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– Brian Allmer

07-25-14 CMU News: “Water for the taking…at any price”, by Greg Trainor…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 25, 2014

CMU-Colorado Mesa University logoFrom the incorporation of the town of Grand Junction in 1882 until 1911, the prospect of a firm water supply for Grand Junction citizens was in doubt.  For almost thirty years, numerous recall elections, battles between the town and private water purveyors, and municipal expeditions to find mountain “water at any price” took up most of the official business of Grand Junction aldermen.

See-sawing back and forth between municipal ownership of  the town water system and franchises to private companies to operate the system,  the source of the town water supply also see-sawed between locations on the Colorado River at 5th Street and the Gunnison River near the Redlands Water and Power Company Diversion. In Spring, supply was up, but so was sediment and mud .  In late summer and fall, flow was down and ability to keep pipes full of water for fire protection suffered.

In 1894 the citizens voted 88% to build and operate a municipal water system but it took thirteen years for the Town to finally file for a water right in Kannah Creek, twenty miles to the southeast.  The town was desperate: could they afford a municipal system, who would buy bonds to pay for a system, where were there year-round supplies of water?

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07-25-14 CAWG NEWS: 2014 Colorado Winter Wheat Harvest Update #10…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 25, 2014

2014 CO Winter Wheat Harvest Update Header

(Note: Farmers and elevators, give me a heads-up when harvest starts in your area, please!)

Results for the CSU UVPT trials are being posted, with Julesburg, Orchard, Lamar, Sheridan Lake, Walsh and Yuma completed so far: http://bit.ly/lNngvt

Friday, July 25, 2014 - Colorado winter wheat harvest is moving rapidly towards completion after a week of very favorable harvest conditions and should be wrapping up over the weekend. Colorado Wheat estimates the harvest is 87 percent complete based on Ideal weather conditions since this Tuesday.

Bryan bergen harvest pic_compressed.jpg Photo: Harvest on the Bergen farm on the CO/KS border, thanks to Bryan Bergen for sharing!

Bryan bergen harvest pic_compressed.jpg
Photo: Harvest on the Bergen farm on the CO/KS border, thanks to Bryan Bergen for sharing!

Stratton Equity Coop estimated that the harvest was 97 percent complete with moisture averaging 9.5 percent, test weight averaging 59 pounds per bushel, protein averaging 11.5 percent and yields ranging from 45 to 80 bushels per acre with an area average of over 60 bushels per acre.

trucks in line Anton_compressed.jpg Photo: Trucks waiting to dump winter wheat at Anton.

trucks in line Anton_compressed.jpg
Photo: Trucks waiting to dump winter wheat at Anton.

The Flagler Equity Coop estimated that harvest was 65 percent complete with moisture averaging 10.8 percent, test weight averaging 58.9 pounds per bushel, protein averaging 13 percent and yields ranging up to 70 bushels per acre with an area average of 35 bushels per acre due to hail. A wheat farmer north of Limon reported that his farm yields were ranging from 30 to 50 bushels per acre with an average yield of about 40 bushels per acre. Moisture was averaging 10 percent, test weight averaging 60 pounds per bushel and protein averaging 12 percent.

Bartlett at Yuma estimated that the harvest was 95 percent complete and would wrap up by the weekend. Moisture was averaging 9 percent, test weight averaging 60 pounds pre bushel, protein averaging 11.5 percent and yields ranging from 50 to 90 bushels per acre with an area average of 65 bushels per acre. An Anton area wheat farmer reported that his farm yields were averaging 60 bushels per acre. Moisture was averaging 11 percent, test weight averaging over 60 pounds per bushel and protein ranging from 10 to 13 percent.

Paoli Coop estimated the harvest was 95 percent complete and reported yields in the area were 50 to 75 bushels per acre with moisture averaging 12 percent, test weight averaging over 60 pounds per bushel, protein averaging 12 percent and yields ranging from 50 to 75 bushels per acre with area average of 55 bushels per acre.

north of Anton.jpg Photo: Combines waiting to roll north of Anton.

north of Anton.jpg
Photo: Combines waiting to roll north of Anton.

CHS Grainland reported that they taken over 6.1 million bushels at all locations so far. Moisture was averaging 12.2 percent, test weight was averaging 61.5 pounds per bushel, protein averaging 12 percent and yields were ranging from mostly 50 to 80 bushels per acre with an average of over 60 bushels per acre.

Peetz Coop estimated that the harvest was 55 percent complete and reported yields in the area were ranging from 40 to 60 bushels per acre with an area average of 50 bushels per acre. Moisture was averaging 12 percent, test weight averaging over 60 pounds per bushel, protein ranging from 11 to 13 percent.

A wheat farmer northwest of Orchard reported “phenomenal yields” ranging from 50 to 65 bushels per acre with test weights ranging from 62 to 65 pounds and protein averaging over 13 percent. He reported yields of 65 bushels per acre for PlainsGold Snowmass and PlainsGold Brawl CL Plus. PlainsGold Byrd yielded 66 bushels per acre.

