’s Share shows the consumer that prices may increase in the grocery store – but the farmer isn’t necessarily receiving extra income. He says that is critical information every consumer should be aware of. Johnson says it’s also a reminder that the nation’s family farmers and ranchers need certainty – and that the inability of Congress to pass the 2012 Farm Bill will directly impact their operations.

Farmer’s Share is updated by NFU each month. For a look at the latest report – visit www dot NFU dot org slash farmers dash share (www.NFU.org/farmers-share).

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“Optimizing Organic Production with Cover Crops”

USDA scientists have found that farmers can help manage costs and maximize benefits in commercial organic production systems by fine-tuning their use of cover crops. An Agricultural Research Service horticulturalist designed a long-term investigation that examined several different cover cropping strategies for an annual organic lettuce-broccoli production system. The researcher planted rye, mustard and a legume-rye mix using either a typical seeding rate or a seeding rate that was three times higher with each. During production – all systems received the same fertilizer and irrigation inputs and pest management. The results indicated that all three cover crops yielded more dry matter than the two tons of crop residue per acre often recommended for maintaining soil organic matter. According to USDA – the legume-rye and rye cover crops produced approximately 25-percent more dry matter biomass than the mustard crops. Effectively suppressing weeds with the legume-rye crops required seeding at three times the typical rate. The rye and mustard crops appeared to adequately suppress weeds with typical seeding rates.

The researcher also gathered data about year-to-year yield variations in the legume-rye mix. The ARS researcher believes cooler early-season weather helps legumes compete with rye. As a result – when a hot and dry autumn is expected – producers might want to use a rye cover crop and skip spending the money on a cover crop with legumes.

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“NCBA Accepting Applications for Summer Internship”

College juniors, seniors or graduate students with an interest in the beef industry, public policy and communications to help represent cattlemen and cattlewomen can now apply for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association public policy internship. NCBA’s government affairs office will accept applications for the summer 2013 internship through March 4th. NCBA Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Kristina Butts says this internship gives college students a one-of-a-kind view into the policy making process in D.C. while helping them prepare to transition from college to a career. Interns will work closely with the lobbying team on Capitol Hill and assist with NCBA’s regulatory efforts. Butts says they will work on critical issues ranging from agriculture policy to trade, the environment and more.

The full-time internship begins May 28th and ends August 16th. To apply – students should submit the application, a college transcript, two letters of recommendation and a resume tointernship@beef.org. For more information and the internship application – go towww.beefusa.org.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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