Recent News Kernels
Texas farmers encouraged by Senate & House Ag Committee’s passage of farm bill
The Corn Producers Association of Texas commends the Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Nutrition Committee as well as the House Committee on Agriculture on their passage of farm bill legislation this week.
“We are pleased that both the Senate and House Ag Committees passed their versions of the farm bill out of committee this week,” CPAT President Jimmy Wedel says. “This is movement in the right direction for this legislation.”
The inclusion of reference price programs in both the Senate and House committees’ bills is a promising, and needed step for corn farmers in the state.
“As a whole, the Senate committee’s bill is improved from last year,” Wedel says. “We’re glad it’s now offering some level of protection for price losses. CPAT is encouraged that both committees included reference price programs in their legislation.”
According to David Gibson, the executive vice president for CPAT, crop insurance is a top priority for farmers in this legislation, as it is the one management tool all farmers use, and it is used to secure farm loans. This tool protects farmers against production loss; however, price loss coverage is needed to protect against sharp price declines, especially over multiple years.
“It’s good for our farmers that both committees left crop insurance intact,” Gibson says. “However, we are disappointed in the Senate committee’s inclusion of conservation compliance with crop insurance, as it’s a duplication of requirements already outlined for the farm programs and has the potential to lead to further regulation.”
Gibson also notes that the price loss coverage program set forth by the House committee is an overall better option for Texas farmers.
“Overall, the House committee’s bill offers a better price loss coverage for our producers, as was shown through the Texas A&M University’s Agricultural and Food Policy Center’s analysis,” Gibson says. “We are hopeful that the reference prices included in this bill are at least maintained. Our farmers would benefit as a whole if the final legislation closely resembles what was passed from the House committee.”
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) perhaps sums up the importance of this legislation best in his statement released following the bill’s passage, “Good agriculture policy is good federal policy – and this bill represents the best in agriculture policy today. I thank Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson for their hard work and dedication to this bill, and I urge my colleagues in the House to support this bill – and American agriculture – when it comes before the full House in the coming months.”
CPAT is encouraged by the progress these bills made this week and looks forward to seeing the legislation get to a conference committee soon.
Corn producers to hold aflatoxin research update
Researchers, working to prevent health hazards and farmers’ economic losses from aflatoxin, will be providing updates on their ongoing work on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic.
The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. in the St. George 104 meeting room of the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Fla. The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence (AMCOE) is hosting the meeting, under the administration of the National Corn Growers Association’s Mycotoxin Task Force, a subcommittee of the organization’s Production and Stewardship Action Team.
The Texas Corn Producers is a partner in the AMCOE initiative, which is a collaborative effort of the respective corn producers’ organizations of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas. The effort is under the direction of a steering committee comprised of representatives of each state, and chaired by Charles Ring, a farmer in Sinton, Texas, and a TCP board member.
“This meeting is meant to give everyone a report on the work done this far in regard to aflatoxin research impacting the corn industry,” Ring said. “Farmers, especially in our region that are impacted by heat, drought and high humidity, face potentially significant losses year after year due to aflatoxin overwhelming their corn crop.”
AMCOE funded $395,000 in research efforts for 2012-2013. The meeting will include updates from the seven research studies funded by AMCOE, including:
- Understanding biological control of aflatoxin contamination of corn
Kenneth Damann, Ph.D., with the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center
- Transgenic control of aflatoxin contamination in corn through host induced gene silencing
Zhi-Yuan Chen, Ph.D., with the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center
- A transgenic approach to improve aflatoxin resistance in corn
Ronald J. Sayler, Ph.D., with the University of Arkansas Department of Plant Pathology
- Breeding and testing for aflatoxin resistance
Wenwei Xu, Ph.D., with Texas A&M AgriLife Research
- Evaluation and optimization of the uses of smectitic clays
Youjun Deng, Ph.D., with Texas A&M AgriLife Research
- Enhancing the efficacy of biocontrol for the management of aflatoxin contamination in corn
Peter Ojiambo, Ph.D., with North Carolina State University
The meeting is open to the public. For additional information, contact TCP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.647.CORN (2676).
Farmers urged to be aware of potential lesser prairie-chicken impact
A listing of the lesser prairie-chicken as a threatened species could potentially impact farmers and landowners across the High Plains. Texas Corn Producers encourages corn farmers to participate in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s upcoming public hearings to obtain comments on the proposal to list the bird under the Endangered Species Act.
“It’s important for farmers to take a close look at this issue, and realize the implications it could have on their individual farms,” TCP Executive Director David Gibson said.
Gibson went on to say that in discussions with area legislative staff there had been few comments made from the region’s farmers and landowners.
“This is the opportunity for farmers and landowners who may be impacted by the lesser prairie-chicken’s listing as a threatened species to voice their points of view to both the Service and their local U.S. representatives,” Gibson said.
Listing the lesser prairie-chicken as a threatened species could prevent land from rotating out of Conservation Reserve Program, changing the historical use of land, and could impact the growing wind energy industry.
On Dec. 11, 2012, the Service published the proposal to list the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened, and opened a 90-day public comment period. A final determination on the listing of the lesser prairie-chicken as a threatened species must be published by Sept. 30, 2013.
Four public hearings are being held for the public to provide oral and written comments on the proposal. A one-hour informational session will begin at 4:30 p.m. prior to each public hearing, and public hearings will begin at 6:30 p.m. Hearing dates:
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013
High Plains Technology Center
3921 34th St.
Woodward, OK 73801
Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013
Garden City Community College
Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Building, Auditorium
801 N. Campus Drive
Garden City, KS 67846
Monday, Feb. 11, 2013
Lubbock Civic Center
1501 Mac Davis Lane
Lubbock, TX 79401
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013
ENMU Fine Arts Auditorium
64 University Blvd.
Roswell, NM 88203
More information on the lesser prairie-chicken and the listing proposal is available at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/LPC.html.