Here's a look at some new Internet sites designed to provide you with workable solutions to everyday needs.

  • Communicating With Legislators.

    The new Pioneer Action Center from Pioneer Hi-Bred, www.pioneer.com/action_center/, is designed to make it easy for you to discuss agriculture and policy issues with your elected officials.

    The site provides:

    1. Tips on how to write effective letters to elected officials.

    2. An easy-to-use tool that helps identify legislators and provides contact information.

    3. Background on topical issues that can be included in letters to elected officials.

  • Information on Total Maximum Daily Loads.

    The National Corn Growers Association and American Soybean Association have combined efforts to provide " What Farmers Need to Know about Clean Water and TMDL's." In addition to information about Total Maximum Daily Loads, NCGA's web site offers a valuable primer on water quality issues in both rural and urban America. You can review it at www.ncga.com. Once you're on the home page, click on " What Every Farmer Should Know about TMDL."

  • Interested in tracking U.S. exports and imports of agricultural, fishery and forestry products? Well, you now have unlimited access to the most up-to-date USDA trade data. The U.S. Trade Internet System, developed by the Foreign Agricultural Service, incorporates the latest export and import data supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau.

    The new service gives users the flexibility to customize data searches and save their search criteria for repeated use. Data can be selected by code or by commodity groupings on either a value or volume basis. Users also can track trade trends, by accessing data from 1989.

    To check out the Web site, go to: http://www.fas.usda.gov/ustrade