February Commodity Corner
March 12, 2014
The Alabama Peanut Producers Association will host two farm bill meetings: Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. at the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center in Headland and Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. at the Baldwin County Farmers Federation office in Robertsdale. Call (334) 792-6482 for details.
-Jim Cravey, interim division director
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is accepting applications for longleaf pine restoration efforts. Call (334) 353-0503 for details.
According to an Auburn University report, U.S. farm-raised catfish processing increased 11 percent in 2013. On average, producers were paid $1.10 per pound for premium-sized fish, a 27-cent increase over 2012. Catfish feed deliveries were down 13 percent at 391,000 tons.
-Rick Oates, divisions director
Energy needs for a horse at maintenance increase 1 percent for every degree below 18 degrees, so extra feed is necessary in cold weather. Blanket horses outdoors when temperatures are below 50 degrees or wind chill is below 15 degrees. Extended feeding may be necessary even after temperatures return to normal.
-Nate Jaeger, division director
In January, the State Soybean Committee voted to provide $270,450 for 33 research projects at Auburn University. The group will also donate to the Farm-City Luncheon, the Wild Pig Conference and spring judging events at Auburn.
-Carla Hornady, division director
Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod; Bee & Honey; Horticulture
The 2014 farm bill increased programs for fruit, nut, vegetable, nursery, floriculture and Christmas tree production to $1.1 billion over five years to include funding for boxwood blight and impatiens downy mildew research. The bill provides $20 million per year in emergency relief for livestock, honeybee and fish farmers and has a tree assistance program for natural disasters.
-Mac Higginbotham, divisions director
Poultry, Dairy, Pork
At the Commodity Organization Conference, producers heard from Lance Brown, the executive director of the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy (PACE). He talked about the importance of using the nation’s energy resources and maintaining a healthy balance between alternative energy and traditional energy sources like coal, natural gas and nuclear.
-Guy Hall, divisions director