Cargill – Byers estimated that harvest was 75 percent complete with moisture averaging about 9 percent, test weight averaging 58 to 59 pounds per bushel, protein averaging 10 percent and yields ranging from 35 bushels per acre on wheat not hailed to a high of 85 bushels per acre with an area average of 55 bushels per acre. A wheat farmer east of Byers reported yields ranging from 40 to 80 bushels per acre with an average farm yield of about 50 bushels per acre. He reported that PlaisGold Byrd yielded 81 bushels per acre and PlainsGold Snowmass yielded 74 bushels per acre.

From USDA’s July 11 Crop Production Estimate:
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07-25-14 CSU receives $1.5 million to develop new crop for biofuels…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 25, 2014

Header - Please enable images in your e-mail programFORT COLLINS – Colorado State University Bioagricultural Sciences Associate Professor John McKay has been awarded nearly $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a new crop for biofuels.

McKay, who also holds the title of Monfort Professor, and his team will focus on the plant species Camelina sativa, an oilseed feedstock crop that can be grown on less-than-ideal farmland with relatively low fertilizer inputs and limited irrigation. Leveraging the newly available genome sequence of Camelina, this project will use forward and reverse genetics and natural variation to combine optimal qualities in Camelina as an oilseed feedstock for the Great Plains and western United States.

The grant was awarded by a joint DOE-U.S. Department of Agriculture program that began in 2006 focusing on fundamental investigations of biomass genomics, with the aim of harnessing nonfood plant biomass for the production of fuels such as ethanol or renewable chemical feedstocks. The ideal biofuel feedstock crop requires less intensive production practices and can grow on poorer quality land than food crops, making this a critical element in a strategy of sustainable biofuels production that avoids competition with crops grown for food. A total of $12.6 million went to 10 projects to researchers in California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Virginia.

“This project is a collaboration with Kansas State University, University of Nebraska and University of California-Davis,” said McKay. “Our proposed approach focuses on replacing petroleum-derived diesel fuel use in the agricultural sector with advanced oilseed based diesel fuels. The Great Plains and western United States have great potential to make a significant contribution to the production of bioenergy if regionally appropriate feedstocks can be developed. In this collaboration, we leverage this newly available genome sequence to facilitate genetic adaptation of Camelina as a crop to be grown on marginal farmland with relatively low fertilizer and irrigation inputs. Our research targets the most critical needs of this biofuel crop, enhancement of its drought tolerance and improvement of its seed oil profile.”

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07-25-14 *USDA-NASS News* July Cattle on Feed – Colorado: July 1st Cattle Inventory Down 3% from 2012…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 25, 2014

CLICK HERE to visit the USDA/NASS Colorado Field Office Website

CLICK HERE to visit the USDA/NASS Colorado Field Office Website

All cattle and calves in the United States as of July 1, 2014, totaled 95.0 million head, 3 percent below the 97.8 million on July 1, 2012. This is the lowest all cattle and calves inventory for July 1 since the series began in 1973. After a year  absence due to sequestration, the July Cattle report has been reinstated.

All cows and heifers that have calved, at 39.0 million, were down 2 percent from July 1, 2012. Beef cows, at 29.7 million, were down 3 percent from July 1, 2012. Milk cows, at 9.3 million, were up 1 percent from July 1, 2012.

Other class estimates on July 1, 2014 and the changes from July 1, 2012, are as follows:

  • All heifers 500 pounds and over, 14.9 million, down 5 percent.
  • Beef replacement heifers, 4.1 million, down 2 percent.
  • Milk replacement heifers, 3.9 million, down 5 percent.
  • Other heifers, 6.9 million, down 7 percent.
  • Steers, weighing 500 pounds and over, 13.5 million, down 4 percent.
  • Bulls, weighing 500 pounds and over, 1.9 million, unchanged.
  • Calves under 500 pounds, 25.7 million, down 3 percent.
  • All cattle and calves on feed for slaughter, 11.6 million, down 6 percent.

The 2014 calf crop is expected to be 33.6 million, down 1 percent from 2013 and down 2 percent from 2012. Calves born during the first half of the year are estimated at 24.3 million, down 2 percent from 2013 and down 3 percent from 2012.

For a full copy of the Cattle report please visit www.nass.usda.gov.

For state specific questions please contact:

Arizona – Steven Manheimer 1-800-645-7286
Colorado – William R. Meyer 1-800-392-3202
Montana – Eric Sommer 1-800-835-2612
New Mexico – Longino Bustillos 1-800-530-8810
Utah – John Hilton 1-800-747-8522
Wyoming – Rhonda Brandt 1-800-892-1660

For a full copy of the June 2014 Cattle on Feed report, please visit www.nass.usda.gov

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07-25-14 Eagle Valley Clean Energy, LLC has Been Selected to Accept Biomass Deliveries…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 25, 2014

USDA seal logoOf the total $25 million per year authorized for BCAP, up to 50 percent ($12.5 million) is available each year to assist biomass owners with the cost of delivery of agricultural or forest residues for energy generation. Some BCAP payments will target the removal of dead or diseased trees from National Forests and Bureau of Land Management public lands for renewable energy, which reduces the risk of forest fire.

