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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News as heard inside the BARN for February 26th…

Posted by Brian Allmer on February 26, 2013

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“Hearing on Mid-Level Ethanol Blends Doesn’t Include Ethanol Industry”

A House Science Subcommittee is holding a hearing on mid-level ethanol blends today (Tuesday). According to Growth Energy – this committee has historically held biased hearings and refused to invite ethanol stakeholders – and this hearing is no different. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says if the committee continues to hold one-sided, sham hearings they should change their name to the Science Fiction Committee. He says that’s how their treatment of ethanol and biofuels has been. Buis says failure to invite a single producer or ethanol industry stakeholder to a hearing on mid-level ethanol blends is a colossal waste of time and taxpayer money. He adds that it’s a shame a congressional committee with the mission of looking at scientific evidence and making informed decisions is relying on conjecture and speculation. According to Buis – consistently ignoring credible facts and extensive testing exemplifies the real agenda the committee is pursuing. Growth Energy has submitted written testimony to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Science Subcommittee on the Environment.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen has submitted a letter to the subcommittee leaders to protest the one-sided nature of the witness list and to note the extensive testing done prior to the approval of E15. He also notes the cost-saving, environment-enhancing, national security strengthening benefits of this new ethanol blend. Dinneen says he’s sad and angered that such a lopsided, stacked hearing could actually happen. He says the tight grip oil companies have on Congress is shameful – adding that Big Oil is running scared because ethanol and E15 are gaining momentum. He says science and consumer demand are on the ethanol industry’s side. In closing his letter – Dinneen offers to work with the subcommittee on a more balanced approach to E15 reviews in the future.


“Nitrogen Management Tips for Growers”

DuPont Pioneer reminds growers they can improve corn nitrogen fertilizer efficiency by knowing how much is already in the soil and how much is needed to maximize yields. Ultimately – DuPont Pioneer Agronomy Research Manager John Shanahan says growers need the right amount at the right place at the right time to obtain maximum yields and get the most out of their Nitrogen application. But determining the correct N rate can be a challenge. First – growers need to assess how much is currently in the soil. This can be done by researching how much was applied and measuring how much was taken off. DuPont Pioneer notes a spring soil sample is another way to help determine the amount of N still left in the soil. Due to the drought and lower yields – Shanahan says there is likely a fair amount of free N this year. Knowing how much is there will help growers apply the right amount in the spring.

When it comes to application of Nitrogen – DuPont Pioneer says placement is important. The suggestion is to apply N in a band and adjacent to the plant with incorporation. They say this is often the most cost effective and can decrease N losses. The ideal time for plants to receive N – according to DuPont Pioneer – is just after emergence. With applications of Nitrogen in the spring and at side-dressing time – crops are able to utilize more of the N and increase yields.

Growers can contact their local Pioneer Agronomist or visit pioneer dot com ( for more information.


“Japan Not Required to End Tariffs to Join TPP Negotiations”

U.S. and Japanese officials have announced that Japan will not be required to reduce its tariffs on rice and other agricultural products in order to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. But tariff levels on ag goods are part of the talks – and if Japan participates – the U.S. and Japanese governments say all goods will be subject to negotiation. Japan just doesn’t have to make a prior commitment to unilaterally eliminate all tariffs upon joining the negotiations – as the final outcome will be determined as part of the talks. A final decision to allow Japan into the Trans-Pacific Partnership would have to be made by all of the current TPP members.

At least one member of Congress was worried with the announcement. Representative Sander Levin warned any agreement that includes Japan will not pass Congress unless it truly pries open that country’s farm and automotive markets.


“Corn Rootworm Knowledge Research Program Grants Announced by Monsanto”

Monsanto Company is awarding six research grants as part of the Corn Rootworm Knowledge Research Program. The program was established to provide merit-based awards of up to 250-thousand dollars per award for up to three years for outstanding research projects that address specific aspects of corn rootworm biology, genomics and management issues. Dr. Steve Pueppke of Michigan State University Co-Chairs the CRW Knowledge Research Program. He says the program focuses the efforts of the best public sector researchers from across the U.S. on one of the most damaging pests of corn. He says the hope is that the research helps provide effective and sustainable solutions and management practices that help benefit corn producers.

CRW Knowledge Research Program Co-Chair Dr. Dusty Post – Monsanto Global Insect Management Lead – says they were pleased with the wide range of proposals submitted. He says corn rootworm is a challenging pest and this program is part of Monsanto’s continuing effort to increase its understanding of corn rootworm and to provide sustainable solutions for farmers. According to Post – the awards granted this year focus on a number of items from evaluating how best to manage corn rootworm under current production practices to evaluating strategies to delay the onset of resistance evolution.

For a listing of the winners and background on their projects – as well as more information on the program – visit www dot Monsanto dot com slash CRWknowledge (


“Researchers Look at Role of Temperament in Cattle Health”

According to USDA and university scientists – cattle temperament influences how animals should be handled, how they perform and how they respond to disease. Researchers looked at stressful events beef cattle experience during routine management practices like weaning, transportation and vaccination. They examined interrelationships of stress and cattle temperament with transportation, immune challenges and production traits. The animal scientists used an exit velocity system to select for temperament. They used a pen scoring system in conjunction with the exit velocity to calculate an overall temperament score for cattle selected as the calmest, the most temperamental or as intermediate. Between 24 and 36 calves were used in each study and were challenged with a bacterial toxin. According to the researchers – the more temperamental animals failed to show behaviors that allow detection of sick animals – which calm animals immediately displayed visual signs and became ill. The studies also revealed that temperamental cattle didn’t have the same vigorous immunological response to a vaccine as less temperamental cattle in the same herd.

The research team included Jeff Carroll at the USDA Agricultural Research Service  Livestock Issues Research Unit in Lubbock Texas, Rhonda Vann of Mississippi State University’s Brown Loam Branch Experiment Station, Animal Physiologist Ron Randel at Texas AgriLife Research and Endocrinologist Tom Welsh of Texas A&M AgriLife Research.


SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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