Coalition seeks funding for ag reports: A coalition of 15 farm groups sent a letter to appropriators June 3 supporting a funding request from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) that would allow the agency to resume the publication of current industrial reports. The letter urged sufficient funding to reinstate and resume issuing the "necessary and impartial agricultural publications." Recent reductions in discretionary spending and sequestration have resulted in NASS suspending important agricultural reports, including on cattle, potatoes, rice, milk and dry peas and lentils, among others. NASS has taken steps to enable it to undertake some of these reports that were terminated by the Census Bureau, including those relating to fats and oils, oilseeds, corn, ethanol, cotton system and flour milling. Resumption is contingent upon sufficient funding in the 2014 agriculture appropriations bill.
Karsting named FAS administrator: Phil Karsting was appointed administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), succeeding Suzanne Heinen. Karsting has served on Capitol Hill for more than 22 years, most recently as chief of staff to Sen. Herb Kohl (D., Wis.). Karsting's previous assignments were as legislative assistant to the late Sen. Jim Exon (D., Neb.) and senior analyst on the Democratic staff of the Senate Budget Committee, where he handled issues relating to agriculture, rural development, housing, telecommunications, energy and the environment.
Canada draws up COOL retaliation list: The Canadian government has developed a list of U.S. commodities that could be targeted for retaliation in Canada's opposition to the U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law, according to an announcement June 7. The list is "wide ranging" and soon will be published in the Canadian Gazette, "marking the formal launch" of the next phase in Canada's involvement in its dispute settlement process in the World Trade Organization, according to the announcement from the Canadian Cattlemen's Assn. (CCA). The list clearly indicates that Canadian livestock organizations and the government do not believe the recent amendment to the COOL law brings the U.S. into compliance with WTO trade rules, CCA said. The list of possible retaliation items includes live cattle and swine, fresh and frozen beef and pork, cheese and other dairy products, some fruits and a large number of other U.S. commodities.
NIAA issues paper on keynotes: The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) announced that it has published a paper highlighting presentations by the five keynote speakers at its annual conference in Louisville, Ky., in April. The paper references the conference theme: "Animal Agriculture's Vision to Feed the World — Merging Values & Technology." The keynotes were: "Grand Societal Challenges & the Role of Science" by Lowell Randel of the Federation of Animal Science Societies; "What Role Will Animal Biotechnology Play in Feeding the World?" by Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam of the University of California-Davis department of animal science; "Advances in Nutrition, Feed Efficiency, Etc., to Meet the Needs of Growing the Food Supply" by Brian Dierlam, director of government affairs at Cargill Inc.; "Financial Perspectives: Impact of Tomorrow's Technology Trends & Developments on Animal Agriculture" by Deborah Perkins at Rabobank International, and "Getting to a Comprehensive Food Safety System" by Dr. John Ruby at JBS USA. "So many factors are intertwined and must work in harmony so values and technology can be merged to serve a growing and hungry world," noted Dr. Robert Fourdraine, chair of NIAA's annual conference. "The presentations delve into the 'what' and 'why needed' factors and give us a more complete picture of the situation." The paper is available at www.animalagriculture.org.
James Cotsamire: James W. Cotsamire passed away May 17. He was president of the Ohio Grain, Feed & Fertilizer Assn. in 1975 and also was an honorary member of the Ohio Agribusiness Assn. After serving in the Army Air Corps until 1946, Cotsamire returned home and took a job with J. Walker & Sons. He next worked as a general manager of Galion Equity before retiring from Zeigler Milling Co., which he managed.
IPPE 85% full: The 2014 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) – which is still seven months away – already has sold 350,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, or 85% of the trade show floor, according to an announcement last week. More than 790 exhibitors were registered for the show as of June 1. IPPE integrates the International Feed Expo, International Meat Expo and International Poultry Expo, and the next event is scheduled for Jan. 28-30, 2014, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga.
Meatless in San Diego: The San Diego (Cal.) Unified School District last week voted 4-1 to adopt "Meatless Monday" menus in all K-8 schools in the district. The policy would not affect high schools, and elementary school students who bring their own lunches would be permitted to include meat in their meals. The policy also has been adopted by the University of California-San Diego, the University of San Diego and the Los Angeles (Cal.) Unified School District.
Comparing beans: The Illinois Soybean Assn. has released its QualiMap Toolkit, a new online tool that allows Illinois soybean farmers to see and better understand the impact soybean composition (protein and oil) can have on their profitability and the state's soybean industry. The QualiMap Toolkit, funded by the Illinois soybean checkoff, uses data from the 2012 crop year to show how soybean protein and oil levels compare for each of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's nine agricultural statistical districts in Illinois. Farmers can review data and charts for their own district to the industry target of 35% protein and 19% oil. The toolkit also includes a chart that compares each district's averages, breaking down values to provide the estimated processed value. Access the QualiMap Toolkit at www.ilsoy.org/isa/composition/qualimap-tool-kit.
Enzyme agreement: BASF and Dyadic International Inc. announced that they have entered into a non-exclusive worldwide research and licensing agreement under which BASF will be able to use Dyadic's patented and proprietary C1 platform technology to develop, produce, distribute and sell industrial enzymes in certain fields for a variety of applications. BASF will fund research and development at Dyadic's research lab in the Netherlands. In addition, BASF has agreed to pay Dyadic a $6 million upfront license fee and certain research and commercial milestone fees, as well as royalties upon commercialization. "Dyadic's C1 technology will strengthen BASF's position in the industrial enzyme industry," said Dr. Carsten Sieden, senior vice president, fine chemicals and biocatalysis research, BASF. Dyadic president and chief executive officer Mark Emalfarb added, "In using its vast resources to develop, manufacture and sell new products from the C1 platform, BASF will have business opportunities for a variety of markets, including animal and human nutrition."