“This program generates clean energy from biomass, reduces the threat of fires by removing dead or diseased trees from public forest lands, and invests in rural businesses and new energy markets,” said Swenson.

Farmers, ranchers or foresters who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a BCAP-qualified energy facility may be eligible for financial assistance for deliveries. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers BCAP, will begin accepting applications from biomass owners from July 28 through Aug. 25. Deliveries of residues for approved contracts may be made through Sept. 26, 2014.

Visit www.fsa.usda.gov/bcap or a local FSA county office to learn more about BCAP.

Read the rest of this entry »

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07-25-14 WELD COUNTY FAIR KICKS OFF WITH MORE THAN 1,000 EXHIBITORS…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 25, 2014

Weld County Fair LogoWELD COUNTY, CO – The Weld County Fair kicked off yesterday with more than 1,000 exhibitors registered in all categories, including 4-H and FFA county projects, 4-H and FFA livestock, 4-H family consumer science, 4-H general and natural resources, the better living division, kids’ events, the premier exhibitor category and the youth groups department.

Attendees will find a variety of exhibits outside of livestock within the above mentioned categories, including robotics, woodworking, model rocketry, cake decorating and much more.

“The Weld County Fair is an excellent representation of many of the talented residents we have here,” said Commissioner Chairman Douglas Rademacher. “I hope everyone takes the opportunity to visit the fair and see what Weld County has to offer.”

“There really is something for everybody at the Weld County Fair,” said Weld County 4-H Extension Director Keith Maxey. “We’ve had a really great turnout for exhibits this year and hope to see the public out here to check them out.”

For more information regarding the Weld County fair, visit www.weldcountyfair.com.

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Help the CO 4H Foundation and YOU might WIN a FORD…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 25, 2014

CO 4H and Ford Raffle Poster

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Fri, July 25th…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 25, 2014

The BARN CoAgNews Network logoSponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“Small Business Changes Require Regulation Changes”

The evolution of today’s livestock industry has shifted – according to Missouri Cattleman Ken Keesaman – and in order for family businesses to survive – he says cattlemen have expanded and diversified their operations. During his testimony before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Ag, Energy and Trade Wednesday – Keesaman said it is appropriate for the size standards applied by the Small Business Administration to more accurately represent today’s small operations. Diversifying is key to mitigating risk for small family businesses like Keesaman’s farm. He says America’s cattle farmers and ranchers have developed a successful business model domestically and globally – producing 20-percent of the world’s beef with just seven-percent of the world’s cattle supply. As industries adapt to the changing marketplace – Keesaman says it is important for the government to modify the governing regulations to better reflect the changes in the business climate.

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“New U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund Announced”

The White House Rural Council has announced the creation of the U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund. This new fund – anchored by CoBank – allows private entities to invest in job-creating rural infrastructure projects across the country. CoBank has committed 10-billion dollars to the fund to get it off the ground. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says this fund represents a new approach to supporting job-creating projects across the country. Vilsack says USDA and other agencies invest in infrastructure through a variety of federal initiatives – but its resources are finite. With new efforts like this – he says we can move beyond existing programs and help encourage substantial private investment in projects that grow the economy and improve quality of life for millions of Americans.

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“Outlook for Retail Pork Prices”

The Farm and Ranch Guide reports Purdue University Ag Economist Chris Hurt expects retail pork prices to continue increasing to record highs this summer. However – Hurt also expects those increases to level off in the fall and then move lower into the winter as producers increase production. Producer profits were at a record high near 70-dollars per head during the second quarter of this year – but Hurt says third quarter profits should exceed that record and be around 90-dollars per head. If producers begin expanding their herd – and PEDv is better controlled – Hurt says pork supplies can begin to grow next spring by four to six-percent in the last three quarters of 2015. As supplies build – he says more record-high retail pork prices can be expected in the second half of next year.

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“Farm Bureau, Georgetown Launch Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge”

The American Farm Bureau Federation and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business Global Social Enterprise Initiative have announced the beginning of the Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. The goal of the challenge is to provide individuals an opportunity to showcase their ideas and business innovations being cultivated throughout rural America. AFBF Director of Rural Development Dr. Lisa Benson says a team of judges will hear the challenge finalists pitch their business ideas – and winners will get initial capital and mentoring to turn their ideas into realities. Applications are being accepted now through September 15th. Semi-finalists will be announced at the National Summit on Rural Entrepreneurship on October 14th. Finalists will then compete during the 96th Annual AFBF Convention January 9th through the 14th for the Rural Entrepreneur of the Year Award – which includes up to 30,000-dollars to implement their ideas. For more information and to apply – visit Strong Rural America dot com slash challenge (www.strongruralamerica.com/challenge).

