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The 50-year-old herbicide atrazine, renowned for controlling weeds, is instrumental to conservation as well, according to a new study. University of Wisconsin-Madison economist Paul D. Mitchell, Ph.D., found the use of atrazine helps farmers reduce aggregate soil erosion by up to 85 million tons per year – enough to fill more than 3 million dump trucks.

Mitchell will present the findings of his paper, "Estimating soil erosion and fuel use changes and their monetary values with AGSIM: A case study for triazine herbicides," at the Wisconsin Crop Management Conference in Madison, Wisconsin.

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In a development celebrated by the organic plaintiffs, Judge Naomi Buchwald announced yesterday that oral arguments on Monsanto's motion to dismiss the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto will be heard in federal district court January 31, 2012 in Manhattan.

Judge Buchwald's decision will establish if organic farmers are to see their day in court.

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Indiana livestock producers looking to improve their pastures and forages will have opportunities to learn from experts in the field at the Northern and Southern Indiana Grazing Conferences in February.

The Southern Indiana Grazing Conference is February 1 at the Simon J. Graber Building, 9164 E. 875 N., Odon. The Northern Indiana Grazing Conference, sponsored in-part by Purdue Extension, takes place February 3-4 at the Michiana Event Center, 7605 N. Indiana 9, Howe.

"There continues to be interest in utilizing improved grazing management systems in Indiana," said Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist and speaker at the Northern Indiana Grazing Conference.

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The Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association (N.A.M.A.) will launch an online alfalfa evaluation tool at the upcoming Mid-America Alfalfa Expo & Conference, to be held at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds in Kearney, Nebraska, February 7 and 8.

“The evaluation tool allows users to calculate a sound value of their alfalfa based on a nutrient comparable basis or a market comparable basis,” said Kyle Lechtenberg of Spencer, Nebraska, a member of the N.A.M.A. board who is helping to develop the tool.

“The goal is to have a specific value for buyers and sellers to use as a starting point when marketing alfalfa, instead of simply asking neighbors or coming up with a ballpark guess.”

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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback continues to give truck drivers some relief from state regulations if they're hauling hay to livestock in drought-stricken areas.

Brownback has extended an executive order suspending some trucking regulations until Jan. 27. The governor began providing the relief in October.

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The Case IH tractor plant in Racine, Wisconsin, home to the Magnum™ Series tractor, was recently accredited with ISO 50001 certification for energy management, joining a handful of companies worldwide to receive such a rare honor.

“This accreditation for ISO 50001 recognizes the Racine plant’s continuous improvement in energy efficiency and Case IH’s long-term commitment to reducing its environmental impact,” says Steve Tyler, Racine Plant Manager. “This certification is another testament to this world-class manufacturing facility and can be a source of pride for our employees and the community.”

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