Monday, March 10,2014

Today's Update!


Crop Insurance Guidelines


As the 2014 Farm Bill was signed into law, questions have arisen about how this new legislation affects crop insurance and the farmers who rely on it.  A detailed analysis that will answer those questions, including major and minor policy changes, the introduction of new products including SCO and STAX and the link between the premium discount and conservation are all detailed in the newly released version of Crop Insurance: Just the Facts.

"The 2014 Farm Bill is a turning point in federal policy towards agriculture, pivoting away from the traditional support mechanism paradigm of the past and into a risk management model that features crop insurance as farmers' primary - or only - risk management tool," noted Tom Zacharias, President of National Crop Insurance Services.

Crop Insurance:  Just the Facts, a popular online resource that provides the A to Z overview of federal crop insurance resides on the Crop Insurance Keeps America Growing website page "About Crop Insurance" where it is continuously updated. 

"This resource has proved invaluable to farmers, students and policy experts who need to better understand the nuts and bolts of crop insurance," said Zacharias.  

In addition to addressing the various aspects of the new Farm Bill, the online series covers important topics such as how crop insurance benefits the public, economics of the industry, risk management in global terms, how crop insurance benefits producers and many other important issues. 

Zacharias noted that when it comes to the important details of crop insurance, the reason why farmers, farm groups, the financial community and lenders have thrown their strong support behind crop insurance, and why it has evolved into the main risk management tool for American agriculture, discussions are replete with exaggerations and misrepresentations about crop insurance.   "Crop Insurance: Just the Facts, provides the details in an easy to read, reasoned and balanced perspective," he said. 



AgCenter Soil Scientist Reviews SoilWeb App


To help farmers sort through the hundreds of apps available to aid with agricultural production, an LSU AgCenter soil scientist has begun posting online reviews. 

Beatrix Haggard, who is based at the LSU AgCenter Macon Ridge Research Station, has written a review of SoilWeb, an app developed to help farmers learn the soil series in their fields and assess major soil features that could be problematic on their farms. "We have reached a point in society where most of the population is talking about information overload. For some relief, this fact sheet provides information and background on the SoilWeb phone application," Haggard writes in her review, adding that the smartphone she used to test the app was an iPhone

SoilWeb was developed at the Soil Resource Laboratory at the University of California-Davis and is free. The data source is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Survey. 

Haggard cautions that the app should not be used to determine soil pH or organic matter percentage and may not be accurate for determining soil textures on precision-leveled fields. 

Because management practices can change soil properties, farmers may find other inaccuracies in the data revealed on the app, Haggard said. Despite the disadvantages, SoilWeb is a useful tool "when you start trying to figure out what might be happening at deeper depths in the field, which could cause problems or be beneficial," Haggard said. 

Haggard is selecting apps to review that she has previously used or she thinks would be of benefit to Louisiana producers. She expects to post another app review in March.  

To access her review, go to For more information, contact Haggard or 318-498-2967.



Representatives Introduce Legislation To Protect Producer Personal Information


U.S. Representatives Rick Crawford, Lee Terry, Mike McIntyre and Jim Costa have introduced the Farmer Identity Protection Act - a companion bill to one introduced in the Senate last year - to prohibit EPA from disclosing private and confidential information of livestock and poultry producers to the public. This legislation comes in response to the release of personal information of more than 80,000 producers in 29 states to three radical environmental groups through a Freedom of Information Act request in February and April 2013. National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Bob McCan says there's no justification for the blatant disregard of producers' privacy. To turn this information over to anyone isn't just reckless - McCan says - but it poses serious agro-terrorism threats. EPA says it doesn't have statutory authority to protect producers' personal information - but this new legislation would provide EPA with the ability to do so in the future. NCBA applauds the representatives for introducing this bill and urges Congress to step in and provide relief to livestock producers in this matter.



Friday's Closing Market Prices


Nov  Soybeans                  1187.2 up 1.2

Dec Cotton                         7932 down 23

North & South

   Delta Cotton                    8802 down 34

Sept  Corn                          484.6 down 4.4

Sept   Rice                          1407 down 1

Sept  Wheat                        666.2 up 9.2

#16 Sugar May                   1801 down 31

April Live Cattle                   143030 up 15

April Feeder Cattle              173-67.5 up 87.5

Don Molino & Neil Melancon 

Please contact us with any questions or feedback regarding information you would like to receive in this e-letter. 


Don Molino

Senior Farm Broadcaster


(225) 291-2727, ext. 210