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“Genetics Could Help Change Consumer Perceptions of Beef’s Healthfulness”

University of Florida Geneticist Raluca Mateescu says surveys on consumer attitudes about beef show that healthfulness is increasingly more important and impacts their buying decision. Mattescu says research is currently taking place to see if beef producers can improve the healthfulness of beef through genetic selection. The Beef Healthfulness Project shows some nutrients in beef’s healthfulness profile have very good heritabilities. For instance – she says a serving of beef has between eight and 18-percent of the recommended daily value of iron – and the iron concentration in beef has 54-percent heritability. Zinc in beef is 26-percent of the recommended daily value and has 10-percent heritability. As research continues – Mateescu says traits that affect the nutrition profile of beef may loom larger in selection indexes. She says this research provides an opportunity to really change the way beef is portrayed to the consumer.

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“Center for Green Schools Releases National Sustainability Model”

The U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools has published the Whole-School Sustainability Framework – which is a collection of principles assembled by Colorado State University’s Institute for the Built Environment. The Council is urging schools across the U.S. to adopt these recommendations for sustainable practices to make schools more energy efficient. Center for Green Schools Director Rachel Gutter says the Center is thrilled to collaborate with the CSU Institute to present a guiding framework that articulates the conditions and approach to advance successful whole-school sustainability efforts. She says the framework supports lasting cultural shifts toward healthier, greener schools. To view the guidebook – visit Center for Green Schools dot org (www.centerforgreenschools.org).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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07-24-14 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 24, 2014

hay_20060403SmSq-bales-GL_GR310
Greeley, CO    Thu Jul 24, 2014    USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News

Colorado Hay Report

Compared to last week: Hay movement is slow this week with steady prices,
with moderate buyer demand.  With an adequate supply of low quality hay these
prices are having some downward pressure.  Conversely the supply of upper end
quality is hard to find, showing a mostly steady market with a slightly firmer
undertone.  With the monsoon season upon us second cutting is getting hit with
afternoon showers.  Hail and flooding also plagued the southwest last week and
affected a lot of hay that was put up or laying in the field.  All prices
reported FOB the stack or barn unless otherwise noted.  Prices reflect load lots
of hay.

If you have hay for sale or need hay, use the services of the Colorado
Department of Agriculture website: www.coloradoagriculture.com.

Northeast Colorado Areas
Alfalfa
Large Squares: Supreme 200.00-240.00; Premium 170.00; Good/Premium 150.00-
160.00; Good 130.00-140.00, 150.00 Delivered; Fair 115.00-130.00, 140.00
Delivered; Utility 100.00-115.00.
Ground and Delivered: 155.00.
Small Squares: Premium 230.00-260.00 (7.00 to 8.00 per bale).
Grass
Small Bales: Premium 250.00-275.00 (7.00 to 8.00 per bale).
Wheat Straw
Large Squares: Good 60.00, 70.00-90.00 Delivered.
No reported quotes for other classes of hay.

Southeast Colorado Areas
Alfalfa
Large Squares: Supreme/Premium 240.00-250.00; Premium 230.00; Good/Fair
210.00.
Small Bales: Good 200.00; Fair 180.00.
Wheat Straw
Large Squares:  Good 65.00.
No reported quotes for other classes of hay.

San Luis Valley Area

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07-24-14 CDA ALERT: Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) Update: Seven Colorado Quarantines…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 24, 2014

CDA - Animal Health Division logoGuidelines for Livestock Shows, Fairs, Exhibitions, and Events

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office has placed seven locations under quarantine after horses tested positive for Vesicular Stomatitis (VS). The quarantines are located in Weld and Boulder counties; results on additional tests in other counties are pending.

Colorado is the second state in the country to have confirmed cases of VS. Previous positive cases of vesicular stomatitis in 2014 have been diagnosed in the southern area of Texas near the Mexico border and more recently in Bastrop and Travis Counties just south of Austin, TX.

“Vesicular stomatitis can be painful for animals and costly to their owners,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. “The virus typically causes oral blisters and sores that can be painful causing difficulty in eating and drinking.”

Veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal may have VS or any other vesicular disease should immediately contact State or federal animal health authorities. Livestock with clinical signs of VS are isolated until they are healed and determined to be of no further threat for disease spread. There are no USDA approved vaccines for VS.

While rare, human cases of VS can occur, usually among those who handle infected animals. VS in humans can cause flu-like symptoms and only rarely includes lesions or blisters.

Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) Signs and Transmission:

VS susceptible species include horses, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, pigs, and camelids. The clinical signs of the disease include vesicles, erosions and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats and above the hooves of susceptible livestock. Vesicles are usually only seen early in the course of the disease. The transmission of vesicular stomatitis is not completely understood but components include insect vectors, mechanical transmission, and livestock movement.

