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Former AFIA President Oakley M. Ray Passes

February 26, 2014 | Government

The American Feed Industry Association is saddened to report that Oakley M. Ray, former AFIA president from 1972-92, passed away Feb. 21, 2014. Ray was born May 5, 1927 to Oakley and Clotilda Siewers Ray, a young farm couple, both natives of Harrison Township (near Vincennes, Ind.).

Oakley was a devoted husband to Yotice (Sally) Ray; they were married for 63 years. He was a father of two, Sue (Ray) Shepard and Mike Ray (Lu Anne Ray) and grandfather of five, Stephen Ray, Michael Dean Shepard, Katherine Ray, Mallory Shepard and Ashley Shepard.

Oakley graduated from the Monroe City High School in 1944 with an enviable record in both books and basketball. He attained fame as a member of the...

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USDA Chief Economist Says Farm Bill Will Affect Income, Not Plantings

February 26, 2014 | Government

The U.S. Department of Agriculture increased its estimate of U.S. agricultural exports to $142.6 billion for fiscal 2014, up $5.6 billion from November's estimate and $1.5 billion higher than the previous record level in fiscal year 2013.

In his annual address Feb. 20 at USDA's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum being held in Arlington, Va., USDA Chief Economist Joseph Glauber noted that the forecast varied by product.

"The forecast for grain and feed exports is boosted $3.2 billion from November to $31.3 billion on greater volumes of wheat, corn and feeds and fodders," he said.

"Oilseed and product exports are forecast at $31.4 billion, up $2.5 billion, driven by record soybean and...

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DuPont, University of Missouri and USDA-ARS Collaborate on Soil Mapping

February 24, 2014 | Government

The public-private effort aims to enhance sustainable crop production through field and crop modeling that targets the specific soil, climatic, water-shed and production conditions within producers' fields with real-time information. The three-year exclusive agreement among DuPont Pioneer - the global seed and advanced plant genetics business of DuPont - the University of Missouri and USDA-ARS will bring together the respective strengths of each party in precision agriculture sensors and soil mapping, including the characterization of soil types, topography and water-sheds. Through a unique computerized process offered by DuPont that uses the latest high resolution technology, the...

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AFIA Supports New AMS/FDA Animal Feed Export Certification Program

February 20, 2014 | Government

The American Feed Industry Association is pleased with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new agreement that designates USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) as the authority to certify animal feed and pet food products for export to foreign countries.

“The agreement is a result of AFIA’s efforts to inform USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service about several issues that industry has had exporting to various markets, such as Brazil’s requirement for Good Manufacturing Practice certifications and products under the implementation of China’s AQSIQ Decree 118,” said Gina Tumbarello, AFIA manager of international trade. “The need to find a feed...

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The USDA Releases Agriculture Outlook Through 2023

February 19, 2014 | Government

Feb. 18--The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday released its annual long-term projections for the agriculture industry, with the forecast going out to 2023.

Below are some bullet points from the 93-page report:

High commodity prices led to record values of U.S. agricultural exports and U.S. net farm income in 2013. Projected reductions in prices for most major crops over the next several years will result in declines in export values and farm cash receipts through 2016. While net farm income is projected to stay below the 2013 record, it remains well above the average of the previous decade (2001-10).

Strengthening global food demand, a weak dollar, and continued biofuel demand,...

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USDA Estimates Net Farm Income Will Slide 27%

February 19, 2014 | Government

Feb. 15--Net farm incomes are in for a 27 percent drop this year, according to federal economists, though Montana agriculture groups say they may miss the worst of it.

The forecast, released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, puts net farm income at its lowest point since 2010 and credits much of the drop to falling prices for corn, a crop that isn't widely grown in Montana.

Still, state farmers are bracing for lower prices after four straight years of record growth.

"Most farmers right now are thinking prices are going to continue to fall, but there's still some optimism," said Lola Raska, Montana Grain Growers executive vice president.

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AFIA Releases Statement Regarding Chipotle’s “Farmed and Dangerous”

February 18, 2014 | Government

“Although many of us are entertained through the television programming that we choose, we must realize as consumers that what is portrayed by actors is just that, acting. Chipotle’s latest advertising campaign, ‘Farmed and Dangerous,’ generates fictitious information about animal agriculture, specifically the animal feed industry. Providing consumers with erroneous information about the food system prevents them from making adequate choices about the food available to them and their families. And the ability to make educated choices about the foods we consume is something AFIA members take great pride in helping consumers with.

“AFIA is disappointed with the Mexican food chain’s...

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NGFA Submits Statements to FDA on Two Proposed Food Safety Modernization Act Rules

February 12, 2014 | Safety | Government

WASHINGTON (Feb. 5) – The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) submitted extensive statements recently to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to two proposed rules issued to implement provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The first FDA proposal would require importers to verify the safety of foreign foods and feed/feed ingredients imported and intended for use in the United States, while the second would establish criteria under which the agency would recognize and accredit third-party auditors that perform safety audits for such products.

In its statements, the NGFA provided more than 30 pages of suggestions and comments for the FDA to...

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