Tips for Livestock Owners: Read the rest of this entry »

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07-24-14 White House Rural Council Announces $10 Billion Private Investment Fund to Finance Job-Creating Infrastructure Projects in Rural America…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 24, 2014

Header Press ReleaseCoBank Pledges Initial Multi-billion Commitment for New Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund; More Private Investments in Fund Expected

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2014 - The White House Rural Council today announced the creation of the new U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund through which private entities can invest in job-creating rural infrastructure projects across the country. An initial $10 billion has been committed to the fund with greater investment expected to follow. Target investments will include hospitals, schools and other educational facilities, rural water and wastewater systems, energy projects, broadband expansion, local and regional food systems, and other rural infrastructure.

CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving rural America and a member of the Farm Credit System, is the fund’s anchor investor, committing $10 billion to get the fund off the ground. Capitol Peak Asset Management will manage the new fund and work to recruit more investors to add to CoBank’s initial commitment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other federal agencies will help to identify rural projects that could be potential beneficiaries of financing through this new fund and other private sources.

The creation of the new fund was announced during the first-ever White House Rural Opportunity Investment Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference brought together business and financial community leaders, Administration and other government officials, rural development experts, and others to promote investment opportunities in America’s rural communities.

Read the rest of this entry »

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thu, July 24th…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 24, 2014

The BARN CoAgNews Network logoSponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“Stabenow Says Reversing Course on Child Nutrition Not an Option”

Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow held a committee hearing yesterday (Wednesday) on childhood nutrition – saying school personnel, parents, community leaders and other stakeholders must work together to address challenges in providing healthy meals to children in schools. According to the Center for Disease Control – Stabenow says obesity in young children has more than doubled in the last 30-years – and it’s grown more than four-times higher for teenagers in that same period. If the U.S. can turn a corner by offering healthy food choices in schools and teaching healthy eating habits – Stabenow says children’s health will improve and the country’s long-term economic and national security will – too. For an archived webcast of the hearing – visit ag dot senate dot gov (http://ag.senate.gov).

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“Ag Senators Express Frustrations, Concerns to EPA Administrator”

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy met with Senate Ag Committee Republicans Tuesday – according to The Hagstrom Report. Mississippi’s Thad Cochran told McCarthy the Waters of the U.S. proposal and agriculture interpretive rule are a source of uncertainty, anxiety and distrust for people in rural areas. Kansas Senator Pat Roberts expressed his frustration with EPA’s recent campaign calling concerns surrounding the proposed rules myths. Iowa’s Chuck Grassley reiterated his concerns with the proposed waters rule – too – and says there’s no question this administration has a poor track record with agricultural interests on any number of issues. Grassley says it’s hard to believe how EPA thinks it can manage new rules when this unhelpful approach and general negative attitude toward agriculture seem to be standard protocol. He says the meeting with McCarthy did little to alleviate his concerns that the agency isn’t listening to the people its rules will directly impact. EPA Spokeswoman Liz Purchia says EPA knows no one understands the importance of water quality better than the ag community – and the Administrator appreciated the meeting with the Senators.

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“USDA Develops FFAR”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the creation of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research. The new foundation – authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill – is a non-profit corporation comprised of 15 board members that will seek and accept private donations to fund research activities focusing on problems that are nationally and internationally significant. These issues include plant and animal health, food safety, nutrition, renewable energy, natural resources, the environment, agricultural and food security and ag systems and technology. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says studies show every dollar invested in ag research creates 20-dollars in economic activity. Vilsack says investments in innovation made over the past several decades have developed new products and new procedures that have been critical to the continued growth of American agriculture. He says strategic investments in research and technology must continue if the U.S. is to remain a leader in the global economy.

National Corn Growers Association Chairwoman Pam Johnson is one of the 15 board members. Johnson says advancing American agriculture cannot be done without advancing the critical research to make sure production increases in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. As someone who has long held an interest in ag research – and long believed in its importance – Johnson says she is grateful for the opportunity to serve her country and industry in this foundation.

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“Financial Assistance Available for Biomass Deliveries”

Through the 2014 Farm Bill – a total of 25-million dollars per year was authorized for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says this program generates clean energy from biomass, reduces the threat of fires by removing dead or diseased trees from public forest lands and invests in rural businesses and new energy markets. Vilsack says USDA has selected 36 energy facilities in 14 states to accept biomass deliveries supported by BCAP. Farmers, ranchers or foresters who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a BCAP-qualified energy facility may be eligible for financial assistance for those deliveries. The Farm Service Agency will accept applications from biomass owners July 28th through August 25th. Approved contracts may make deliveries through September 26th. For more information – visit FSA dot USDA dot gov slash BCAP (www.fsa.usda.gov/bcap).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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07-23-14 CSU’s School Sustainability Guide Named National Model…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 23, 2014

Header - Please enable images in your e-mail programFeature Story ImageFORT COLLINS – A Colorado State University institute’s set of guidelines for making schools more energy efficient through sustainable practices has been chosen as a national model by an arm of the U.S. Green Building Council.

And it grew out of a graduate student’s thesis.

The council’s Center for Green Schools has published “The Whole-School Sustainability Framework,” a collection of principles assembled by CSU’s Institute for the Built Environment, and is urging schools around the country to adopt its recommendations on sustainable practices.

Stephanie Barr, now a research associate for IBE, presented the findings of her master’s thesis on sustainability efforts at U.S. schools during the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild conference in 2011. The presentation caught the attention of the director of the Center for Green Schools, and “the center said they’d like us to develop it further and encourage schools and districts across the nation to use it,” said Brian Dunbar, executive director of the Institute for the Built Environment, part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.

“We were asked to take the academic research and make it a public guidebook,” Barr said. Read the rest of this entry »

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07-23-14 US Senator Bennet: Gypsum’s Eagle Valley Clean Energy Selected to Accept Biomass Deliveries…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 23, 2014

US Senator Michael Bennet color official photo-022513Biomass Removals from Public Lands Help Reduce Wildfires 

Suppliers May Qualify for BCAP Delivery Assistance

Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today announced that Eagle Valley Clean Energy, LLC in Gypsum has been selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to accept biomass deliveries as part of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). The removal of dead or diseased trees from public lands is a crucial piece of the strategy to reduce the risk of wildfires in Colorado and across the West and helps generate clean energy.

Eagle Valley Clean Energy is one of 36 energy facilities in 14 states to be selected. The renewable energy plant in Gypsum also benefitted from a $40 million loan guarantee from USDA’s Rural Development initiative, a program Bennet fought to include in the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Biomass may not be what you typically think about when it comes to Colorado’s abundant energy resources, but this is an innovative way to generate clean energy while reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires,” Bennet said. “These efforts support local businesses, promote a clean energy economy, and protect our forests and communities from the threat of wildfires. These are the types of investments that will get us out of the vicious cycle of needing to devote so many resources to wildfire suppression without addressing mitigation and preparedness.”

BCAP was authorized as part of the 2014 Farm Bill that Bennet, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, helped craft with the input of Colorado’s farmers, ranchers, and conservation community. Of the total $25 million per year authorized for BCAP, up to 50 percent ($12.5 million) is available each year to assist biomass owners with the cost of delivery of agricultural or forest residues for energy generation. Some BCAP payments will target the removal of dead or diseased trees from National Forests and Bureau of Land Management public lands for renewable energy, which reduces the risk of forest fire.

Read the rest of this entry »

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07-23-14 USDA Selects 36 Energy Facilities to Accept Biomass Deliveries, one in CO…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 23, 2014

USDA seal logoProgram Includes Biomass Removals from Federal Lands to Reduce Forest Fires including Colorado: Eagle Valley Clean Energy, LLC

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2014 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has selected 36 energy facilities in 14 states to accept biomass deliveries supported by the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Biomass owners who supply these facilities may qualify for BCAP delivery assistance starting July 28, 2014.

Of the total $25 million per year authorized for BCAP, up to 50 percent ($12.5 million) is available each year to assist biomass owners with the cost of delivery of agricultural or forest residues for energy generation. Some BCAP payments will target the removal of dead or diseased trees from National Forests and Bureau of Land Management public lands for renewable energy, which reduces the risk of forest fire.

“This program generates clean energy from biomass, reduces the threat of fires by removing dead or diseased trees from public forest lands, and invests in rural businesses and new energy markets,” said Vilsack. “The fires we are seeing right now in the west underscore the need for forest restoration and fire prevention. Pairing this effort with forest restoration on public lands will help guard against these fires while promoting economic opportunity for rural communities.”

Farmers, ranchers or foresters who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a BCAP-qualified energy facility may be eligible for financial assistance for deliveries. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers BCAP, will begin accepting applications from biomass owners from July 28 through Aug. 25. Deliveries of residues for approved contracts may be made through Sept. 26, 2014.

The 36 BCAP energy facilities are: Read the rest of this entry »

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07-23-14 USDA Secretary Announces Creation of Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 23, 2014

USDA seal logoWASHINGTON, July 23, 2014 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the creation of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) and the appointment of a 15-member board of directors. The new foundation will leverage public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to boosting America’s agricultural economy.

Authorized by Congress as part of the 2014 Farm Bill, the foundation will operate as a non-profit corporation seeking and accepting private donations in order to fund research activities that focus on problems of national and international significance. Congress also provided $200 million for the foundation which must be matched by non-federal funds as the Foundation identifies and approves projects.

“Studies have shown that every dollar invested in agricultural research creates $20 in economic activity,” said Vilsack. “Investments in innovation made over the past several decades have developed new products and new procedures that have been critical to the continued growth of American agriculture. We must continue to make strategic investments in research and technology if we are to remain leaders in the global economy.”

The research funded by the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research will address issues including plant and animal health; food safety, nutrition and health; renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; agricultural and food security; and agriculture systems and technology.

The foundation’s board of directors was chosen to represent the diverse sectors of agriculture. Seven of these board members were selected by the unanimous vote of the board’s five ex-officio members from lists of candidates provided by industry, while eight representatives were unanimously elected from a list of candidates provided by the National Academy of Sciences. Congress mandated that the ex-officio members choose the initial 15 board members from among the lists provided by these two groups. However, new board members now have the option of adding additional members if they so choose. Secretary Vilsack said today he hoped the board would exercise its prerogative to add more members to expand the board’s diversity.

In announcing the 15-member FFAR board today, Vilsack remarked, “Public-private partnerships are vital to the agricultural research community, and this is reflected in the membership of the foundation’s board of directors.”

The 15 voting members are: Read the rest of this entry »

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07-23-14 CAWG NEWS: 2014 Colorado Winter Wheat Harvest Update #9…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 23, 2014

2014 CO Winter Wheat Harvest Update Header

(Note: Farmers and elevators, give me a heads-up when harvest starts in your area, please!)

Results for the CSU UVPT trials are being posted, with Julesburg, Orchard, Lamar, Sheridan Lake, Walsh and Yuma posted: http://bit.ly/lNngvt

July 23, 2014 – FT COLLINS, CO - Colorado winter wheat harvest moved back into full swing last Friday after being stalled due to rainy, cool and humid weather for most of the week.  The National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated that 68 percent of the crop was harvested as of Sunday night compared with 46 percent last week and the 5-year average of 71 percent.  Colorado Wheat estimates the harvest is now 80 percent complete based on ideal weather conditions since last Friday.

Cargill-Burlington estimated harvest was 97 percent complete for their area with moisture averaging 11 percent, test weight averaging 61.2 pounds, protein averaging 13.6 percent and yields ranging from a low of 6 bushels per acre on hail-damaged wheat to a high of 75 bushels per acre.

The Seibert Equity Coop estimated harvest was 95 percent complete for their intake area and would wrap up by this weekend. Moisture was averaging 10 to 10.5 percent, test weight averaging over 60 pounds, protein averaging 13.6 percent and yields averaging 35 to 40 bushels in the area due to extensive hail damage north of Seibert.

The Flagler Equity Coop estimated harvest was 70 – 75 percent complete with moisture ranging from 8 to 10.5 percent, test weight averaging 59.3 pounds, protein averaging over 12.5 percent and yields ranging from a low 20 to 30 bushels per acre on hail-damaged wheat to a high of 50 to 60 bushels per acre.

Read the rest of this entry »

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wed, July 23rd…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 23, 2014

The BARN CoAgNews Network logoSponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“Combating Heat Stress During Extreme Heat”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projected the first emergency levels of heat and humidity across much of the U.S. this week. Forecast maps indicated emergency levels in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and neighboring states – as well as parts of southern California and Arizona. Iowa State University Beef Extension Veterinarian Grant Dewell says cattle producers and feeders need to take precautions to minimize the effects of this extreme heat on their cattle by working them early in the morning or in the evening. Also – make sure cattle are getting enough water by introducing extra water tanks to ensure they have access to enough water – as a 1,000-pound animal needs 1.5-gallons of water per hour. As for feed – Dewell says cattle should receive at least 70-percent of their feed two to four-hours after peak ambient temperature – and the energy content of their diet should be reduced by five to seven-percent. Shade, air flow and insect control are also very important to combat heat stress with cattle. For more information – visit ARS dot USDA dot gov (www.ars.usda.gov) and search Heat Stress.

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“Senators Look for Further Explanation from DOJ, FTC Regarding Big Oil Behavior”

After a year – Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar have again asked the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to study possible anti-competitive practices regarding certain oil companies. Grassley and Klobuchar want DOJ and the FTC to review the Renewable Fuels Association’s comprehensive analysis on how some oil companies are blocking the sale of renewable fuels, investigate the claims and reply with an evaluation of the agencies conclusions regarding possible anti-competitive behavior – along with any proposed solutions they will take to resolve the issue.

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“Zilmax Study Shows Product Doesn’t Harm Cattle”

According to the Western Livestock Journal – a recent study by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows beta agonists don’t harm cattle. The thought that beta agonists do harm cattle was the primary reason for Merck Animal Health to remove its feed additive Zilmax last August. The Food and Drug Administration approved the product – which has been used to improve feed conversion and result in more beef from each animal harvested – which has been a priority since 1952. This recent study took place for a 26-day period. Researchers collected blood, monitored body temperature and video images from 20 heifers that were divided into two groups. One group received the recommended dose of Zilmax – the other did not. On the last day of the trial – heifers were exposed to a simulated stress event to mimic the stress response that would be anticipated in cattle being shipped from the feedlot to the packing plant. Study results show heifers fed Zilmax had an increase in parameters indicating increased muscle mass – which was expected. Researcher Ty Schmidt says results also showed heifers supplemented with Zilmax had a decreased production of cortisol – the stress hormone – and decreased body temperature during the simulated stress event. Overall – Schmidt says the results indicate while there are variations in the body temperature, endocrine and metabolic parameters and histopathology of major organs of Zilmax-supplemented heifers – the differences show no indication supplementation of Zilmax is detrimental to health or well-being in cattle.

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“Conservation Compliance Changes Reminder”

USDA wants to remind farmers and ranchers about the changes through the 2014 Farm Bill requiring them to have a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form on file. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says it’s important for farmers and ranchers who take the right steps to conserve valuable farm and natural resources to have AD-1026 forms on file at their local Farm Service Agency office to ensure they remain eligible for crop insurance support. The form must be filed by June 1, 2015. For the revised form – visit FSA dot USDA dot gov (www.fsa.usda.gov).

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“Little Time Left to Enter 2014 National Corn Yield Contest”

The National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers there are less than two weeks left to register for this year’s National Corn Yield Contest. NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Don Glenn says the data gained from the contest every year is important because it helps develop the production practices of tomorrow. Entry remains open through August 1st. All harvest forms are due by November 21st and contest winners will be announced December 19th. To enter – visit membership dot NCGA dot com slash Cornyield Contest (https://membership.ncga.com/CornyieldContest/).

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“Apply Now to be the Next Face of Farming and Ranching”

This year’s Faces of Farming and Ranching did an excellent job – according to National Corn Growers Association Corn Board Member Mike Geske. He says the ambassadors clearly showed how great the consumer desire for direct information on how their food is grown has become. Geske says farmers take great pride in the work they do – and he has seen the incredible move toward a more productive, more sustainable ag industry. He says farmers have an excellent story to share – and he urges all eligible farmers and ranchers to apply to be the next U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Faces of Farming and Ranching. Entries will be accepted until midnight Central on Sunday – August 10th. To apply – visit Food Dialogues dot com slash Faces (www.FoodDialogues.com/Faces).

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“AFBF, Georgetown Partner to Launch Entrepreneurship Webinar Series”

The American Farm Bureau along with the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business Global Social Enterprise Initiative has announced a new, online business training resource for rural entrepreneurs and Farm Bureau members. AFBF Director of Rural Development Dr. Lisa Benson says the series of webinars has been developed to meet the needs of Farm Bureau members who are already involved in rural entrepreneurship as well as those preparing to launch a business in their local communities. Benson says this continuing education initiative will connect rural residents with cutting-edge innovations, business development training and resources that will yield immediate benefits. An orientation workshop will start the series on July 29th at 3 p.m. Eastern. RSVP at www 1 dot go to meeting dot com slash register slash 984 624 936 (https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/984624936). Four more webinars will take place throughout the rest of this year.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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07-22-14 NMPF News: University of Florida Grad Student Receives NMPF Dairy Research Award…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 22, 2014

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – Eduardo de Souza Ribeiro, a doctoral student in animal sciences at the University of Florida, today received the National Milk Producers Federation Richard M. Hoyt Award for dairy-related research.

Ribeiro was recognized during the awards ceremony at the annual meeting of the American Dairy Science Association in Kansas City. NMPF Vice President for Dairy Foods and Nutrition Beth Briczinski made the scholarship presentation.

A native of São Joaquim, Brazil, Ribeiro has done extensive research in reproductive physiology and management of dairy cows. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Florida in 2011 and is currently in the animal molecular and cellular biology program there. His research has resulted in 24 publications, of which he was the lead author on eight.

Briczinski called Ribeiro an exemplary student who has already made significant contributions to the U.S. dairy industry. “In light of his ongoing work to advance dairy science, Eduardo richly deserves this award,” she said.  

The Richard M. Hoyt Award is a joint project of NMPF and ADSA, with NMPF providing the scholarship money. The award recognizes research efforts with direct application to problems in the dairy industry. The winner must be enrolled in or have completed a program leading to an advance degree in dairy science, dairy production, diary processing or a similar curriculum. Read the rest of this entry »

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07-22-14 USDA Reminds Farmers of 2014 Farm Bill Conservation Compliance Changes…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 22, 2014

USDA seal logoWASHINGTON, July 22, 2014 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today reminded producers that changes mandated through the 2014 Farm Bill require them to have on file a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification (AD-1026). The Farm Bill relinked highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation compliance with eligibility for premium support paid under the federal crop insurance program.

“It’s important that farmers and ranchers taking the right steps to conserve valuable farm and natural resources have completed AD-1026 forms on file at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office,” said Vilsack. “This will ensure they remain eligible for crop insurance support.”

For farmers to be eligible for premium support on their federal crop insurance, a completed and signed AD-1026 form must be on file with the FSA. Since many FSA and Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) programs have this requirement, most producers should already have an AD-1026 on file. If producers have not filed, they must do so by June 1, 2015.

When a farmer completes the AD-1026, FSA and NRCS staff will outline any additional actions that may be required for compliance with the provisions. The Risk Management Agency, through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), manages the federal crop insurance program that provides the modern farm safety net for American farmers and ranchers.

Read the rest of this entry »

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